As the world reflects on the anniversary of Sept. 11, what does the day of the attacks — and the 20 years of war it precipitated — feel like to America’s veterans? With the Afghanistan withdrawal suddenly reclaiming attention for the “forever” wars, is the 9/11 era finally over, on the home front and in America’s foreign policy? Jane Coaston brings together Kenneth Harbaugh and Michael Washington, two friends and veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, to discuss the pax Americana, the 9/11 roots of today’s divide in the veteran community and the political weaponization of service members’ patriotism. Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot turned veterans’ advocate and podcaster. Washington is a former Marine and firefighter who today works as a licensed therapist for veterans and emergency workers.
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“The Argument” is produced by Phoebe Lett, Elisa Gutierrez and Vishakha Darbha and edited by Sarah Geis and Alison Bruzek; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; engineering by Carole Sabouraud; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.