Republican presidential candidates for 2016 continually criticize President Obama for reducing the number of ground troops in Afghanistan and withdrawing completely from Iraq. I guess they would prefer the U.S. remain stuck in quagmires in both countries, despite the lessons we should have learned from our Vietnam experience. It’s possible, though very unlikely, the military situations in both countries would have improved, even allowing for overly optimistic predictions by military and political leaders who can’t seem to handle the truth. Genuine success depends on political compromises that have not been reached within the countries themselves leaving the USA with the unenviable task of trying to build nations in our image in deeply divided countries in the middle of virtual civil wars with governments that are corrupt and have little chance of building the kinds of societies which our political leaders, especially on the right, would have us believe are possible. I say enough.
Robert Blevins, Garden City