Essay written in August 2008 while on yearlong embed with American soldiers in Afghanistan. I was selling Afghan combat photographs worldwide and publishing articles in Army Magazine.
At home in America all anyone cared about was the presidential election campaign (Obama/McCain), with little to no interest in what was obvious to those of us there as a losing, futile war. On that note, I could interest no major US publication in this long essay, and it was ignored until national columnist Diana West discovered it through some retired army general and put it on her website, where it still is today.
Here is the essay in PDF: Flirting with Afghanistan, 06-2016
For a companion piece, see the short op-ed that I wrote in 2003 after my SF deployment to Afghanistan, when I’d already figured out the war was a waste, and, again, back then no major American publication would pick up the piece, until my friend publisher Bob Brown of Soldier of Fortune saw it and immediately grabbed it to run in March 2004 edition. It is here: https://tattoozooblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/sof-2003-03xmar-afghan-opinion-essay1.pdf