US Continues Afghanistan Escalation, With Little Public Debate

16 years in, Afghanistan is once again the forgotten war

The longest war in American history, the US occupation in Afghanistan, now well over 16 years long, has often been called a ‘forgotten war.’ It may be fair to do so again, as the ongoing escalations are barely noticed, and not debated.

Gen. Nicholson addresses troops in Helmand

Senate hearings on America’s various wars over the past week covered a wide variety of topics. Afghanistan was mentioned four times, and then mostly in passing. Two hours of briefing by intelligence officials saw Afghanistan mentioned not even once.

All the while, more US troops continue to arrive. Exactly how many isn’t clear, as President Trump has made that a secret. Furthermore, US data that is coming out of Afghanistan is increasingly inaccurate, making it even harder to accurately cover the situation on the ground.

It’s not clear this is intentional dishonesty, or just laziness reflecting how little interest there is in Afghanistan in the first place. This far into the war, there is nothing even close to resembling an end-game strategy, officials are repudiating the idea of negotiating a settlement, and escalation continues, as ever.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of