This essay reviews the challenges of documenting the American military experience in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It looks at the appraisal challenges presented by the complexities of counterinsurgency warfare. It then examines the nature of current military records with a focus on their volume and mix of structured and informal documents and data. Finally, it reviews the recordkeeping challenges faced by the military during these two wars. This essay addresses issues of broad archival concern beyond just military records: documenting complex activities and events, appraising big data and informal data, and effectively managing active records.1

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