Readers React: What is it about Afghanistan that makes military powers believe it can be conquered?

U.S. Marines stand at attention in January during the change of command ceremony in Shorab military camp in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
(Massoud Hossaini / Associated Press)

To the editor: Andrew J. Bacevich is spot-on about the American failure we call the Afghanistan occupation.

After close to 20 years — that’s right, 20 years — of our engagement in that quagmire, it’s painfully apparent that the policy of three presidential administrations has been a colossal failure. It’s time to get up and leave.

But the U.S. is like every other hubristic empire in history. From the ancient Greeks to the former Soviet Union and now the United States, multiple military powers have shown time and again how unconquerable that land mass is.


It is time for us to have a good slice of humble pie and leave the table.

Bob Teigan, Santa Susana


To the editor: When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, we helped mujahideen fighters drive it out. Now, like the Soviets, we are being bled in Afghanistan, spending countless billions on an endless stalemate.

When will we ever learn?

Doris Isolini Nelson, Los Angeles

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