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The war in Afghanistan has been going on for nine years. Why? The inept politicians have been in charge; they haven't a clue how to fight a war.

One of the first rules of battle: "Never risk men in operations that cannot achieve a decisive result." The hard task of a commander is to send men into battle knowing some of them, often many, must be killed or wounded so that the mission may be achieved. Their sorrow is not only for the fine young lives lost or broken, but is equally for the parents, wives and sweethearts who are bereaved.

The longer the war continues, the soldier in combat knows how grim and dark the outlook is for survival. He knows in his mind that the sooner the fighting is over the better his chances of staying alive and going home to his loved ones. Our young men are getting killed because our priority is to prevent civilian casualties. Civilians are going to get killed, that's the nature of war.

Let's come up with a strategy to bring this war to swift conclusion, so our boys can come home. — Red Smith, World War II veteran, Medford

Police in many metro areas no longer refer to jail transport vehicles as "paddy wagons," as they take more than just drunk Irishmen to jail.

Dr. Laura is quitting because of inappropriate use of the "N" word. You don't refer to Lt. Bob Hansen as "Whitey Hansen," so why the sobriquet "Indian Charley" when you don't list a tribal affiliation? I look at the drawing in the weekly "Tempo," and don't think of Chris Conrad as "cockeyed," even if the drawing leaves that impression. How about just listing his name? — Keith Brostad, Eagle Point

I appreciate your recent articles on medical marijuana. We have heard from those who smoke pot or are pot growers, those who are in the police force, those who are the politicians. But why are we not hearing from the doctors who are prescribing the smoking of marijuana instead of using regular painkillers.

I believe we should hear from the doctors who are making the choice for their patients to use marijuana in the first place. — Sharon Fagone, Medford