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The Villages
Sunday, December 10, 2023

We never learned from history so we repeated it with Afghanistan

Miles Zaremski

This opinion piece does not have anything to do with The Villages per se, but it does with respect to those women and men that call The Villages their home who served in uniform in the various amphitheater’s of conflict and wars, perhaps having children and grandchildren also (now) serving in uniform.

I write as a vet of the Vietnam War era.

The decision by President Biden to withdraw from our longest war (20 years) in Afghanistan was the correct and proper one (though sloppily undertaken) because we never learned from history (Vietnam) so four presidents, going back to Geoge W., were bound to repeat the mistakes made in the debacle in southeast Asia—with the lives of thousands of our young men and women making the ultimate sacrifice there, and for what, nothing!

Afghanistan is in some measure this century’s Vietnam. Instead of the North Vietnamese taking over after we left Saigon, it is now the Taliban taking over Kabul and the rest of the country.

There are just some lands and their people that U.S. military intervention can never change. There is just too steep a chasm between our culture and any of theirs. And we were never much good at withdrawing from armed conflict/war where we could never “win”.

So while we brought a modicum of peace and prosperity to Afghans for two decades, we could not be their protectors forever.

And we certainly could never win the conflict with a “paper tiger” calling themselves Afghan troops and militia, our supposed allies. True, there is a humanitarian responsibility that we now have, to be shared with other nations, but first and foremost, our government must expend resources and efforts to serve the needs of our citizens before ever going on with any further military intervention where we will come out as the “loser.”

Miles Zaremski is a resident of the Village of Dunedin.

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