This week’s NATO summit on the future of the war in Afghanistan probably did not get to the matter of burn pits or abandoned latrines.
A bulldozer dumps a load of trash into a burn pit just 300 yards from the runway at Bagram Airfield, January 2012. An Army memo from 2011 found the burn pit is associated with “long-term” health effects on soldiers at Bagram. (Photo: U.S. Army)
These are the details of hell. They are also our legacy, in Afghanistan, in Iraq … wherever we employ our military to pursue our geopolitical self-interest. Strip away the propaganda, strip away the politics and the pursuit of strategic advantage, and what American/NATO policy amounts to is burned, buried, dumped and abandoned waste, some of it radioactive, most of it toxic.
“My nephew went in the military healthy,” wrote a woman named Patsy on the website Burn Pits ActionCenter. This is one story out of hundreds that are now surfacing, about American vets poisoned by American war waste that was discharged into the environment of the countries we occupy with no regard for international law or sanity.