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The Post and Courier provides a forum for our readers to share their opinions, and to hold up a mirror to our community. Publication does not imply endorsement by the newspaper; the editorial staff attempts to select a representative sample of letters because we believe it’s important to let our readers see the range of opinions their neighbors submit for publication.

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Letters: US should keep small presence in Afghanistan

AP Interview: Afghan minister warns US against hasty retreat (copy) (copy)

Afghan Interior Minister Masoud Andarabi speaks during an interview to the Associated Press at the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul, Afghanistan. He warned the U.S. against withdrawing troops, predicting a withdrawal would yield quick territorial gains to the Taliban.

In his May 30 commentary, Thomas Dewey Wise makes a compelling case for maintaining a small U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

He’s right, but he doesn’t go far enough.

The withdrawal of some 2,000 military personnel, largely special operations forces, would be followed by the withdrawal of 7,000 NATO and allied forces, intelligence operatives, nongovernmental organizations, foreign embassies, and international organizations and businesses.

Without an international military and diplomatic presence, the Taliban would most likely return to power.

When last in charge, the Taliban introduced radical Sharia law, denied women’s rights and gave sanctuary to Osama bin Laden.

The result was 9/11 attacks on the United States.

The American people are understandably tired of endless wars. We should not and cannot be in the business of nation building.

Afghanistan will never be a Jeffersonian democracy. Our goals should be more modest.

In 1970, Afghanistan was a functioning tribal society that protected basic human and women’s rights and did not give safe haven to international terrorists. It can be again.

What would be the cost of a small, low-profile American and international presence in Afghanistan?

There have been no American combat casualties in Afghanistan for more than a year.

The U.S. maintains a military presence in more than 80 countries today. Our friends and allies would join us.

If history and facts on the ground are any guide, the Taliban will return to power. I hope I’m wrong; I fear I am not.

JON GUNDERSEN

Marshall Boulevard

Sullivan's Island

Boost food program

I am concerned about children going hungry during the summer months when they are unable to access school meals and snacks.

While the Summer Food Service Program helps fill the gap, the program only reaches about 1 in 7 children who receive free or reduced-price school lunches during the school year.

That leaves millions of children struggling with hunger during the summer months.

To address this issue, I urge Congress to boost funding for the Summer Food Service Program in Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations, including $100 million to expand Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer Demonstration Projects.

This will provide necessary funds to modernize the program so it reaches more hungry children.

Continuing COVID-19 era waivers that allowed for flexibility in the program will help reach children living in hard to reach rural areas.

Some important options I hope we maintain include allowing multiple meals to be picked up at one time, allowing a parent or guardian to pick up meals for their children, allowing services outside of standard meal times, not requiring food distributed to be eaten in group settings, remote site monitoring and home deliveries of meals.

Waivers also expanded community eligibility so more sites were able to open to feed any child in the area.

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Families with school children also received EBT benefits, which reduces transportation barriers, particularly in rural communities.

HEATHER BLACKWELL

Finnegan Lane

West Columbia

Dangerous drivers

Whatever has happened to the concept of being a “law-abiding citizen” when it comes to getting behind the wheel of a car?

Driving is no longer a pleasure.

Regularly, I see blatant and dangerous violations of the rules of the road: driving through red lights; ignoring stop signs without even pausing; recklessly exceeding speed limits; turning left from the extreme right lane on a three-lane road; texting while driving; failing to use turn signals; zigzagging at high speeds on interstates; and ignoring pedestrians in crosswalks.

And the list goes on.

Please, let’s make our streets and highways a safer place to be.

MARIAN MENTAVLOS

South Battery

Charleston

Paper is first class

I am constantly amazed at the thought, hard work and wisdom that can be found daily in The Post and Courier.

For example, the May 27 edition with “Spectacular sky show,” which featured a beautiful picture of the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse and the “super flower blood moon.”

Kudos to staff photographer Andrew J. Whitaker.

As a daily subscriber, I see first-class reporting, great pictures and editorials — even ones that I sometimes agree with.

Another subscriber is my good friend Frank Marvin of Hollywood.

Frank has read The Post and Courier for more than 80 years, and like he says, “It’s all the news I need.” I tend to agree with him.

I’d like to thank everyone who is involved in this labor of love, putting out a big-time daily newspaper.

It’s just one more reason to live in one of the greatest communities in the world.

CHARLIE LYBRAND

Cloudmont Drive

Hollywood

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