Afghan Journal

Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics

from Tales from the Trail:

Protest resignation over Afghan plans puts Obama team on edge

On Monday, the State Department sent out its no. 2 official to tout how it was managing to get U.S. civilians out into the field in Afghanistan, with nearly 1,000 expected to be in place by year-end.

A day later, it was in damage control mode after the resignation of one of its star employees was plastered on the front page of The Washington Post and on the Internet.

In an emotionally-charged four-page letter dated September 10, Matthew Hoh said he was quitting because he had lost confidence in the war effort and whether it was worth the blood spilled there.

AFGHANISTAN/Hoh's letter is notable  because he was seen as just the kind of person the State Department wants in Afghanistan. A former Marine and then Department of Defense civilian, he served in Iraq from 2004 to 2007. On a one-year contract with the State Department, he was serving as the senior civilian representative in Afghanistan's Zabul province.

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