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LETTERS: We don't need to repeat mistakes of Vietnam

Shades of Vietnam, here we go again. Some 27 U.S. Senate military geniuses have sent the president a letter recommending an immediate drawdown of 15,000 to 20,000 troops in Afghanistan. The thrust of their argument is that the death of Osama bin Laden has left al-Qaida leadership in disarray, thus justifying a major drawdown. The president has earlier announced a drawdown would begin this summer ending in complete withdrawal by 2014.

Al-Qaida leadership won’t miss a beat since bin Laden’s successor has been his No. 2 person for some 30 years. Announcing future troop withdrawal dates is a huge military no-no since the enemy can just take a vacation and wait you out. Then, too, we have the Taliban to consider — they provide the fighters to augment the terrorists.

If a premature withdrawal as occurred in Vietnam takes place and Afghanistan again becomes a terrorist training ground, those who die there or become wounded will have done so for no good reason as happened to 58,000 war dead in Vietnam.

Lack of American resolve lessens support from both the Afghan and Pakistan governments since they are afraid they will end up on the losing side. The lesson to be learned here is to never fight a war you don’t stay in to win, as was the case in Vietnam and Korea.

The next move in Afghanistan should be a mission for special forces to “neutralize” Afghan President Hamid Karzai and then replace him with the man he cheated out of the presidency in the election that kept Karzai in office. A less corrupt government would be a vast step forward.

— Jay Wagner

Stone Mountain