This week America’s longest war in Afghanistan turned eighteen, and so did its youngest solder. To mark the occasion, ABC News profiled the US occupation’s newest American member: “Pvt. Hunter Nines is about to join a war nearly as old as he is,” the report said.
Reflecting on his first impending deployment with the Army Pvt. Nines said, “I didn’t have a lot of thoughts on Afghanistan in particular.” He was but 7 months when the war began with the arrival of US troops on Oct. 7, 2001 following the 9/11 attacks. “I honestly just had the notion of I wanted to serve, and wherever that is, that’s where I’ll go.”
Over the span of the now eighteen-year long war, an estimated 775,000 American troops have served at least one tour in the historically war-racked central Asian country, in a region which everyone from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan to the British Empire had trouble subduing, as all were ultimately unsuccessful.
Very soon, the US will begin sending young service personnel who hadn’t even been born at the time of the start of Bush’s so-called ‘war on terror’. As this stunning line from the report emphasizes:
Department of Defense statistics reflect the increasing shift in demographics of service members such as Nines who were babies or not even yet born on Sept. 11, 2001, which led to what’s become America’s longest war.
By the numbers, there are 15,364 active-duty enlisted Army members who are 18, and among these 1,052 of whom were born after the 9/11 attacks, reported ABC.
And the much smaller (by total numbers), more elite branch, the Marine Corps, has 28,048 active-duty personnel aged 17 to 19.
It appears that Trump as Commander-In-Chief had this tragic reality of the country’s longest running quagmire in mind when he tweeted early this week, specifically in response to the unfolding crisis in Syria, that “it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.”
To be expected, the DC beltway blob had a collective conniption fit this week at the mere suggestion of a US troop exit from the Middle East.
To see inside the warped worldview of ‘official Washington’ it’s enough to recall this 2014 Washington Post op-ed (no, not The Onion) which argued, “War may be the worst way imaginable to create peaceful societies but it is pretty much the only way.”
— Alan MacLeod (@AlanRMacLeod) October 9, 2019
Assuming the ‘deep state’ continues to have its way, we can expect many more 18-year olds to be sent to distant lands the American military machine has been active in since before they were born.