Sending people back to a conflict zone should not be up for sale. 2015 recorded the highest number of Afghans fleeing their country since the US-led military intervention of 2001. This latest deal threatens to push back thousands of men, women and children into harm's way, forcibly returning them en masse to a country still in the grip of conflict.
The narrative of the "War on Terror" was crafted through the stories of self, of us and of now, creating a sense of urgency after a crisis, which in our case is the atrocity of 9/11 and provoking us to take action manifested in the "War on terror" by capitalising on our emotions of anger, frustration and despair.
I've come to realise that Afghanistan has forever changed me. It has ruined me, destroyed part of me. It has left an intangible impression upon me. At the same time, it has made me, matured me, grown me, expanded my potential as a human being, taught me the importance of life, love and the little things.
Whilst there is absolutely no justification for the killing of women and children in Islam, Muslim leaders have made the all-too-common mistake of apologising and condemning a crime which was not carried out in the name of religion. Rather, the unfortunate event that occurred was as a result of an ongoing cycle of violence that began in 2001.
Conventional operations are starting to wind down in Afghanistan - we are months away from the international troops leaving. But drone strikes are likely to continue. Drones are widely assumed to be a clean, remote way of pursuing western counter-terrorism objectives there. Yet in its work on Pakistan, the Bureau has shown on countless occasions that drones are not as surgical as claimed.
I didn't know Jacob nearly as well as many others and yet I've still been walking around in a fog since I heard Jacob took his life.The energy and passion Jacob lived by made it difficutl not to feel connected to him within minutes of meeting him. Twenty two veterans killing themselves a day is an abstract statistic. Until it's not, and you've lost a friend.