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HOH’S RESIGNATION LETTER

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The USA representative in Afghanistan’s Zabul province, Matthew Hoh, has resigned from his contract post in Afghanistan over the US-led war, becoming the first US political representative to step down in protest at the conflict since it began in operation Absolute Justice eight years ago.

Matthew Hoh, said in a letter released, on Tuesday 10/27/2009, that he had “lost understanding of, and confidence in, the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan” (see – Matthew Hoh’s letter ).

“I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end,” the letter, which was dated 10/10/2009, said (see also – Afghan Koran Rumor ).

The recent attacks and Matthew Hoh’s resignation are likely to step up pressure on Barack Obama, the USA president, as he reviews military strategy in Afghanistan.

Commenting on his departure, Ian Kelly, the White House spokesman, said that while Hoh was entitled to his views on the war, the US government would not change course (see also – .Afghan Confusion ).

“We take his point of view very seriously but we continue to believe that we are on track to achieving the goal that the president has set before us. That is … improving Afghan governance, providing security, infrastructure, jobs – basically, giving the Afghan people an alternative to the very negative vision of the Taliban and Al Qaeda” Kelly said.

Government officials had tried to convince Matthew Hoh to stay, amid concerns that he could become a prominent voice against the US’s involvement in Afghanistan, the Washington Post reported.

Matthew Hoh was then called to Washington to meet Richard Holbrooke, the USA special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. “We took his letter very seriously, because he was a good officer,” Holbrooke said in an interview with The Washington Post. Matthew Hoh was initially convinced to stay by Holbrooke’s insistence that he would be more effective inside government, but he changed his mind days later and once more handed in his resignation.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Hoh said that his resignation, which became final on Wednesday, was tendered because staying in his post “was not the right thing to do.”

In his letter, Hoh said that many Afghans fight US forces because of their presence in the country and pointed to similarities with the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan which ended with a humiliating withdrawal in 1989.

“Like the Soviets, we continue to secure and bolster a failing state, while encouraging an ideology and system of government unknown and unwanted by its people,” he wrote.

 

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