Afghan Crash a Double Blow for U.S. Psyche

By Juliette Kayyem, Boston Globe - August 8, 2011

The death of 30 Americans on a Chinook helicopter Saturday marked the single-deadliest day for this country in its 10-year war in Afghanistan. Among the dead were 22 Navy SEAL commandos, including members of SEAL Team 6, the famous unit that killed Osama bin Laden. That is tragedy enough. But the attack also holds a mirror up to the war itself and exposes the fallacy that we can leave Afghanistan on our own terms.

Operationally, Saturday’s events show how little we have progressed in turning Afghanistan over to the Afghans. For a nation whose exit strategy was based on sharing the war-fighting efforts with the Afghan military, the fact that there were only a few Afghan commandos on the mission belies any notion of shared responsibility. Three hundred seventy-nine coalition troops have died this year in Afghanistan.

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