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Staying in the Fight (Hardback)

How War on Terror Veterans in Congress Are Shaping US Defense Policy

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Pages: 236
Illustrations: 3 figures, 14 tables
ISBN: 9781985900394
Published: 5th July 2024
Casemate UK Academic

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During the chaotic evacuation of the United States from Afghanistan in 2021, a group of Congress members who were also military veterans of the War on Terror leapt into action to assist vulnerable people in Afghanistan who had aided the American war effort. This cohort of legislators and their staffs on Capitol Hill created hotlines and worked 24-hour shifts in an intense effort to save lives, often coordinating between government agencies, informal networks of veterans' groups, and contacts on the ground in Kabul. In the process, many veteran lawmakers also became vocal critics of presidential management of the crisis and said they felt a moral obligation to act.  

In Staying in the Fight: How War on Terror Veterans in Congress Are Shaping U.S. Defense Policy, author Jeffrey S. Lantis shines a spotlight on this cohort of legislators and their unique position in the American government. By using exclusive interview data, archival sources, statistics, process -tracing, and comparative case methodology, Lantis illustrates ways that policy interventions and activism by veterans on both sides of the aisle haves shaped America's involvement in conflicts from Afghanistan to Ukraine.


The first study of its kind to focus on this new generation of military veterans and their role in foreign and security policy decision-making, Staying in the Fight speaks directly to debates in civil-military relations, veterans' studies, and research on congressional foreign policy advocacy.

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