Russia and Afghanistan | Institute for the Study of War

The Soviet War in Afghanistan, 1979 - 1989 - The Atlantic

The U.S. War in Afghanistan | Council on Foreign Relations

Alex Cockers was born in April 1985. He was a Royal Marines Commando from 2005-2009 and served on Operation Herrick five and seven in Helmand province for a total of fourteen months.

How he came to write his poems. He explains, "During my fourteen months in Afghanistan, I had many feelings and thoughts that I was unable to share with anyone. Under the stars; in the desert, rhymes would manifest in my head. I would write them down, construct them into poems and somehow I felt better for getting it off my chest."

Three years later only 30% ofAmericans now believe that the Afghanistan War has been worth fighting.

How a ‘Good War’ in Afghanistan Went Bad

What is this cold?
Where is this white
Is this real, or just a fleeting moment of life, of my life

I see no longer the greens and reds,
Where have the autumn leaves gone?
This must be the first signs of a new winter?

I see trees, I see sky, I see clouds,
All winter white,
Can I reach upward to touch the falling flake?
I try but never seem to connect,

And as I lay there staring at the sky
is my body cold ?
As I lay I hope I am not forgotten
But here I am alone.
I close my eyes and try to think of home.
Is this really happening to me?

This isn’t real this is only a dream
I never have felt this way before, cold, weak and exposed,
but strangely at ease
With a tear I draw my parting breath
I’m looking down on my body below

I understand now this is winter….this is my winter


A soldier's lost love
He knows love
He grows weary of loss
Once green eye, now tainted with red
Death awakens him with every sleeping breath
Thick iron shields the boy inside
Wanting hoping praying for release
Wanting hoping praying for reunion
But knowing his time is short
This boy, this man, this soldier
Your friend, his warmth, his love, his touch, will wait for you in another life