Marine Vet: America’s Troops Are Demoralized After Nearly Two Decades of War

Service members have yet to see much public debate about what they're fighting for.

US soldiers from the 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 2-87 Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team prepare to leave a patrol base on the outskirts of Kandalay village in southern Kandahar province as fresh troops arrive. (ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

Why is America fighting a war, one that has lasted nearly two decades? Depending on who you talk to in the States, you will hear a very different response to this question. But no matter the reason, young men and women are risking and sometimes losing their lives in a war far from home. The images we see and stories we hear from war provoke a kind of entranced awe.

But The Atlantic writes that there is a theory that the courage of these young soldiers in battle depends on the nature and quality of our civic society. If that is true, then “we should be very worried. We should expect to see a sickness spreading from our public life and into the hearts of the men and women who continue to risk their lives on behalf of a distracted nation.”

Retiring foreign-service officers told the press that morale among American troops has never been lower. Trump’s administration has supplied few of the tools that his military leaders have said are crucial to the mission in the Middle East. The Atlantic says that without a political leadership that can really show, and argue, for a mission and objective worth dying for, it is not surprising that soldiers can stop caring about the mission altogether. How can a soldier fight for their country when their country doesn’t seem to care, or seems to find the war you’re fighting pointless?

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