Admiral Mike Mullen, former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reflected on his four years heading the armed forces and his comments reflected a sense of accomplishment as well as a realization so much yet to do. He felt proud that most US forces will be out of Iraq by the end of next year, and there was a sense of frustration concerning Afghanistan which daily reflects failure of the United States to create conditions for long term peace.
Mullen expressed pride in working to end the ban against gays serving in the armed forces, but also expressed sadness that tonight an estimated 76,000 veterans will lack a home in which to sleep. Over two million have served in Iraq or Afghanistan and thousands remain daily confronting death. Ten years in Afghanistan and eight years in Iraq.
One can only wonder if the chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2020 will be reflecting on fighting in Afghanistan.