LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Sons and daughters don't need to be in Afghanistan

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In the last 2 years, according to an internal U.S. military document (A Crisis of Trust and Cultural Incompatibility published in Army Times, Feb 6), at least 50 U.S. and NATO service members have been murdered by Afghan soldiers. Most resulted from deep-seated animosity, often stimulated by social and personal conflicts as well as perceived cultural and theological affronts.

Army Lt. Col. Daniel Davis recently completed a year tour as part of the Army's Rapid Equipping Tour in Afghanistan gathering information from the battlefield on how the war was going. He had access to our soldiers, Afghan soldiers and elders. He wrote a blistering declassified report in the February, 2012, issue of the Armed Forces Journal entitled "Truth, Lies, and Afghanistan."

He stated that there is a glaring absence of success on virtually every level and that he witnessed Afghan military personnel colluding with the insurgency. In one U.S. unit, the officers had nothing but contempt for the Afghan troops in their area. Davis concluded that what he saw bore no resemblance to the rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground.

So, when Afghan President Karzai calls to have the U.S. pull back from outposts, it falls in line with a failed military strategy. We don't control outside the wire anyway and we might as well take advantage of this political opportunity to show that the U.S. is working with Karzai and comply with his request.

Incidentally, Secretary of Defense Panetta during his recent visit to Afghanistan had all U.S. troops present at his briefing disarmed. This has never happened in a combat zone.

Have you heard the administration attempt to explain why we are there? It is a failed policy, but we are not leaving until 2014.

Within 18 months of 9/11, the special ops forces working with the U.S. Air Force had eliminated the Taliban threat in Afghanistan. Now we have 100,000 troops there and have to fly in supplies because the Pakistanis have blocked the overland route.

None of our sons and daughters need to be there, let alone die there or guard the poppy fields. (Yes, U.S. troops have guarded the poppy fields.) Where do you suppose a large percentage of the poppy product ends up? Pago Pago, Madagascar, Seychelles or the USA?

Craig Buchanan

Walla Walla

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