Letters: Apr. 8, 2002

The Afghan War's Bloodiest Battle

As I read about the battle in the Shah-i-Kot Valley in southeastern Afghanistan, I could not help wondering about American military "intelligence" [THE WAR, March 18]. Underestimating the enemy's numbers and not fully appreciating their will to fight, as well as relying upon local forces to carry out the combat, were aspects of the Vietnam conflict. Going after one or two injured or killed men has been tried in numerous wars, and the result is usually the same--more casualties. I'm not saying that it is right to leave bodies behind, but this obsession with retrieving American...

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