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How does sending a few thousand more troops to Afghanistan make Americans safer?

How does sending a few thousand more troops to Afghanistan make Americans safer?
President Trump speaks at Ft. Myer in Arlington, Va., during an address to the nation on Monday about the U.S. war in Afghanistan. (Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

To the editor: Would someone please explain to me what it is we are fighting for in Afghanistan? Is it oil? Minerals? Surely it cannot be to defend the free world. It cannot be to advance democracy. ("Trump's 'new' Afghanistan policy is more of the same," editorial, Aug. 22)

There must be some rational explanation. After all, we should be getting something for the billions — or is it now trillions? — of dollars we have invested to "defend" this country against the Taliban. Oh, stupid me — the Taliban is a clear and present threat to the United States. Better to fight it there than here.

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So yes, let's send 4,000 more American troops to Afghanistan to save us from those terrorists. And if that's not enough, we'll send 4,000 more, or whatever it takes to destroy the Taliban.

But wait, will we have enough troops to fight in North Korea? And what about Venezuela? And let's not forget about our enemies in Cuba. I am so glad our leaders, Republicans and Democrats alike, are willing to send our boys to the killing fields. It really helps me sleep at night.

Jay W. Friedman, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I'm not a big Trump fan, but his speech Monday on Afghanistan was not half bad.

He clearly spoke about how his strategy for Afghanistan differs from George W. Bush's disastrous strategy for Iraq by maintaining that his goal was not "nation building." He reached out to our allies to gain more economic support and promised to end the fighting swiftly and effectively.

Sure, the speech was devoid of specifics and served as a political distraction from the worst week of his presidency. But if the president follows through on his promises, the Trump administration might score its first actual victory.

Bala Thenappan, Cerritos

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To the editor: It is depressing that after the U.S. has lost 2,400 service members in Afghanistan and spent, by some estimates, about $1 trillion there, the president wants to increase our efforts to "win" in that country.

If he actually thinks such efforts would pass a cost-benefit analysis in the minds of the American people, he should increase our taxes to pay for it or activate the U.S. military draft.

Instead, the "chicken hawks" want to wage more war with volunteers and simply add the cost to the national debt. This might stimulate the economy, but it is foolish nonsense. We are trillions of dollars in debt and our unmet domestic needs are staggering. When interest rates go up, servicing that debt will be an unbearable burden on taxpayers.

Afghanistan's government is corrupt beyond description. That country is rich in mineral resources and can afford to hire independent contractors to do the training and advising of its army that our president favors. Why are we doing it on our credit card?

Gary Colboth, Long Beach

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