A former Marine captain with combat experience in Iraq, Matthew Hoh, also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. This summer he was the senior US civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed. In September Hoh became the first US official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war.
His four page letter of resignation explains that he became convinced that our war in that country will not only inevitably fail, but is fueling the very insurgency we are trying to defeat.
He points out that "next fall, the United States' occupation will equal in length the Soviet Union's own physical involvement 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."
The Pentagon’s own 2004 report concluded: "Negative attitudes and the conditions that create them are the underlying sources of threats to America's national security . . . Direct American intervention in the Muslim world has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for Islamic radicals."
"American families," Hoh said at the end of his letter of resignaton, "must be reassured their dead have sacrificed for a purpose worthy of futures lost, love vanished, and promised dreams unkept. I have lost confidence such assurances can be made any more."
JODIE EVANS is the co-founder the International Occupation Watch Center in Iraq, and of CODE PINK, with, among others, Medea Benjamin. Jodie's Baghdad Journals are at the center of the book, Twilight of Empire, and she is co-editor with Benjamin of Stop The Next War Now.
JODIE - "I am just returning from my 10-day trip to Afghanistan. As we left, a farm was bombed and eight members of a family were killed. Eight U.S. soldiers also lost their lives in an insurgent raid on their outpost. And today marks the 8th anniversary of the US Invasion of that war torn country.
We have spent a quarter of a trillion dollars in those 8 years and what have we got for all that time, money, and suffering? Most of the country is in worse condition, the Taliban have been growing in strength and number, the bordering countries are more unstable and death fills the air."