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‘The Afghanistan War Was A Disaster;’ Veteran Danny Sjursen On US ‘Pullout’

The Pentagon has started closing military bases and pulling troops out of Afghanistan but confusion over what this means for the United States’ longest war exists. For clarification, Clearing the FOG speaks with retired US army major, author and activist, Danny Sjursen. He calls the Afghanistan War a disaster and says the United States would have been better off if it had buried all of the trillions spent to invade and occupy Afghanistan in the ground instead. Sjursen discusses what the withdrawal means for the people of Afghanistan and the countries in that region. He also advises us on what to watch out for as the war hawks push Biden to continue to have a presence there. We also talk about his newest book on US history and empire through the lens of American exceptionalism.

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Danny Sjursen is the director of the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN). He entered West Point in July of 2001, two months before the September 11th attacks and served as U.S. Army officer from 2005-2019, with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is contributing editor at, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy (CIP), and his work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Huffington Post, The Hill, Salon, The American Conservative, Mother Jones, ScheerPost and TomDispatch, among other publications. He taught American and Civil Rights History at West Point and is the author of two books: Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge (2015), a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, and Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War (2020). His newest book is “A True History of the United States: Indigenous Genocide, Racialized Slavery, Hyper-Capitalism, Militarist Imperialism and Other Overlooked Aspects of American Exceptionalism.” He has a BA in history from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and a MA in American and military history from the University of Kansas. In 2019, he was awarded the Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship. He also co-hosts the podcast “Fortress on a Hill,” along with fellow vet Chris “Henri” Henriksen.

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