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Opinion >  Letters

Outlook grim in Mideast

The Spokesman-Review

Concerning the Feb. 17 article “Obama to deploy 17,000 to stabilize Afghanistan” and the May 5 article “Iraq adamant on U.S. pullback”:

The first article indicates that a surge of an additional 17,000 U.S. troops is required to prop up the government and army of Afghanistan. The second article expresses concern by the top U.S. military commander in Iraq that Iraqi military and police forces are not ready to assume full responsibility for control of portions of Iraq.

Why was a surge of 50,000 U.S. military forces required last year for Iraq and the upcoming surge for Afghanistan? The Iraqi and Afghanistan military and police forces supposedly have been reconstituted, armed and trained over the last five years. Why are these forces incapable of fighting on their own behalf, incapable of showing initiative?

Without the U.S. military propping up Iraq and Afghanistan both countries would collapse. This is what happened to South Vietnam when U.S. forces left in 1973, and what happened to Afghanistan when the Russian Red Army pulled out of that country in 1989.

History repeats. Our elected officials have learned nothing from that history. Our endeavors in Iraq and Afghanistan will be for naught.

Mark Johnson

Nine Mile Falls


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