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Matthew Hoh: new poster boy for critics of Afghanistan war

Matthew Hoh, a former Marine officer, resigned from his current State Department post in Afghanistan, saying he no longer believes the war is worth American lives.

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Matthew Hoh, perhaps unintentionally and unavoidably, has instantly made himself the poster boy for Vice President Joe Biden, liberal Democrats, and every American who looks at a troop surge in Afghanistan with deep skepticism.

Mr. Hoh, a respected retired marine captain, resigned his post as a Foreign Service officer in Afghanistan last week, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The reason: "I fail to see the value or the worth in continued US casualties or expenditures of resources in support of the Afghan government in what is, truly, a 35-year-old civil war," he said in his resignation letter.

Hoh is perhaps the highest profile official with a military background to question the wisdom of the war in Afghanistan. With President Obama nearing a decision on a new Afghan strategy, Hoh's words come at a crucial time.

So far, the US military has spoken with resounding unanimity. Overwhelmingly, generals have backed the prescription of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan. McChrystal says American security would be best served by sending 44,000 more troops to stabilize Afghanistan.


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