U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Jacob Connor

‘Forever war’ is now officially part of U.S. foreign policy. A pair of letters recently sent by the Departments of Defense and State reveal that U.S. troops deployed to Syria for anti-ISIS operations are settling in for an open-ended presence in the war-torn country.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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On Feb. 7, the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS unleashed a torrent of airstrikes and artillery fire in a far-flung area of eastern Syria. The barrage was successful, beating back hundreds of fighters attempting to overrun a position held by coalition forces and their local allies. The action might have gone largely unnoticed — the coalition has, after all, carried out nearly 15,000 airstrikes in Syria — but for one thing: These bombs didn’t fall on ISIS, they killed forces loyal to the Syrian government.

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Photo by Nathan Fitch

Several years ago, Nathan Fitch, a Peace Corps volunteer, was strolling along one of the beaches of Kosrae, a tiny island state encircled by the turquoise waters of the Pacific, when he met a man who introduced himself as a U.S. Army soldier. Fitch was shocked. The man wasn’t American. He was a local. And he had just returned from a tour of duty in the Middle East.  

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Long before Ernest Hemingway wrote, drank and fought his way into the ranks of America’s legendary wordsmiths, the beloved author cut his literary teeth on the beat of a Canadian newspaper. Fresh off a stint driving an ambulance for the Red Cross on the Italian front during World War I, the young Hemingway landed at The Toronto Star Weekly in early 1920, where he covered everything from mobsters to the complete uselessness of wedding gifts — including the rise of stolen valor and the lousy market for war medals that accompanied the end of the Great War.

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Wikimedia Commons photo

More than six years after the Syrian revolution erupted, the country’s future is still hazy, clouded with the smoke of mortars and the dust of flattened neighborhoods.

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