Quagmire in Afghanistan
Re “Afghanistan’s designated fall guy,” Opinion, June 18
The United States has had the military means to force favorable outcomes in every war we have fought since Korea. We have not applied those means to their maximum because they are so devastating. Presidents change commanders, hoping to find one with a winning approach that does not involve using the most devastating weapons.
Theodore White, in his play “Caesar at the Rubicon,” wrote of Julius Caesar’s ruthless military campaign in Gaul, in which he waged total, devastating war on the population. Fortunately, we don’t have the national stomach to fight contemporary foes the way Caesar decimated Gaul.
Failing this, we have not developed effective tactics to deal with foes who refuse to fight by our rules. Fighting at a distance with missiles and aircraft hasn’t been successful. Our attempts to subvert from within haven’t been successful. And even when we “win” (and we haven’t found the criteria for that), the replacement regimes tend to be worse.
Donald J. Loundy Simi Valley
Andrew J. Bacevich makes a remarkable contribution to the well-being of the American public by pointing this out: “Some wars can’t be won. Afghanistan falls in that category. To persist further is madness.”
The war in Afghanistan is in its 16th year. It has cost the United States $800 billion and more than 2,000 soldiers. What will an additional 4,000 soldiers accomplish there? Will they turn stalemate into victory? Or will the stalemate in Afghanistan continue with additional loss of lives and money on both sides?
It is time to call it quits, bring our soldiers home and let the Afghans defend their country.
Nake M. Kamrany Pacific Palisades