An open letter to our leaders

The American presence in Afghanistan is accidental, resulting from the terrorist presence in the remote mountains of the country.  The initial goal, the destruction of the Al Qaeda training camps, was completed amidst uncertainty regarding the ruling power, the Taliban.  When it was judged that the Taliban could be held responsible for the presence of the Al Qaeda, regime change in Afghanistan was decided upon by political, not military, leaders of the United States.  Military policy was dictated by political concerns, and violated several long standing guidelines.

With a new administration, the United States has an opportunity to recognize the mistake of past policy, and admit that mistake to the world, while withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan.  The establishment of training centers for the native population to bring forth its own military and police forces would be a method of serving penance for our mistake, while allowing us to maintain involvement in the country.

We were not invited, nor even asked, to invade Afghanistan, nor have we stated our goals in doing so in any meaningful way.  We have exhibited the same behaviors that we have criticized in other major powers, in the full light of world attention.  Our credibility is being weakened by our actions, our reputation diminished.  We have to acknowledge that we have been acting in error, and move to correct that error.

What has been spent on military adventures in the mid-East which have had no discernable benefit to us is staggering, dwarfing the cost of establishing a base on the Earth’s moon, for instance.  We have far too many internal difficulties right now to be acting aggressively outside of our borders.  We are creating the conditions which inspire people to decide that we seek the extermination of a religion, and so to choose to sacrifice themselves in an effort to destroy us

The excuse of national security is completely irrelevant to this conflict, nor can we claim to be enhancing the security of allies in the area.  Justifying what we are doing becomes increasingly difficult, which creates the impression that our leaders are irrational.  We must immediately withdraw our armed forces from Afghanistan and stop our persecution of the Taliban.  No other path offers any benefit to us.

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