Hoh To Washington: We Need Change In Afghanistan

Posted on 28. Oct, 2009 by in Uncategorized

Soldiers train for deployment across the country - - but also wait for President Obama's final decision for deployment.

Soldiers across the country remain in training, waiting for President Obama's final decision on their deployment to Afghanistan.

Of all the protests made in opposition to the Afghanistan War, this one stands as the most interesting – – and quite possibly the most refreshing.

Matthew Hoh, a retired Marine who served in Iraq and the top U.S. civilian official in Zabul Province, resigned his commission with the State Department in protest of the conflict.  According to the Washington Post, Hoh is the first U.S. official known to quit a federal job over the country’s direction in Afghanistan.

Here’s an excerpt from Hoh’s letter:

I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan.  I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end.

Check out Hoh’s full letter below:

Matthew Hoh first US official to resign over Afghan War

Hoh’s example reminds me of words of the great Admiral William Adama: “Sometimes you just gotta to roll the hard six.” It’s a risky move, but through his resignation, he’s putting his most important commodity on the line – – his livelihood – – in order to re-focus the blurred vision of this nation’s military.

Hoh isn’t the only one thinking this – – media sources from around the country continue to shout out the message from the proverbial rooftops.  Now, it’s one thing for pundits or bloggers to preach the word  – –  it’s a more powerful sermon, however, once an insider like Hoh used it as his reason for resigning.

At a press conference held yesterday, Hoh expanded on the letter’s message:

I feel that our strategies in Afghanistan are not pursing goals that are worthy of sacrificing our young men and women or spending the billions we’re doing there,” Hoh said. “I believe that the people we are fighting there are fighting us because we are occupying them — not for any ideological reasons, not because of any links to al Qaeda, not because of any fundamental hatred toward the West. The only reason they’re fighting us is because we are occupying them.

While many argue that Hoh’s resignation is honorable but won’t make much of a difference, I, like Spencer Ackerman, think the opposite: He is a trail-blazer, a battle-tested military man that has high expectations for the government he served.   He want the right thing for his brothers in arms – – and for the country – – and you can’t fault him for that.

This is Hoh’s way of putting Uncle Sam on notice, to get them to change course in Afghanistan.  Hopefully it will work, for as Confucius once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Check out ABC’s coverage of the story here:

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One Response to “Hoh To Washington: We Need Change In Afghanistan”

  1. Carla

    01. Nov, 2009

    Hoh’s resignation definitely turned my head. What is the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, indeed.