When Matthew Hoh resigned in protest last month, it sent a small tremor through the Pentagon and White House. Hoh, an ex-marine, was the US’ top civilian in Zabul province, until he reached the conclusion that the war wasn’t worth fighting. “My resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing the war,” he wrote in his letter, “but why and to what end.” The US presence in Afghanistan is only fueling the insurgency, exacerbating a distant civil war, he argues.
“I’m not some peacenik, pot-smoking hippie who wants everyone to be in love,” Hoh tells the Washington Post. The administration offered him a job in the embassy at Kabul, and flew him to Washington to meet with Richard Holbrooke, who disagreed with his conclusions, he said, but "agreed with much of his analysis." Holbrooke tried to hire him, too—but Hoh declined. “It wasn’t the right thing to do,” he said. “I want people in Iowa, people in Arkansas, people in Arizona, to call their congressman and say, ‘Listen, I don’t think this is right.’”