Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Korb and Duggan's "Responsible Afghan Strategy" doesn't seem responsible at all. First off, our track record of attacking countries, occupying them and then attempting to install a system of government more to our liking simply doesn't seem to be working and certainly isn't sustainable as policy. Iraq still seems capable of lurching back into catastrophe at any moment and Afghanistan has already resisted such attempts from the British and the Soviets and is resisting our efforts as well. Second, our eight-year war in Afghanistan must certainly be contributing to Pakistan's increasing instability as well, increasing our danger instead of decreasing it. It seems to be our arrogance to think that we can effect changes we want on these countries without a host of unintended consequences. Finally, we refuse to recognize that our Western drug problem cannot be solved by the "war on drugs," a war that virtually guarantees tremendous profits in the illegal drug trade, and feeds insurgencies like the Taliban and Al Qaeda and criminal gangs in Mexico. A recent British report shows that legalizing drugs will save the British as much as 14 billion pounds per year. Our unwillingness to take responsibility for our own contributions to these problems and our arrogance in assuming we can remake countries like Afghanistan without changing our own behavior dooms our reckless policies.

Peter Miller

Portland, OR

Apr 7 2009 - 1:09pm

Web Letter

I do not like missionary foreign policies, either from the right or the left. Wilson got it right when he said that each country, as far as possible, should have self-determination. He didn't mean the US would ride to the rescue in every country and recreate them in our own image. However, it is in the world's interests to try to resolve conflicts between nuclear armed India and Pakistan. This means working to resolve, diplomatically, the issues between them that caused them to become nuclear-armed states. For example, the world "won" the cold war, because a worldwide nuclear war was avoided between the US and the Soviet Union.

It is also in no one's interest to have a failed state in Afghanistan. Afghanistan does not need to be involved in proxy wars between Pakistan and India, or any other countries. It is therefore important to work with regional partners to insure self determination and stability for Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda is an international threat, which isn't going away. They are also a threat to Muslims who do not share their beliefs. The use of force will be necessary, but work with the Afghans and neighboring countries on that problem.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Apr 7 2009 - 1:08pm

Web Letter

Okay, why do I not see anything on the anti-Obama protests in Turkey last Saturday? Most, if not all of the protests, had to do with our policy in Afghanistan.

John Molina

Chula Vista, CA

Apr 7 2009 - 12:25pm