Calgary Herald

What did we learn from Afghanista­n?

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For nearly 20 years, the U.S. and its allies have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanista­n, but the sad truth is that the Taliban remains as formidable as it did before the war. There are similariti­es between this wasted effort and the one that took place in Vietnam. In both cases, it should have become apparent earlier that the majority of the people in these countries did not have a strong belief in the things we wanted them to believe in. They were simply unwilling to take up the fight themselves.

Perhaps we, in western countries, should re-evaluate our objectives. Do we really have a right to go into other countries that are so different from ours and expect them to replace their culture with one more similar to ours? How would we react if others tried to do that to us?

As with the attempt to assimilate Indigenous people in Canada, you accomplish very little by telling people they should change because they have an inferior culture.

Peter Mannistu, Calgary

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