American veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan offer invaluable firsthand perspectives on what made America’s post-9/11 wars so costly and disastrous.
Twenty years of America’s Global War on Terror produced little tangible success while exacting enormous harm. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States sustained tens of thousands of casualties, expended trillions of dollars, and inflicted massive suffering on the very populations that we sought to “liberate.” Now the inclination to forget it all and move on is palpable. But there is much to be learned from the immense debacle. And those who served and fought in these wars are best positioned to teach us.
Paths of Dissent collects fifteen original essays from American veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan—hailing from a wide range of services, ranks, and walks of life—who have come out in opposition to these conflicts. Selected for their candor and eloquence by fellow veterans Andrew Bacevich and Daniel Sjursen, these soldiers vividly describe both their motivations for serving and the disillusionment that made them speak out against the system. Their testimony is crucial for understanding just how the world’s self-proclaimed greatest military power went so badly astray.
About the Author
Andrew Bacevich grew up in Indiana, graduated from West Point and Princeton, served in the army, became a university historian, and currently serves as the president and founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a nonpartisan foreign policy think tank. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of a dozen books, among them The Limits of Power, Washington Rules, Age of Illusions,and, most recently, After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed.
Daniel A. Sjursen is a retired US Army officer, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, contributing editor at Antiwar.com, and director of the Eisenhower Media Network. Along with fellow vet Chris “Henri” Henriksen, he cohosts the podcast Fortress on a Hill. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Nation, among other publications. He served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at West Point. Sjursen is the author of Ghost Riders of Baghdad and Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War.