Rory Fanning

Will the war stories ever end?

Death-by-ally: now that, by definition, is a fate from hell. You might at least imagine that such “insider attacks” -- in which a member of the Afghan security forces turns his weapon on his American or NATO trainers or advisers and tries to gun them down -- would be the rarest of events. After all, if you’re an armed Afghan who decides to try to kill such an ally, you have to be aware that you're almost assuredly committing suicide. You have a moment to fire and then, in that armed environment, you’re likely to be dead. And yet those attacks, which started in 2007-2008 with four American deaths, peaked in 2012 with dozens of them, and by 2017 had resulted in 157 deaths, most of them American (along with many uncounted Afghan deaths). However, between 2013 and this year, such desperate acts faded, becoming the exceedingly rare events you might expect them to be. But no longer.  In one case after another recently, armed Afghan allies have been turning their guns on their American and European advisers and trainers, sending a devastating message our way about the now-17-year-old American war there (even if we, in the U.S., have largely preferred not to hear it).

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The Secrets Military Trainers Never Tell Young Recruits About War

Early each New Year’s Day I head for Lake Michigan with a handful of friends. We look for a quiet stretch of what, only six months earlier, was warm Chicago beach. Then we trudge through knee-deep snow in bathing suits and boots, fighting wind gusts and hangovers. Sooner or later, we arrive where the snowpack meets the shore and boot through a thick crust of lake ice, yelling and swearing as we dive into near-freezing water.

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How I Helped Catch an Alleged 9/11 Mastermind - and Realized America's War on Terror Is a Disaster

Worth Fighting For is primarily the story of Rory Fanning's walk across the United States, from Atlantic to Pacific, to raise money for the Pat Tillman Foundation. But in this excerpt, Fanning describes a different journey: from idealistic recruit who signed up for the US military thinking he could defend his country, to conscientious objector. This excerpt was edited and condensed by Truthout.

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Army Recruits: Don't Do It! The War on Terror Is Not Your Battle

Dear Aspiring Ranger:

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Why I Left the Military to Walk Across America

The following is an excerpt from Rory Fanning's new book Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger's Journey Out of the Military and Across America (Haymarket Books, 2014). Reprinted here with permission.

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Army Veteran: Why Do We Keep Thanking the Troops for their 'Valor'?

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