Letters to the Editor

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AFGHANISTAN: Time to get our troops out

Letter by David A. Thomson, Gig Harbor on March 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm | 21 Comments »
March 1, 2012 1:11 pm

I have long ago come to the conclusion that “nation building” in a backward country like Afghanistan is a fool’s errand.

We did not go into Afghanistan simply to enlarge an empire or to gain access to some strategically important resource. We went in after we were attacked by al-Qaida terrorists on Sept.11, 2001. Al-Qaida had its base of operations in Afghanistan with the blessing and support of the government controlled by the Taliban.

We quickly defeated al-Qaida and the Taliban and established enough control over the country for the Afghan people to elect their own government. Foolishly, we permitted Shariah law to provide the legal underpinning of their new constitution. But, be that as it may, we accomplished our objective and should have brought our troops home.

But we didn’t. We decided to stay, to improve the country’s infrastructure, and to educate and train its citizens to govern themselves and to form a stable and democratic society. A noble purpose no doubt, but doomed to failure.

Now, after the expenditure of much blood and treasure, we find ourselves being attacked by the very people we have been trying to help. This makes my blood boil. I say bring our troops home and inform the government that, in the process of withdrawal any attack by their people on our troops will bring a devastating response. It’s time to go.

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