April 14, 2021

‘No Victory Dance’: Veterans of Afghan War Feel Torn Over Pullout

Source: The New York Times

Journalists: Dave Philipps, John Ismay

Was it worth it?

After two decades of midnight watches and gut-twisting patrols down bomb-riddled roads, after all the deaths and bloodshed and lost years, that was the one inescapable question on Wednesday among many of the 800,000 Americans who have served in Afghanistan since 2001.

“There’s no easy answer, no victory dance, no ‘we were right and they were wrong,’” said Jason Dempsey, 49, who deployed twice to Afghanistan as an Army officer to train the Afghan forces who are now fighting a losing battle against the Taliban. For military leaders, Mr. Dempsey said, “the end of the war should only bring a collective feeling of guilt and introspection.”

Read the full story and more from The New York Times.


  • Dr. Jason Dempsey

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Jason Dempsey is an Adjunct Senior Fellow of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Dr. Dempsey has written on American ...