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Matthew Hoh: There is No Winning in Afghanistan

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Fareed Zakaria talks to former Foreign Service officer Matthew Hoh who recently resigned as a Political Officer in Afghanistan. You can watch the entire interview here.
ZAKARIA: Matthew Hoh is the young Foreign Service officer who resigned this week from his post in Afghanistan. He joins me now.

Matthew, I'm going to just start by reading a bit from your resignation letter. You say, "I fail to see the worth or value in continued U.S. casualties or expenditures of resources in support of the Afghan government in what is truly a 35-year-old civil war."

And then you go on to say, "Thousands of our men and women have returned home with physical and mental wounds. The dead return only in bodily form to be received by families who must be reassured that their dead have been sacrificed for a purpose worthy of such futures lost, love vanished and promised dreams unkept. I have lost confidence such assurances can any more be made. As such, I submit my resignation."

These are very strong words.

Give us some sense of what this insurgency that we are fighting looks like. What did you think people were fighting U.S. troops for?

MATTHEW HOH, FORMER MARINE CAPTAIN AND U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: The first place where I really had -- where this was codified for me and where I started to understand what we were doing and how we were involved -- the Korengal Valley, which I'm sure a lot of your viewers are familiar with. It's been on the cover of TIME Magazine. The "New York Times" refers to it as the valley of death. Off the top of my head, unfortunately, I can't remember how many American soldiers we have lost there, but it's probably 30 or 40....
(Remainder.)

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