Korengal Valley's Toll Should Be Warning to US

We're leaving it, but how many more will die before we quit Afghanistan?
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2010 9:53 AM CDT
U.S. Army soldiers patrol in Kolack, a village at the mouth of the Korengal Valley, in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – The US decision to pull out of the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan is no doubt the smart thing to do, writes Eugene Robinson. After all, our troops spent 5 years there and gained only 3 miles at the cost of 42 lives. That kind of fighting in remote territory doesn't fit into the new US strategy, so it makes sense to leave. Robinson, though, sees Korengal as a metaphor for the Afghan war as a whole.

"I can't help but worry that a larger mistake is being made," he writes in the Washington Post. "President Obama soon will have tripled the number of US troops in Afghanistan." The Taliban and al-Qaeda remain threats there, and President Karzai is, well, President Karzai. All of which raises two big questions: "How many more will die before we leave the country? And what will we have accomplished?"

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