The Obama administration finally listened to our military leaders, and they are now planning on leaving 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through 2016 and probably beyond. Originally they were going to draw down to 5,500 troops.

The Taliban continues to pose a threat in Afghanistan and ISIS could rear its ugly head. Our troops could be needed to quash enemy attacks in the region.

Compared to our prior strength of 100,000 troops, the U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan might not have the numerical strength to counter the Taliban throughout the country, and we cannot count on the Afghan Army to stand up to the Taliban. General Joe Dunford, Commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, stated Afghan troops will not be capable to conduct meaningful operations in Afghanistan once U.S. forces leave. We should keep the 9,800 troops in Afghanistan until the end of 2017 and then reevaluate the situation. The release of five top level Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo will come back to haunt us when they return to Afghanistan to continue their destabilizing activities and attacks on our forces and Afghan citizens.

Our national security is partially dependent on maintaining a significant military presence in Afghanistan.

Donald A. Moskowitz

Londonderry, NH

Racehorses

As America has been watching the best horses in the world race their way through the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and American Pharaoh is set to race for the Triple Crown and history, it has never been a more exciting time to be a race lover.

Here in Pennsylvania, the horse racing industry contributes $1.6 billion in economic activity each year in Pennsylvania and provides 23,000 jobs. Every $1 in direct spending within the racing industry equates to $2.13 in total spending within the Pennsylvania economy.

But let’s also remember that the typical racehorse retires around the age of 6 or 7, only a third of a horse’s typical life span. In Grantville, Pennsylvania, we’ve created a program called New Start, which seeks to find good homes for these amazingly intelligent and beautiful horses. Long after their race days are over, horses can still participate in many activities, including: showing, combined training, jumping, dressage, or just being an excellent companion.

For more information on fostering or adopting a horse in New Start, visit www.newstartforhorses.com.

Todd Mostoller, Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective

Association

Grantville, PA

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