At just short of 20 years, the now-ending U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan was America’s longest war. Ordinary Americans tended to forget about the war, and it received measurably less oversight from Congress than the Vietnam War did. But its death toll for Afghans and Americans and their NATO allies is in the many tens of thousands. And because the U.S. borrowed most of the money to pay for it, generations of Americans will be burdened by the cost of paying it off. As the U.S. approaches its deadline for ending combat at the end of this month, Taliban fighters are threatening to erase much of what Americans had been there fighting for.
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