Americans have an obligation to clear explosive hazards in that country, a large portion of which are of U.S. origin. Given the taxpayer dollars Washington has already spent on or committed to the war on terror through fiscal year 2019 -- $5.9 trillion, according to the estimate of the Costs of War project -- what it's donated to deal with imperial debris in Afghanistan is scarcely more than a drop in the bucket. A multiyear funding commitment to clear the explosive remnants of the war on terror there would be one small way to carry out a tiny portion of America's responsibility to the Afghan people after so many years of destruction.
Someday, Afghanistan stands every chance of becoming America's forgotten war. The conflict will be anything but forgotten in that country, however, and therein lies one of the saddest stories of all.
Stephanie Savell, a TomDispatch regular, is co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. An anthropologist, she conducts research on security and activism in the U.S. and in Brazil. She co-authored The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Books, John Feffer's new dystopian novel (the second in the Splinterlands series) Frostlands, Beverly Gologorsky's novel Every Body Has a Story, and Tom Engelhardt's A Nation Unmade by War, as well as Alfred McCoy's In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power and John Dower's The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II.
Copyright 2019 Stephanie Savell