chapter  3
32 Pages

Homecoming for Heroes?

The soldiers killed in Afghanistan have all been brought home; no one has been left behind. In Europe, German and British war graves commissions still search for the remains of dead soldiers so they can be transferred to war cemeteries whose burial places can be tended and visited. Even if soldiers feel secure about the value of their service abroad, official language can affect whether they feel that political leaders and the rest of society share their perceptions. Seldom are the Afghan civilians killed by western forces mentioned in the soldiers' own accounts. That Denmark's nineteenth-century wars against Prussia were primarily about national survival has not deterred Danish politicians or soldier-authors from declaring them relevant to the Afghan mission. The Danish and British governments entered the war both to help the civilian population of Afghanistan and to remove the Taliban by force.