Thank you for your support and concern during my recent trip to Afghanistan. Unlike the 24 US troops who died since the weekend and the many uncounted daily Afghan casualties of war and poverty, I returned safely to Boston on Sunday.
I return with the certainty that the only sustainable approach to stability in Afghanistan is one that involves less foreign military and is locally led. Yes, this means I am asking you to do everything you can to pressure our government to reduce, but not eliminate, and redirect the mission of foreign troops in Afghanistan. Peace will only come with a decades long commitment to assist an Afghan led struggle to improve governance and economic conditions and to resist extremism. This approach accepts the continuance of the civil war that has been going on for 35 years – but, at least, the aggressive actions of our troops will not be fueling it.
Today I received this letter of resignation from a diplomat who was serving the US mission in Afghanistan. It speaks for itself and mirrors with much greater depth of experience many of the understandings that I return with. You can read the letter here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/hp/ssi/wpc/ResignationLetter.pdf and an article about it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/26/AR2009102603394.html
I will be posting more about my experiences and the next steps for the development of the film “Brewing Tea in a Kettle of War.” Thanks again for your letters, calls and encouragement. Anu conveys her thanks too for all the support she received. I hope all is well with you and yours.
So glad you are home safely, Michael. I read your statement with much interest. I will look at the letter when I’m awake. Best to you and Anu.