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US diplomat resigns over Afghan war

October 28, 2009 00:58 IST

A senior US diplomat involved in Afghanistan has become the first American official to resign in protest over the eight-year war, saying it was fuelling the insurgency in the war-torn country.

"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the US's presence in Afghanistan," said Matthew Hoh, who was the senior State Department official in Afghanistan's Zabul province, a hotbed for Taliban militants.

"To put simply, I fail to see the value or the worth in the continued US causalities or expenditures of resources in support of the Afghan government in what is, truly, a

35-year-old civil war," Hoh wrote in his resignation letter last month that has been made public.

In September 10 letter, the 36-year-old wrote, "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."

Hoh, a former marine, compared US's presence to the Soviet Union in 1980s.

"Like the Soviets, we continue to secure and bolster a failing state, while encouraging an ideology and system of government unknown and unwanted by its people," he wrote.

The Obama administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke told the Washington Post who originally reported the story that the letter was taken "very seriously".
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