Category Archives: Afghanistan

Junger on war

Sebastian Junger has breathed some context into the most recent US military scandel de jour, the urinating Marines.

I immensely enjoyed Junger’s film Restrepo, though blinded by the fatigues I struggle to tell most of the featured soldiers apart. I’m not alone with this innability to distinguish; Ridley Scott once complained of US servicemen on camera “they all look the same with the uniform on”. The companion book War follows many of the exact scenes shown in the film, but it is withen written prose the men find their voice.

And it’s cynicism, warped by the shitty situation that is the stalemate of a decade of war in Afghanistan.

The offers of weapons started on my first trip and continued the entire year. Sometimes it was a handgrenade “just in case.” Other times it was an offer to jump on the 240 during the next contact…

Guns were the point, the one entirely good thing of the whole shitty year, and the fact reporters don’t carry them, shoot them, or accept the very generous offers to “go ahead and get some” on the .50 just made soldiers shake their heads.