3 years, 6 months ago
By now it’s old news that Marine Captain Matthew Hoh, veteran of Iraq who later joined the State Department, has resigned over the campaign in Afghanistan. He sees no reason whatsoever for the U.S. to be engaged there. Jules Crittenden opines of Hoh’s letter:
It highlights some of the very real problems of the situation in Afghanistan, but concludes that remaining in Afghanistan requires, “if honest,” that we have to invade Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Sudan, etc. Maybe we will before this long war is done. Hard to say. It wouldn’t be the first time, whether in a short four-year war or a 45-year-long one, that we’d had to fight multiple fronts to reomve tyranny and secure freedom in the world. Hoh also includes a Vietnam reference that, tellingly, assumes that failure in Afghanistan is as inevitable as many believe failure in Vietnam was.
The long war. That phrase that so many people are afraid to use, and which has been used so many times here at The Captain’s Journal. Jules understands. And I understand that Captain Hoh is an honorable man for sticking to his principles. He has a right to decide how he wants, just as I have a right to decide against his views. What I don’t get is why Captain Hoh is getting so much attention. So another State employee doesn’t want to see us in Afghanistan. How many more hundreds are there?
Finally, I find it rather embarrassing and gushy that State worked so hard to retain him. If he is so decidedly against the campaign in Afghanistan that he feels that he cannot work at State, then he should go rather than be begged to stay. The fact of the matter is that this thinking is systemic to not only State but the entire administration.
My office has been an integral part of these “Af/Pak Principal Strategy Sessions”
Let’s just say most of the proposals of the table (excluding the Joint Staff J7 & J3/5, DIA and the more rational sects of the NSC) are totally divorced from reality.
It’s painful, really. NDA’s prevent me from delving into it fully, but some of the proposals would cause the regulars here to go completely ape-shit. I sit along the wall, and let my boss do the talking. It is absolutely incredible how naive this administration (and yes, senior members of the NSC and State) are.
USD(P) isn’t innocent, either. DoD’s policy shop is cooking up some the craziest policies I’ve seen in a long time. There is a concerted effort to create “Stop Loss 2.0″ – basically you would be re-classed from whatever specialty/MOS/AFSC/rate, regardless of branch/age/rank, and thrust into, say, military police, MI, or EOD. Not offered; you’d be required to jump over. Even the 10% we vets know exist that shouldn’t and couldn’t do MI, EOD et al. If you refused, they would whip out the UCMJ. This is actually being considered as a way to surge without actually surging. Joint Staff J1 and J3/5 were under heavy pressure to report we were under strain, and couldn’t handle a 40K/60K/80K push. J1 came back and told the WH/NSC point blank: we have more than enough. They didn’t like that and are now finding excuses to not surge period, not even the 10K trial balloon they tossed up last week.
They’re stalling. I spend my entire morning, 5 days a week in the EEOB and State with these fuckers. You heard it here first.
Then again, maybe I do understand why Captain Hoh is getting so much attention. It’s just that the other hundreds who feel just like him at State don’t have the integrity to resign.