02.11.2017 - 11:37 [ Loren DeJonge Schulman / Atlantic ]

Washington Is Never Quite Sure Where It Is at War

The United States is a nation at war. But for much of the past two decades, a great deal of the Pentagon’s overseas activities would not technically classify as combat, with all its attendant logistical trappings and legal tango. In fact, much of this activity receives rather benign categories: “building partner capacity”; “Light footprint” ; or “Assisting or accompanying,” like a maiden aunt chaperoning a young couple to a dance. But from the ground, some of this stuff still looks an awful lot like combat.