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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: We’re leaving Afghanistan just like we left Vietnam — defeated but not humbled

Afghanistan peace talks
Members of the Taliban delegation arrive in Moscow for Afghanistan peace talks on May 28, 2019.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Readers should brace themselves when Andrew J. Bacevich writes, “Here are the facts.” What usually follows is a string of reality- laden observations upsetting the triumphal narrative with which most American are comfortable.

The Afghanistan extrication that the Trump administration has negotiated is eerily similar to the 1973 Paris Peace Accords that ended the U.S. war in Vietnam. President Nixon’s cynical assertion of “peace with honor” could only temporarily shield Americans from a painful reckoning with that conflict.

For Bacevich and others, the efficacy of asymmetric warfare, regime change and preemption are now seriously in question. Upon a foundation of alarming public innocence, foreign policy high priests have launched the country on a half-century of power projection without providing adequate means to achieve their goals and without building broad political support for the sacrifices that war requires.

I tip my hat to Bacevich for writing the truth. I support his introducing Americans to their own history.

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David DiLeo, San Clemente

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To the editor: I was very happy with the prospects of a lasting peace and the return of our soldiers from Afghanistan until I read the basics of the withdrawal agreement.

It reads just like the Vietnam peace accord signed in Paris. It leaves the Taliban forces in place (in Vietnam, North Vietnamese forces were allowed to stay in the south fully armed) and Afghanistan’s government helpless to stop what will be the return of Taliban rule.

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We’re now right back to square one with all those lives lost in the process. All that’s missing is President Trump declaring that we have “peace with honor.”

Richard M. Meyers, Granada Hills


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