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Editor's note: This is the depressing conclusion of a chapter on the Romans from a new book, The Many Faces of War.

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Casperassets.rbl.ms

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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Thomas Brenner/Flickr

“Despite the claims of some, counterinsurgency is no more dead than is conflict. Students of the latter continue to learn, adapting lessons from post-World War II, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.”

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The Army plans to buy nearly 150,000 artillery shells next fiscal year as soldiers train to fight conventional wars again.

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U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson

Ten years ago next month, the U.S. military changed tack in a messy Iraq occupation, launching what’s simply known as “the surge.” Today, experts are still fighting over it. Even among those who credit Gen. David Petraeus and his counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy with turning the Iraq War around, there are competing theories on why it worked. Some have argued forcefully that it wasn’t the surplus of American troops or shift in tactics that put an end to the sectarian war that rocked Iraq in the months leading up to the surge, but rather that the war had simply bled itself out by the time we decided to get involved. Those who say it didn’t work at all can point to the subsequent rise of ISIS — whose leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was reportedly radicalized while being held in a U.S. detention facility — and the fact that Baghdad is now firmly under Iranian control; here, they argue, is proof that the surge did little more than allow the U.S. to leave Iraq with its dignity intact.

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US Army

The U.S. military Tuesday morning announced the death of a service member in a firefight that injured four more American troops in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province on Jan. 1 — the first U.S. combat fatality of 2018, and a stark reminder of the challenges facing U.S. troops in the year ahead.

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