The Outpost and This is What Winning Looks Like

In this ‘double feature’ discussion, the moral challenges of the Afghan war are explored. How does The Outpost portray the tactically perilous position of the outpost, and the costs associated for the men? How do the two films portray the difficulties involved in attempting to convince local elders to not cooperate with the Taliban? How does the film portray the endemic nature of corruption, drug use, pedophilia, and what strain does this place on Americans trying to provide security and training for Afghan police forces? How does the case of Major Bill Steuber (USMC) illustrate the risks of moral injury that are taken on by American personnel tasked with such intractable missions involving corrupt, uncooperative and recalcitrant locals? What lessons are to be learned from the Afghan and Iraq wars with regard to attempts at state building? What comparisons can be made between these two wars and the US war in Vietnam? What hope, if any, can be distilled from the case of Hamid Kahn, the ANA commander and Northern Alliance aligned military leader presented in the film?

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