Defining ‘Success' in Afghanistan

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stephen G. Rademacher's Sept. 5 op-ed "Barack Obama as Charlie Wilson?" neglected important lessons learned from Rep. Charles Wilson's involvement with Afghanistan 25 years ago.

In a Post op-ed from Aug. 28, 2008, "Charlie Wilson's Peace," Mr. Wilson wrote, "If we had done the right thing in Afghanistan then -- following up our military support with the necessary investments in diplomacy and development assistance -- we would have better secured our own country's future, as well as peace and stability in the region."

We need to learn from our experiences 25 years ago and not let history repeat itself. No longer is battlefield success sufficient in securing our national security. Leaving Afghanistan without contributing support for a stable society and economic opportunity will likely lead to further U.S. involvement in the region.

Small investments in development and diplomacy in Afghanistan today can prevent large military investments there again in the future. This is the most important lesson that President Obama can learn from Charlie Wilson.

GEORGE INGRAM

Chairman

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

Washington


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