27 October 2009

The Heart of the Matter

"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," begins the resignation letter submitted last month by U.S. Foreign Service Political Officer Matthew Hoh, who served as Senior Civilian Representative for the U.S. government in Zabul Province. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy," he continues, "but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end." Hoh, by the way, is a former captain in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Why and to what end. Have you heard a single journalist put this question to President Obama at a news conference or during an interview? Neither have I. Yet it's the essential question that must be asked--and answered satisfactorily--before a single extra soldier or Marine is deployed to Afghanistan. In fact, if this question isn't addressed, we should insist that all our forces be withdrawn from the country immediately.