Afghanistan, we should get out

Hamid Mir interviewing Osama bin Laden for Daily Pakistan in 1997 behind them on the wall is an AK-74 carbine.

Afghanistan is a total mess and we should bring out every British service person today. We are paying billions to support a highly corrupt government and to finance an economy which has heroin as its major export crop.

When we first invaded Afghanistan it was the wrong thing to do. Our objective was the al Quaeda terrorists, we did not need to invade a whole country to get them. We could have just gathered intelligence and then made targeted strikes using air assets and special forces. As it was the invasion failed miserably in its objective because al Quaeda just did the sensible thing and ran away. In fact the invasion had the opposite effect to that intended, it radicalised large numbers of Moslems worldwide, vastly strengthening the terrorists, thus leading to far more outrages, including the London bombings.

Once we had invaded and taken over the country we tried to pay them to become a centralised, modern, liberal, Western democracy, just like us. This was a mistake because they are just not ready for it, the transition would take decades. So what we got was a rotten and corrupt political elite taking billions of our taxpayers hard earned money off us. Blair and Brown must be proud of themselves. What we should have done is handed power over to local friendly warlords who we could keep on message with money and other presents, with a weak token federal government as a talking shop. This would have cost a fraction of the money, would have kept al Quaeda out and would not have involved the substantial loss of British and American lives that we are now suffering.

Militarily the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable. Asymetric warfare in that terrain, against well motivated and trained freedom fighters who can melt into both the scenery and the population and who are very well supplied by neighbouring Moslem states is just a silly idea. This has been proven by countless previous attempts by foreigners to invade the place. The British military failure in Helmand province was a total inevitability.

Overall our actions in Afghanistan are a complete disaster, they have achieved the exact opposite of what was intended and squandered billions in money and large numbers of lives in the process. Total failure.

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