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Max Boot’s March 5 article, “Allies with tiny armies aren’t much help” — a review of the deteriorating military situation in Afghanistan — states that the “primary culprit is declining defense spending among U.S. allies.” Boot doesn’t mention that the United States pulled many troops out of Afghanistan four years ago to invade Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. The Iraq war has weakened the U.S. commitment to the NATO struggle against al-Qaida and the Taliban, inflamed the Muslim world, and helped convince many that the U.S. is more interested in grabbing oil than fighting terrorism.

Boot ends his column with the absurd claim that the U.S. acts “alone, or almost alone, not out of choice but out of necessity.” The war in Afghanistan was thrust upon the U.S., but we don’t fight it alone. The war in Iraq was an unrelated war of choice that has proven to be counterproductive. As an American, I am glad that NATO countries are helping us in Afghanistan, and I think the British government made the right decision to shift troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.

Boot should learn why the world was with the U.S. when it went into Afghanistan and why the world was not when the U.S. went into Iraq. Any amount of faux news spin can’t make the Iraq and Afghan wars into the same war.

john philips

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