America forgot Afghanistan. Donald Trump’s chief of staff has not.

Americans may have lost sight of the Afghan war, but Donald Trump’s new chief of staff, General John F. Kelly, has not. He sacrificed his son to that war. He knows that what happens in Afghanistan does not stay in Afghanistan. Now, if he can focus West Wing minds, he may bring Afghanistan back to the public consciousness, where it belongs.

Americans pay more attention to fantasy sports, Instagram feeds, and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” than they do to the longest war in America's history. If there is collective attention deficit disorder, it's understandable. The war is white noise.

 John Kelly, then-Homeland Security secretary, talks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Andrew Harnik AP

John Kelly, then-Homeland Security secretary, talks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Andrew Harnik AP

War reporters call kinetic action “boom-boom.” Exploding stuff makes good pictures and gets attention. But nearly 16 years of boom-boom has dulled Americans’ senses, and their outrage. Years of fighting to turn out the Taliban evolved into nation building, troop surges and active counterinsurgency and then morphed into rounds of presidentially-ordered redeployments and more training of Afghan forces before creeping, finally, into the supposedly narrow counterterrorism mission that falls short of the withdrawal politicians every election cycle say they support.

Clearly, something happened along the way.  READ MORE