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Matthew Hoh Resigns

Matthew Hoh seems like just the sort of person a country needs to wage successful counterinsurgency. He was in the Marine Corps, served in Iraq, rose to the rank of Captain and then after leaving the military joined the Foreign Service. He was sent to Afghanistan and became the top civilian official in Zabul province. And he’s quit:

But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.

“I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan,” he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department’s head of personnel. “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.”

This strikes me as fairly similar to the Rory Stewart case and poses tough questions for advocates of a more troops approach.

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