Letters to the Editor for the weekly print issue of November 11, 2012: The US military entered Afghanistan in 2001 in order to bring democracy, gender equality, and security to that nation, but many would argue that they have failed on all counts; The Quran must be discussed with reason and intelligence, as an International Quranic Studies Association would hopefully accomplish.
Kurt Shillinger's Sept. 24 analysis of the projected foreign policies of then-candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney ("A need for the big view on US foreign policy") lacks sufficient detail. Withdrawal from Afghanistan is likely to be the most challenging foreign-policy issue facing the US president during the next couple years.
The US military entered Afghanistan in 2001 in order to bring democracy, gender equality, and security to that nation. Many would argue that they have failed on all counts. There have been more than 50 fatal attacks by Afghan soldiers on NATO troops in 2012. This has created what is, in my view, an irreparable rift between the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and the Afghan security forces. The Afghan military lacks the strength and cohesion required to preserve law and order in Afghanistan after the scheduled 2014 withdrawal.
Why were US political leaders so easily misled by the promises of Pentagon generals concerning the outcome of intervention in Afghanistan? The American public deserves an honest answer.