Sunday marked the 17th anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan. The conflict has dragged on for so long that, very soon, America’s youngest soldiers could be fighting in a war that began before they were born.
Aside from a series of news articles, this 17-year milestone didn’t garner much attention around the world. And that’s no surprise, given that few people talk about the war in Afghanistan anymore. Not only is it a “forever war,” it is also a forgotten war —particularly in America, which has stationed troops in Afghanistan for nearly two decades.
I recently came across one of the most sobering US public opinion polls I’ve ever seen on Afghanistan. Back in July, a Rasmussen Reports survey found that 20 percent of “likely US voters” did not think that America was still at war in Afghanistan. And another 20 percent were not sure. This profound lack of awareness prevails even as US troops continue to die — including most recently a soldier on Oct. 4 — and billions of dollars continue to be spent.