The Pew Research Center released a recent poll of post-9/11 veterans that revealed some surprising findings: one-third of the veterans believe that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting.
Ten years have passed since the United States entered into war in Afghanistan, and in that decade, we have lost more than 6,000 troops in the conflicts both there and in Iraq.
Post-9/11 veterans and troops still overseas today have fought bravely and selflessly to protect our nation, leaving behind loved ones to serve what are often multiple tours on the front lines.
While there are signs President Obama will withdraw all but a handful of troops in Iraq by year’s end, the Afghanistan mission remains unresolved. Military personnel continue to endure sacrifices, among them post-traumatic stress disorder and the physical injuries of war.
So when veterans offer their opinions on the missions they have sacrificed so much for, we should listen closely. The Pew Research Center released a recent poll of post-9/11 veterans that revealed some surprising findings: one-third of the veterans believe that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting.
While far from the majority, it is surprising that such a high percentage of those who risked their lives for the causes in Iraq and Afghanistan think that the wars should never have been commenced.
The poll also found that the majority of post-9/11 veterans think that, after 10 years of combat, America should be focusing less on foreign affairs and more on its problems at home.
It is one thing for the average American to discount the missions. After all, they have long since become political as well as military issues, and non-combat families have been asked to sacrifice little — not even tax dollars.
But for those who have witnessed firsthand the ongoing efforts, who have felt personally the destruction of the wars and seen its effects on our allies and their views, to have such sentiments about their experiences overseas is striking.
These feelings are exactly what the Obama administration should be considering as it determines its next steps. If so many veterans are coming to believe that going to war was a mistake from the start, it is time for the government to consider exactly why this is and what it is fighting for.
-- Messenger Post (N.Y.)