On Afghan War’s Anniversary, US Troop Morale Plummeting

Troops Increasingly Disillusioned by Endless War

It was eight years ago today that the United States began its invasion of Afghanistan. At the time titled “Operation Infinite Justice,” the war, later rebranded as “Operation Enduring Freedom” has certainly been enduring, and many fear it will end up infinite.

But after eight full years of occupation, the exit strategy remains as elusive as ever, and chaplains are cautioning that the troops on the ground, 68,000 strong, are growing increasingly disillusioned with risking their lives in what is seen to be a futile and endless war.

Death tolls are forever on the rise: 10 American soldiers were killed only last weekend. The Afghan elections, which were supposed to be a stabilizing factor, have been an unmitigated disaster. Officials have ruled out setting any sort of timeline for ending the fight.

Soldiers in Afghanistan have little reason for optimism, and the only solution officials seem to have is to send even more troops. Ostensibly designed to offer some relief to overwhelmed forces, the escalation is likely to be a recipe for more rotations into the combat zones, particularly with the US still maintaining a massive presence in Iraq.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.