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Letters to the Editor: To Afghans terrorized by continued U.S. drone strikes, this war isn’t over

Caskets are carried toward a gravesite during a mass funeral for members of a family killed in an airstrike in Afghanistan.
Caskets for the dead are carried toward a gravesite during a mass funeral for members of a family killed in an airstrike in Afghanistan on Aug. 30.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I was surprised to see coverage of 10 Afghan civilian deaths on your front page, as Afghan civilian deaths from U.S. drone attacks rarely make the headlines here.

What is even more tragic is that the deaths included seven children, who had run out excitedly to welcome their father home. The adults did not belong to Islamic State but instead worked for U.S. forces and companies.

Thousands of civilians in Afghanistan have been killed by U.S. airstrikes in the past 20 years, and 40% of those have been children. The war in Afghanistan may be over, but how many more innocent Afghans are going die from future errant and misguided U.S. drone strikes?

Unless there are measures in place to protect and warn civilians of impending air strikes, Afghan civilians and their children will still have no peace from this 20-year-long war.

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Geetha Gowda, Diamond Bar

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To the editor: I was completely satisfied with President Biden’s speech defending his decisions on Afghanistan.

The fact that the U.S. withdrawal was not conducted within a context of the “Battle of Kabul” is strong evidence, perhaps proof, that the 20-year campaign was hollow. The Afghan president abandoning his post and the Afghan army dissolving shows to me that only continued U.S. military action could prop up the Afghan government.

Biden explained, in several dimensions, why that should not go into a third decade.

The president’s critics will argue that he lost Afghanistan. I think the president showed that maintaining the status quo in Afghanistan was simply not worthwhile.

Richard Benson, Altadena

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To the editor: The ignominious flight from Afghanistan ranks among the most humiliating American debacles, all the more tragic because it was entirely avoidable. While former President Trump fecklessly negotiated withdrawal with the Taliban, absent the Afghan government, the current catastrophe is totally on Biden.

Rejecting warnings from top military brass and intelligence services to retain a residual force, his administration greatly reduced American air cover for Afghan forces while removing Afghan aircraft maintenance contractors and intelligence sharing.

After the total collapse of demoralized Afghan fighters, who had long solely borne enormous casualties, he publicly shamed them. Leaving the Bagram Air Base outside Kabul without advance notice crippled later evacuation capabilities and led to the freeing of hardened terrorists.

How great the damage, perhaps irreparable, to American global power and prestige. How dismayed our friends must be, and how elated our enemies. Biden should resign.

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Brian J. Goldenfeld, Oak Park


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