Letter: Washington has lessons to learn on foreign policy


Jane Harman is on the mark in her column “Six lessons for US foreign policy from Afghanistan” (Opinion, August 19). But the reality is that in place of Afghanistan one could insert Vietnam, Iraq, Ukraine, China or Russia!

The US government suffers from a combined case of historical amnesia and ignorance for which there seems to be no cure. Lessons learned is an oxymoronic term and should be banned from the lexicon until those lessons are heeded. Another aspect of this condition is the American congenital failure to have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the situations in which it is considering or indeed is using force.

So stand by for many more columns like the one written by Harman.

Harlan Ullman
Senior Adviser, The Atlantic Council
Washington, DC, US

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