On Conflicts of Interest #144, retired Army Major and Afghan War vet Danny Sjursen returns to the show to discuss Biden’s declared end to the Afghan War. Danny explains how the war has changed under the current administration. He attempts to tackle the tough question: “Is the war actually ending?”
Danny and Kyle break down the factions in the Biden administration resisting the president’s push to end the war. Danny compares Biden’s struggle to that of Obama and Trump, who both attempted to limit or end the war but were unable to do so – at least in part – because their employees undermined their efforts.
Danny discusses how the Afghan War is evolving. He breaks down the country’s ethnic groups and explains why there is no way to partition the country. Danny tells some stories from his experience in Afghanistan and why our nation-building effort has failed.
Danny debunks key points being made by the hawks to justify the continued occupation and bombing of Afghanistan. Danny looks at the human rights abuses and war crimes of the US and Afghan militaries. Using his own experiences in Afghanistan, Danny explains why the US cannot improve the lives of Afghans with troops or bombs.
Danny concludes the show by discussing how his fellow veterans have reacted to the end of the war. While there is a wide range of opinion, Danny argues the vet community is actually MORE against the war than American civilians.
Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army officer, the director of the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN), a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy (CIP), contributing editor at Antiwar.com, and co-hosts the podcast “Fortress on a Hill.” His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, The Hill, Salon, The American Conservative, and Mother Jones, among other publications. He served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and taught history at West Point. He is the author of three books, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War, and most recently A True History of the United States. Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet.