Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Even the Strongest

The last Navy SEAL to die in Afghanistan was Cmdr. Job Price, who committed suicide four years ago. In the Times Nicholas Kulish and Christopher Drew have a thorough look at the circumstances. Their conclusion: "he was a casualty of war."

According to some who knew him, Cmdr. Price was deeply troubled by having lost four men during this deployment, at a time when U.S. involvement in Afghanistan was supposed to be winding down. As they say, nobody wants to be the last soldier to die in a war, or the last officer to lose a man.

I was especially struck by one detail:
In his trouser pocket was a report on the recent death of an Afghan girl in an explosion near an American base.
After enough fighting and enough loss and enough disaster, even the strongest men can be ground down into hopelessness. And the more our way of fighting comes to focus on a handful of elite men and women -- special forces, fighter-bomber and drone pilots -- the greater and more lonely the stress on those chosen few.

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