Afghanistan:Letter to Secretary Mattis



Enduring Freedom – Resolute Support – Enduring Peace

United States Secretary of Defense                                                                Moscow, Russia

General James N. Mattis                                                                                March 21, 2018


Dear Mr. Secretary,


The largest and most complex challenges facing civilization in the twenty-first century are international terrorism, the growing threat of religious extremism, and the expanding drug epidemic.

To effectively combat them, we need concerted action by all countries and peoples of the world.

Today, Afghanistan, which became a planetary center of heroin production and the “zone of chaos”, represents an enormous threat to international peace and security.

In recent months, despite all the efforts made, the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate.

At the same time, we are well aware that coping with the terrorist threat and helping millions of people cannot be achieved without a combined effort of the entire world community.

Dear General Mattis,

We represent the same generation,

We are both professionals – each in his field.

You’re a military, I’m a surgeon.

We both have devoted all our lives to a beloved cause.

We both went through wars.

Who knows better than we do, what wars bring to warring countries and peoples?

Any delay in taking really effective measures means thousands of broken lives and early deaths, including children, as well as huge social and economic losses.

But it is time to realize that there is no military solution to the Afghan problem, and in today’s situation it is extremely important to search for alternative approaches and ways to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan.

We have a great opportunity to combine our efforts. The time has come for in-depth discussion of Afghanistan problems involving wide international community.

Formation of the international humanitarian Coalition “Enduring Peace” and the joint conduct of International Humanitarian Conference with the broad participation of representatives of the opposing sides in Afghanistan and representatives of the world community can help processes of inter-Afghan dialogue, will allow to determine urgent measures to address the primary humanitarian problems in the divided Afghanistan and to develop a realistic strategy to end the war in Afghanistan.

Refraining from support or criticism of any Government, we could contribute to the establishment of the long-awaited peace in the war weary beautiful country – Afghanistan.

Our combined voice will be heard and will help Governments find a way out of this critical situation, and our concerted action could alleviate human suffering and lead to saving many lives.

Dear  Mr. Secretary,

Please allow me to express my respect for the objective and true picture of the situation in Afghanistan that you presented in Kabul – March 13, 2018:

“We do look toward a victory in Afghanistan. And what does that victory look like? It’s a country whose own people and own security forces can handle law enforcement and any threats, certainly with international support for years to come. And it’s all working to achieve a reconciliation. …

Not a military victory — the victory will be a political reconciliation.

Right now we want the Afghans to lead and to provide the substance of the reconciliation effort.”

The people of Afghanistan can and should build their future through a broad national dialogue on peace.

Turning Afghanistan into a stable and peaceful nation where no threats come from and which is able to secure decent life for its people, should be a strategic goal for the entire international community.

There is no alternative to a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.

Please support our initiatives.

Yours sincerely and wishing you every success in your work,

Dr. Ashot G. Sarkisian,

Professor of  Surgery

Chairman of the independent International Committee of Humanitarian Cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,

President of the Russian Medical Association,

Former Member of the Russian Parliament

12/13 Polikarpova  str, Moscow, Russia, 125284,Tel: +7 903-159-4400,

Tel/fax: +7 495-945-5831, E-mail:,


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