Phil Klay

Tuesday 9th of August 2022

Afghanistan War  Marines in Afghanistan started telling a joke about their enemy: “We have the watches,” they'd say, “but they have the time.” citation Phil Klay, The Atlantic, May 2018 © 2018
Afghanistan War One Marine battalion fighting in Helmand province in 2010 and 2011 suffered worse losses than any Marine battalion in the previous 10 years of fighting. When asked by an embedded journalist what such sacrifices were for, the best that one of the sergeants in the battalion could muster was: “This war is stupid. Well, so what? Our country is in it.” citation Phil Klay, The Atlantic, May 2018 © 2018
o Branding I laughed. “‘Be All That You Can Be’?” I said. “I don't know. That was the slogan for me growing up. And then it was ‘Army of One,’ which I never understood, and then it was ‘Army Strong,’ which is about as good a slogan as ‘Fire Hot’ or ‘Snickers Tasty’ or ‘Herpes Bad.’ A better slogan would be, ‘You Can't Afford College Without Us.’” Phil Klay, “Psychological Operations” © 2016
Death If I were to shoot you on either side of your heart, one shot . . . and then another, you'd have two punctured lungs, two sucking chest wounds. Now you'e good and fucked. But you'll still be alive long enough to feel your lungs fill up with blood. If I shoot you there with the shots coming fast, it's no problem. The ripples tear up your heart and lungs and you don't do the death rattle, you just die. There's shock, but no pain. Phil Klay, “Redeployment” © 2016
The military Can service members maintain a sense of purpose when nobody – not the public, or Congress, or the commander in chief himself – seems to take the wars we're fighting seriously? Phil Klay, The Atlantic, May 2018 © 2018
The military In the long term, the strength and legitimacy of the military will be a function of the perceived strength and legitimacy of the project it is supposed to represent. The clarity of purpose so central to bonding men in combat cannot emerge purely from the military itself. And in our current climate, after a decade and a half of multiple wars on multiple continents, the hope for such clarity is rotting away. Phil Klay, The Atlantic, May 2018 © 2018
o Veterans say The weird thing with being a veteran, at least for me, is that you do feel better than most people. You risked you life for something bigger than yourself. How many people can say that? You chose to serve. Maybe you didn't understaned American foreign policy or why we were at war. Maybe you never will. But it doesn't matter. You held up your hand and said, “I'm willing to die for these worthless civilians.” Phil Klay, “Psychological Operations” © 2016
War [I]f you think the mission your country keeps sending you on is pointless or impossible and that you're only deploying to protect your  brothers and sisters in arms from danger, then it's not the Taliban or al-Qaeda or ISIS that's trying to kill you, it's America. Phil Klay, The Atlantic, May 2018 © 2016