Our Leaders Are AWOL

Dear Editor,

The following personnel are AWOL and unfit for duty: POTUS/Cmdr. In Chief, Joe Biden; Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley.

They should be relieved of their posts and charged with failure to report for duty and violations of their oath of office.

James Simmonds



Hindsight About Afghanistan Pull Out 20/20

Dear Editor,

According to the media, 70 percent of Americans supported withdrawal from Afghanistan.  Polling Americans on Afghanistan withdrawal is like polling Americans on free lunch.  Everybody wants free lunch, until they see how it is paid for.  

The question should have included costs and benefits.  How would Americans have responded if questioned about pulling Americans out and the Taliban recapturing the country?  How would we have responded if the question was about pulling out knowing the US casualties were low and noncombat related in previous years?  They wouldn’t have been close to 70 percent.  Better yet, how would we have responded if the question wasn’t about pulling Americans out but instead about giving Afghanistan back to the Taliban?  In the end, in retrospect, that is what we have done.

 This is only superficially close to Vietnam.  Vietnam was not a stalemate.  Despite current media descriptions, Afghan troops did a lot of heavy lifting.  We had a good relationship with local warlords in Afghanistan.  Many local fighters did even more of the wars heavy lifting, even more than US troops.  In many ways we, the US, had better relations with the local rulers than the Afghan government.  The US pulling out stopped these relationships.  Unlike Vietnam, we did not have mass antiwar protests in the streets.  We only had easily misrepresented and misinterpreted polling.  Unlike Vietnam, we had clear justification for entering the conflict, September 11.  Pulling out from Vietnam had little negative consequence for the US.  Pulling out from Afghanistan encouraged the group that planned Sept. 11.

 The reality is that we have been in Germany and Japan since the end of World War II.  We have been in South Korea since the cease fire in that war.  Technically, the Korean War is the longest conflict the US has been involved.  It is technically still going on.  I understand that the question about staying or leaving Afghanistan was difficult.  It is much less difficult now.  Hindsight is now telling us, we should have remained.

Alan Burke