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Afghan withdrawal in historical context

Dear Editor,

Although the recent U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, following 20 years of our involvement in the Afghan conflict, which has reportedly cost our great nation in excess of $2 trillion to date as well as the lives of over 241,000 Americans, Afghans and U.S. allies, has in actuality not gone particularly well.

Our adversaries, the Taliban, already gaining control of much of the nation, and much criticism is being directed toward President Biden and his administration.

In response, therefore, as a result, I feel that historical perspective should be considered.

Many of our nation’s leaders have been severely critical of recent events for political gain, when during such times, I feel that it is most critical for us to unite as a nation while this major international event continues to unfold.

Regarding our withdrawal, please recall that a recent Associated Press poll indicated that 62 percent of respondents felt that the war in Afghanistan “was not worth fighting,” and that it was indeed time for the U.S. to withdraw.

In addition, although former President Donald J. Trump and his secretary of state Mike Pompeo have been among the most virulent critics of the Biden Administration for their recent such actions regarding our withdrawal from Afghanistan, recall that it was President Trump who had pledged to pull out all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 2021, with no concessions whatsoever even pursued from our enemy, the Taliban, and also supported the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners of war, including the release of Taliban leader Abdul Ghanibaradar, whom he (Trump) incredibly claimed he “has a very good relationship with.”

Secretary Pompeo, who personally, with the approval of our former president, orchestrated the release of the aforementioned convicted terrorists, and how he (Pompeo) proudly posed with the aforementioned terrorist leader and prime enemy of the U.S. and its allies.

As a result of which, H.R. McMaster, who at the time served as then-President Trump’s national security advisor, stated that such was a “surrender agreement that doomed our long-time allies, the Afghan government.”

It is hypocrisy the level of which very rarely, if ever, witnessed in the history of our proud nation.

Unfortunately, casualties historically have taken place when withdrawal from a foreign nation is undertaken, when the foe is not completely vanquished, as witnessed as a result of our withdrawal from Vietnam, following years of war in that country, in April 1975.

But although the withdrawal was certainly not without numerous troubling incidents, the nation appropriately united under the leadership of then-President Gerald R. Ford, with respectful, and appropriate, criticism commencing upon completion of the mission.

It appears quite obvious that at that time, and throughout the great history of our nation, our leaders considered themselves to be “Americans First,” and placed personal politics as a lesser priority.

Sadly, it appears that at present the absolute reverse is undisputedly the case.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry

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