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Afghanistan: A Lost Cause

Here is a letter to the St. Petersburg Times:

In the wake of the recent attack on a helicopter that killed 30 US troops in Afghanistan, the Times, recognizing the grave dangers American soldiers continue to face every day, coupled with the extremely fragile security conditions, still calls for “those on the political side to show courage of their own in building an Afghanistan that does justice to those who died for it” (Amid halting progress, an awful toll in Afghanistan, August 9).

Unfortunately, no amount of political courage will solve the problems facing the US in Afghanistan, nor do justice to those who have died needlessly in our prolonged occupation. The sad truth is Afghanistan endures as a major narco-state, rampant with corruption.  Moreover, no credible terrorist threat to US interests remains, as Al Qaeda fighters have either been killed or fled.  And still, the Afghan army is unable to defend their country after ten years of training.

Afghanistan is, and always was, a fragmented sectarian country with no legitimate prospects for a functionally stable central government.  Any problems in the face of an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan will be the same ten, twenty, and thirty years from now, as will the threats to US armed forces and the tenuous security circumstances if we stay.

Sincerely,
Brad R. Schlesinger

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