A reader writes:

The Taliban did not "rout" the US. Taliban forces were repelled with NATO losses, including 8 US, and Afghan police captured. To say that forces were routed would be to say that the position was overrun, or abandoned in a disorganized, catastrophic manner. 

Do not be "appalled" at a senior officer's willingness to resign. If an officer believes he cannot carry out the civilian leadership's vision, then he has a moral and professional obligation to share his opinion with Congress and resign so that officers with a different opinion can attempt to carry out the civilian leadership's intent. This is should never be characterized as a threat, because it is an implied constant in his duty. If a voluntary resignation alters the debate or has a political consequence, so be it.

If more officers were faithful to this duty in the run-up to OIF then perhaps the mistakes and misjudgments made by President Bush and SecDef Rumsfeld  might have been mitigated; or the war avoided altogether.  We saw such backbone -- to put duty before career -- from Gen Eric Shinsecki and you rightly acknowledged it.

As a longtime reader and Iraq veteran I am surprised and disappointed at these two recent blog posts.

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