Greenwald praises Hoh's resignation letter:
We invade and occupy a country, and then label as "insurgents" or even "terrorists" the people in that country who fight against our invasion and occupation. With the most circular logic imaginable, we then insist that we must remain in order to defeat the "insurgents" and "terrorists" -- largely composed of people whose only cause for fighting is our presence in their country.
All the while, we clearly exacerbate the very problem we are allegedly attempting to address -- Terrorism -- by predictably and inevitably increasing anti-American anger and hatred through our occupation, which, no matter the strategy, inevitably entails our killing innocent civilians. Indeed, does Hoh's description of what drives the insurgency -- anger "against the presence of foreign soldiers" -- permit the conclusion that that's all going to be placated with a shift to a kind and gentle counter-insurgency strategy?
Yglesias has related thoughts:
There’s always going to be distrust of a foreign army roaming through your country. In part you can dispel that distrust through good works. But in part you can dispel that through showing people what a post-American Afghanistan would be like and how we’re going to get there. I don’t know if that means a chronologically-boud timetable or a political checklist or what, but it’s got to be something. What you don’t want is to get in the situation of saying, basically, that we can’t leave Afghanistan until first we kill everyone who wants us to leave Afghanistan. For a while our Iraq policy was stuck in that loop, and I worry that our Afghanistan policy may veer in that direction.
A question: if we hadn't invaded for legitimate reasons eight years' ago, would anyone be proposing this kind of commitment now?