There has been no war in the history of the United States that has lingered for as long as the war in Afghanistan. Many famous wars were actually relatively short. The U.S. entered World War Two in 1941, for example, and it was over by 1945. The war itself was longer, of course, since the U.S. entered late, but American involvement only ran for four years.
In Afghanistan, historians note that the U.S. involvement really began in 1999. Someone born that year would be 21 years old this year. Many soldiers who joined to fight in the war served their entire careers without seeing it end. Now, in 2020, is it over?
It’s not. Peace talks within the country have begun. Some progress appears to be happening, and the hope is that the U.S. troops can fully withdraw from the country and allow it to rule itself in a peaceful fashion. However, there was still fighting earlier this year, including U.S. airstrikes.
It’s hard to predict exactly how something like this is going to go. Things can change quickly. For instance, peace talks with the U.S. states were reported to have reached an agreement back in September of 2019. They were then called off by the U.S. president. Fortunately, the U.S. was able to sign an agreement with the Taliban a few months later, in February of 2020. Even so, airstrikes happened after that agreement. Things do appear to be moving toward a withdrawal, but they’re simply not there yet.
Veterans who have been involved in this decades-long military action may have serious physical, mental and emotional injuries. They need to know about all of the legal options they have for benefits and support when returning home.