Longest war: Were America's decades in Afghanistan worth it?
August 15, 2021
Here's what 19-year-old Lance Cpl. William Bee felt flying into southern Afghanistan on Christmas Day 2001: purely lucky. The U.S. was hitting back at the al-Qaida plotters who had brought down the World Trade Center, and Bee found himself among the first Marines on the ground.
"Excitement," Bee says these days, of the teenage Bee's thoughts then. "To be the dudes that got to open it up first."
In the decade that followed, three more deployments in America's longest war scoured away that lucky feeling.
For Bee, it came down to a night in 2008 in Afghanistan's Helmand province. By then a ser...