Beyond Restrepo: Junger v. Ajami on Repairing Afghanistan
The Hoover Institution - The Hoover Institution
A contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine, Sebastian Junger is the best-selling author of The Perfect Storm, A Death in Belmont, and Fire. Between June 2007 and June 2008, Mr. Junger was embedded with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, making five trips to the Korengal Valley of eastern Afghanistan, a location that saw more combat than any other in the Afghan theater. Mr. Junger describes what he experienced in his latest book, War.From this close-in vantage point, Junger discusses the universal themes at play in the experience of all soldiers, ancient and modern, who experience combat: fear, killing, and love, that "intoxicating" bond formed by the men who wage battle together.Junger also takes a step back to reflect on his own (the journalist's) experience covering war. "Pure objectivity ... isn't remotely possible in a war... Objectivity and honesty are not the same thing, though, and it is entirely possible to write with honesty about the very personal and distorting experiences of war." Finally Junger addresses the one question that cannot be avoided: "Is the war in Afghanistan worth it?"