Posts Tagged ‘Matthew Hoh’

BBC | 22 December, 2009

A senior US diplomat who resigned over the war in Afghanistan has told the BBC that the troop surge there “will not make a difference”.

Matthew Hoh stepped down from his position in the US state department in October 2009.

The former marine, who served in Iraq, had previously been the senior US civilian official in Zabul province.

He told BBC Radio 4 that a political solution was needed to what he called a “35-year-old civil war”.

Matthew Hoh’s resignation was described by one leading American newspaper as having sent “ripples all the way to the White House”.

In a letter sent to explain his decision, he wrote that he had lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan. (more…)

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Roger Morris and George Kenney, The Huffington Post, Nov 27, 2009

The rare resignation on principle is always telling in American government. When Matthew Hoh recently left the State Department — a Marine Captain in Iraq who became a diplomat in Afghanistan — his act was significant far beyond the first reports.

Hoh speaks grim truth to power. His message is that to pursue the Afghan war policy in any guise — regardless of the troop level President Obama now chooses — will be utter folly, trapping America in an unwinnable civil war in the Hindu Kush, and only fueling terrorism.

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By Norman Solomon, ZNet, Nov. 17, 2009

There’s a significant new straw in the political wind for President Obama to consider. The California Democratic Party has just sent him a formal and clear message: Stop making war in Afghanistan.

Overwhelmingly approved on Nov. 15 by the California Democratic Party’s 300-member statewide executive board, the resolution is titled “End the U.S. Occupation and Air War in Afghanistan.”

The resolution supports “a timetable for withdrawal of our military personnel” and calls for “an end to the use of mercenary contractors as well as an end to air strikes that cause heavy civilian casualties.” Advocating multiparty talks inside Afghanistan, the resolution also urges Obama “to oversee a redirection of our funding and resources to include an increase in humanitarian and developmental aid.”

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Malou Innocent, cato-at-liberty.com, Oct 28, 2009


Former Marine captain Matthew Hoh became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war. His letter of resignation echoes some arguments I have made earlier this year, namely, that what we are witnessing is a local and regional ethnic Pashtun population fighting against what they perceive to be a foreign occupation of their region; that our current strategy does not answer why and to what end we are pursuing this war; and that Afghanistan holds little intrinsic strategic value to the security of the United States.

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Foreign Service officer and former Marine captain says he no longer knows why his nation is fighting

by Karen DeYoung, The Washington Post, October 27, 2009

When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan.

[Matthew Hoh was asked to stay in the job. (Gerald Martineau - The Washington Post) ]

Matthew Hoh was asked to stay in the job. (Gerald Martineau – The Washington Post)

A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.

But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.

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