To the editor: I do not believe it was a coincidence that the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, left the country with all his wealth intact, five hours before the Taliban entered Kabul and at the same time the army of 300,000 men evaporated into the night, and not a shot was fired.

This was a well-orchestrated, undercover operation carried out by these three conspirators. No coincident was involved, but rather a well-planned maneuver covertly and masterly executed in secret. But there is a bigger question regarding our presence in Afghanistan. Why were we ever there? I am no historian, but I wanted to know more about this country where we spent $3 trillion and 2,448 American service members were killed as were thousands of U.S. contractors.

Historically, Afghanistan has always been a tribal nation with conflict and wars constantly occurring among tribal warlords that controlled one of the 34 providences in Afghanistan. Numerous countries have invaded this country: Iran, Persia, Russia, Singh Empire and England. There have been multiple assassinations of political leaders as well as constant tribal revolts such as the Afghan tribal revolts of 1944, the 1978 Saur Revolution with the beginning of the mujahedeen and the 1979 Soviet-Afghan guerrilla war against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviets.

The Taliban ruled most of Afghanistan from 1994 until 2001, when they were dethroned by the United States of America and the rebel Northern Alliance that had fought the Taliban before we entered the country and controlled the Panjshir Valley the primary area of the country that offered resistance to the Taliban and is presently providing opposition to the Taliban.

In 2021, as the Taliban assume control, they are aware that they may not have the strength to control the entire mountainous country. There are already revolutionary elements developing in parts of the country especially in the northern Panjshir Valley.

American grandiosity or arrogance is why we were there. We were going to teach them our way of life and thinking. We would help them have a democratic government with a president, changing their thinking about education and women's suffrage, attempting to change a country whose history was that of tribalism and wars.

We should never again attempt nation-building with our military. We have other means to effect changes in a country. Again, what were we doing there in the first place?

Rocco Cirigliano, Richmond