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Letter to the Editor

October 16, 2009

America has no business in Afghanistan



To the editor:

I have just resigned from the silent majority! I cannot remain silent another day about President Obama's nation-building policy in remote and rugged Afghanistan. With the war dragging into its ninth year, how much longer can American blood and money be dumped onto this rugged mountainous, fractured and divided conglomerate of tribal enclaves?

Forgotten by most Americans is the fact that 20 years ago, a strong 100,000-man Soviet army withdrew from Afghanistan after nine years of blood-letting. More than a million Afghans and some 15,000 Soviet troops were killed at an unbelievable cost to both countries. To what avail? The country wasn't unified and the hated Taliban still emerged as rulers.

The new leader of the British armed forces who are fighting alongside Americans recently predicted a "30- to 40-year" war needed to stabilize the provinces into one strong central government. Again, the question must be asked: Can the end result justify the American casualties and billions our country is pouring into this "necessary war?"

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Henry Kissinger, one of the greatest minds of the 20th century in international relations, points out the folly of nation-building in a recent interview. "No outside force, since the Mongol invasion, ever pacified the country," he states. "Afghanistan has been governed if at all only by a coalition of local feudal or semifeudal rulers."

The continued drain of American dollars and blood must be stopped with a severely altered policy by the Obama leadership. With 4,338 U.S. service members lost in Iraq and 791 U.S. killed (and still mounting) in Afghanistan, it's time to change our objective: We cannot endure another Vietnam-type conflict with such a foolhardy foreign policy objective! America has no business nation-building in Afghanistan.

Blanton Croft
Hagerstown

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