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Letters to the Editor: Leaving Afghanistan is guaranteed to make the U.S. less safe

A U.S. soldier provides security from a helicopter during a flight near Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
A U.S. soldier provides security from a helicopter on a flight near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in 2015.
(Rahmat Gul / Associated Press)

To the editor: The crux of a U.S. presence in Afghanistan that Bonnie Kristian fails to address in her op-ed article remains the risk of blowback were Washington to withdraw all forces.

Justification for entering the country and retaining presence was not nation building but assurance the region would not once again become a base of operations for jihadist plotting, planning and executing terrorist attacks on the United States.

While the subsequent battle to defeat the Taliban failed, it interrupted Al Qaeda and Islamic State settlement.

Until Washington has confidence that the terrorist risk has been routed or homeland security is impenetrable, removal of the counterterrorist mission would ill serve President-elect Joe Biden’s ambition, cited by Kristian, “to protect the national self-interest.”

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Bennett Ramberg, Los Angeles

The writer was a foreign affairs officer in the State Department’s Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs in the George H.W. Bush administration.

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To the editor: We would all like to see the war in Afghanistan end and our troops come home. However, like Islamic State, the Taliban adhere to an extremist ideology and would almost certainly not abide by any agreements with Americans.

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When U.S. troops finally leave, the Taliban will seize power and try to re-impose an extremist theocracy. Afghan women, who have made gains, will again become servants to their male masters.

And woe to anyone left in the country who collaborated with Americans.

Mark McIntyre, Los Angeles


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