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Exit from Afghanistan: The Fallout



NOTE 1: The aforementioned article “Facing Afghan Chaos, Biden Defends Exit” and the letters to the editor shown below were first published in The New York Times on August 17th.

NOTE 2: Re “Facing Afghan Chaos, Biden Defends Exit” (Find the article on page B1 of this issue):

President Biden has it exactly right. Not one more American soldier should die for a country in which the people fighting against the Taliban lack the will to fight.

America has given the Afghans the means, training and resources to fight the Taliban if that is their wish; apparently, it is not their wish. Who should be the last American to die for such a cause? Not one American should have that sad distinction. Not one family should bear that loss, again, as thousands of American families have done for 20 years.

Criticism from Republicans should be completely discounted. They have shown in their near unanimous support for Donald Trump (who, they often don’t admit, brokered this withdrawal agreement) and his lies that they have no credibility whatsoever.

John E. Colbert, Arroyo Seco, N.M.


We should have learned from the French in Vietnam, but we didn’t. We should have learned from the Russians in Afghanistan, but we didn’t. The Vietnam generation took us into Afghanistan, convinced that this time was different. The scale of the tragedy is simply devastating.

This time can we get the lessons straight? Military solutions don’t fix political and societal problems. Rebuilding societies we don’t understand is a fool’s effort.

Susan Shurin, San Diego


It took many years for the United States to offer a hand of friendship to Vietnam after that debacle. The same need not occur in Afghanistan.

The country is in desperate need, and help invested in a positive way will prove that soft diplomacy is now the best policy. Seeking to undermine the new government, as the United States did for many years after losing the war in Vietnam, only prolongs the suffering.

Tom Miller, Oakland, Calif.

The writer helped establish Parwaz, an Afghan-run microlending organization in Afghanistan.

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