Since 2001, every year end in the United States has been a nation at war, with military forces occupying overseas territory. That’s just as true this year, despite the rhetoric to the contrary.
President Obama has sought to portray the Afghan War as “over” this month, and what’s more a “success” after 13+ years of occupation and over $1 trillion, by conservative estimates, spent.
Yet all that really happened in Afghanistan was a transition from the old, NATO-led occupation to a new, more US-dominated one. The US has actually increased the number of troops it will leave in the country in 2015, and combat will continue.
Though how long the Afghan War will continue beyond 2015 is still a matter of speculation, the US has an agreement with the Afghanistan government to leave troops there through 2024 and beyond.
In the meantime, 2014 saw the resumption of the Iraq War, with roughly 3,000 US ground troops in the nation or en-route for a massive air war against ISIS, with large numbers of vehicles being built up in Kuwait for the eventual ground war.
With the Afghan War still open-ended, and the new ISIS war expanding in both Iraq and Syria, with major escalations to come, the appearance is of the conflicts in general speeding up, not slowing down.
That the administration seems so determined to present America as entering a post-war phase, even with multiple wars ongoing, suggests public war fatigue is finally catching up with officials, but instead of doing the sensible thing and ending the wars, they’re going to try to sell the fiction of the wars being over instead.