Analysis Military

Practical updates on the war with no end in sight

Here at The Freq we have a special place in our hearts and minds for news in regards to Afghanistan. Between the primary staff, we have over 16 deployments to the country and have put a lot on the line on that foreign soil.

Most of the news you hear tend to be long, conflated opinion pieces about “the long war.” While I can’t speak for the other writers here, those pieces irk me sometimes — they tend to be based on a bit of personal experience, a couple broad policy news updates, and that’s it.

Rarely do these articles dive into the gritty details of things. How can you be writing about the war (in news form) without talking about potential (or not) negotiations between the Americans and the Taliban? The Taliban’s attitude toward the Afghan government versus the American government, and how they treat NATO as a whole? How can you dismiss the latest assassinations, cease fires, and changing policies of both allies and enemies, especially when they’re new and could mean a different future for the war entirely?

The answer is obvious – people are taxed. They’re tired of hearing what sounds like “the same ‘ol news” over and over.

And yet, anyone who has deployed over there and has been involved in significant operations knows it’s not just the same thing over and over, despite how it may appear. It’s a constantly evolving situation; if nothing else, the very fact that the war is getting so old is yet another change.

Lamenting about the war’s length is understandable – it’s been going on for the better part of my life, but ultimately many of the articles and opinion pieces culminate to little more than pessimistic ranting. We’re still sending troops over there, and so the practical details are important for Americans to study and understand. After all, we’re electing the people who are sending these guys over in the first place, so we ought to be in the know.

That’s why The Freq is going to start a series called “Afghanistan Weekly,” and will feature our resident expert Tim Lynch report with updates on the war every week – the first installment will come out today, and we think you’ll notice how his expertise speaks for itself.

Stay informed. Don’t let the war’s length make you disinterested in what’s happening to our deployed service members, the Afghan people, and the fate of that area in the world in general.

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Featured image: Sgt. David Smitt provides overwatch security during an air assault patrol with U.S. Soldiers and British gunners in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, Feb. 10. Smitt is assigned to 101st Combat Aviation Brigade and the gunners are assigned to the Royal Air Force Regiment’s 15th Squadron. 2011 – Photo by Sadie Bleistein

Final image: 1st Lt. Rebecca Wagner, a native of Mahomet, Ill., effects coordinator and female engagement team officer in charge, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, International Assistance Security Force, counts with the Afghan children of the Red Crescent Society orphanage and school when the 4th CAB delivered school supplies, clothing items and toys, Feb. 12, 2011 – Photo by Spc. Jeanita C. Pisachubbe

1 comment on “Practical updates on the war with no end in sight

  1. <3
    This is the sort of thing I was searching for when I found some of you guys in the pre-Freq days. It wasn't that I didn't care what was happening in Afghanistan (or Iraq, Syria, etc.), it was that the usual news stories I read made me feel exhausted and like I still didn't understand what was really going on or why we were there. It felt like a bunch of disconnected stories in a vacuum, with no context or continuity or perspective (or sense of geography / topography). I would go into a typical article because I cared, and would get to the other side feeling lost and like I needed a ten-volume treatise just to understand what any of it meant. And maybe to *really* get it, I totally do need to do that. In my spare time. But I liked the way you guys wrote about what was going on (past and present and prospects for the future), because it was digestible and relateable, and I walked away feeling like I got it, or at least a teensy part of it. I'm looking forward to the series.

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