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To the Editor:
An abrupt withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan would be a recipe for disaster. A zero option would jeopardize the gains made in Afghanistan over the past decade and allow Al Qaeda and the Taliban to reconstitute in parts of the country, from where they could plot against the United States and its allies.
While it is true that President Hamid Karzai has not been a reliable ally, President Obama should decide on the pace of troop withdrawal based on national security needs in South Asia rather than the Afghan president’s erratic behavior. After all, President Karzai’s term expires next year, and most Afghans back an enduring partnership with the United States.
The West abandoned Afghanistan prematurely after the Soviet withdrawal from the country and paid a heavy price for it. Let us not make that mistake again.