Matthew Hoh, a former Marine officer, served in Iraq and Afghanistan. After just five months in Afghanistan, failing to see any value in supporting the Afghan government, he resigned.
His letter contains several well-written gems: “Like the Soviets, we continue to secure and bolster a failing state, while encouraging an ideology and system of government unknown and unwanted by its people.”
Later, Mr. Hoh compares the Pashtuns to revolutionary Americans, fighting against “foreign soldiers and taxes.” He also compares the war to “South Vietnam.”
Mr. Hoh also fails to see any real strategy. For example, if the point is to prevent Al-Qaeda from regrouping, then American troops would have to also “invade and occupy Western Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, etc.” [Nice use of “etc.” in the aforementioned sentence, right?]
He also mocks the administration’s current strategy, saying, “to follow the logic of our stated goals we should garrison [i.e., put troops on duty in] Pakistan, not Afghanistan.” In addition, Mr. Hoh reminds us that the 9/11 attacks were planned in Western Europe, so even stopping Al-Qaeda in the Middle East won’t necessarily make Americans safer.
Mr. Hoh's letter is a must-read for all Americans. Full letter [Warning: PDF file] here.