For soldiers who have received a severe wound to the face, there is a moment during their recovery when they must look upon their reconstructed appearance for the first time. This is known as "the mirror test." Utah native J. Kael Weston spent seven years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan working for the U.S. State Department in some of the most dangerous frontline locations. Upon his return home, he asked himself: When will these wars end? How will they be remembered? And what lessons can we learn from them?
In his book "The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan" Weston takes us from Twentynine Palms in California to Fallujah in Iraq, Khost and Helmand in Afghanistan, Maryland, Colorado, Wyoming, and New York City, as well as to out-of-the-way places in Iowa and Texas. We meet generals, corporals and captains, senators and ambassadors, NATO allies, Iraqi truck drivers, city councils, imams and mullahs, Afghan schoolteachers, madrassa and college students, former Taliban fighters and ex-Guantánamo prison detainees, a torture victim, SEAL and Delta Force teams, and many Marines.
Weston delivers a mirror test for our nation in its global role and looks at how America is viewed in the world and how the nation views itself.