Letters to the Editor

Expanded U.S. role a bad idea

The suggestion of Sen. Lindsey Graham that the United States should establish permanent military bases in Afghanistan needs to be immediately rejected. With the United States being actively involved in that region for the past nine years or so, has anyone in politics pinpointed what exactly it is that our soldiers are sacrificing their lives for and why we are wasting financial aid dollars in this region? Graham states that having a few military bases in Afghanistan would be a benefit to the region and would give Afghan security forces an edge against the Taliban. However, it seems that Graham forgot that the government of Afghanistan has indicated that they hold no reservations in conversing with the Taliban, an action I think eliminates anyone "getting the edge" on them.

Since 2002, the United States has provided nearly $800 million in financial aid (if not more) to Afghanistan for the enhancement of its energy capacity. In 2010 the energy capacity of Afghanistan was rated at an astonishing 25 percent. As far as the overall region is concerned, the government of Pakistan has stated that they await the withdrawal of U.S. troops so they can establish relations with Afghanistan. Isn't that interesting. The government of Afghanistan wants to talk with the Taliban (the enemy) and the government of Pakistan wants to talk with Afghanistan upon the withdrawal of U.S. forces. Does anyone in politics find this odd, if not seriously disturbing?

Perhaps we should grant Graham his wish and build one military base in Afghanistan. We will name it Fort Lindsey Graham. It will be manned by Afghan forces, will be commanded by the senator himself, and the government of the United States can do what it should have done several years ago. That is, withdraw all U.S. forces, eliminate the wasted financial aid and assign our soldiers to protect this country, not some country whose government openly indicates the desire to converse with the enemy.

Do our soldiers belong to the United Nations, or do our soldiers belong to the United States?

The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.