Why are we fighting in Afghanistan

24 posts in this topic

I have never considered myself a pacifist or a left winger but watching "Wounded" on BBC1 last night bought it home to me that I have absolutely no idea why we have sent our soldiers to fight in Afghanistan.

 

Not only is it forecast to cost the UK £3.297bn this year, but young lads are being horrifically wounded and killed and I'd just like to know what it is all for.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get a copy of "Holy War Inc" by Peter Bergen and it might give you an idea. Following Gulf War I Osama bin Laden offered Saudi King Fahd to expel Saddam from Kuwait, but Fahd refused and invited the Americans who entered the holy land with not a lot of respect for the Saudi ways. You must know that the Bin Laden family was connected to the Al Sauds since they built Abdul Aziz's first palace at Diriyah near Riyadh. They wewre originally a wealthy family from the Hadramawt in Yemen on the Frankincense Route. The family disowned Osama.

 

Osama Bin Laden went to fight in Afghanistan in the 1980s against the Soviets and gained his experience there. During the 1990s he became angry at the US policies in the Middle East and declared war on the West as early as 1995. He set up training camps there and used it as his base to attack the West.

 

The ideology of the movement is not new. It extends back almost 200 years to the Ikhwan Brotherhood who were used by the Saudi royals to subjiugate the various tribes into the present Saudi Arabia. They'd enter a town and tell the people to convert to Islam or face other measures...

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are still there because of public sensiblities.

 

Personally I think we should have invaded then outsted the Taliban and then left them too it with the words -

"Don't even think about putting people like that back in charge or we will come back and do it again."

 

But public opinion won't allow that. We broke it so we have to fix it seems to be the leitmotif.

 

Then again there are number of people who will tell you it is either oil or gaspiplines, others think it is a good weapon proving ground and live fire training. Even others think it is just the normal USA "lets beat up a smaller country to show the rest of the world how big and tough we are" that comes around every 10 years or so.

 

TBH I really think we are still there because the powers that be can't find a way to get out and still save face.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a poor country and its farmers are forced to grow poppies to keep going. Their farming systems are unsustainable so they are dependent on heroin barons for money to buy food. Radically overhauling our attitude to drugs, legalising them, controlling their supply to help addicts come off drug addiction, we will make it uneconomic for the barons to make money from misery. In short make our underground drug market above ground and help those with treatment rather than criminalising them.

 

Across the Himalaya lies a Buddhist desert land with similar environmental conditions to Afghanistan, Ladakh. Its people do not have these problems as their agricultural systems are more in harmony with nature. If the development agencies went there they might learn lessons in the Ladakhis resource use which might be applied to Afghanistan.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It's a poor country and its farmers are forced to grow poppies to keep going. Their farming systems are unsustainable so they are dependent on heroin barons for money to buy food. Radically overhauling our attitude to drugs, legalising them, controlling their supply to help addicts come off drug addiction, we will make it uneconomic for the barons to make money from misery. In short make our underground drug market above ground and help those with treatment rather than criminalising them.

 

I can´t follow that "logic". If you legalize drugs the demand rises and thus the price. So growing opium is even more profitable then.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Personally I think we should have invaded then outsted the Taliban and then left them too it with the words -

 

They are still working on that -> which is why they are still there!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I can´t follow that "logic". If you legalize drugs the demand rises and thus the price. So growing opium is even more profitable then.

 

Frank - if you have ever consumed alcohol at any point in your life then you have been a drug user. Just happens that the drug you used was legal and taxable.

 

People will always use drugs both legal and illegal. If the quality and quantity were better controlled then a large amount of crime would disappear.

 

I can't be bothered to follow this argument (as I have grapes to harvest) so I'll furnish you with this article from the New Scientist

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry was I too subtle

- without arguing the rights and wrongs - to get rid of the Taliban who were providing refuge and training facilities for Bin Laden. It's a job that is not yet complete. If they left now the Taliban would come back and probably continue as before training terrorists to attack probably "western" targets.

 

The 1410 total military deaths I suppose are weighed againt the deaths/injuries caused by 9/11 etc etc .

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Personally I think we should have invaded then outsted the Taliban and then left them too it with the words -

"Don't even think about putting people like that back in charge or we will come back and do it again."

 

Most people of Afghanistan have been at war for their whole life. Do you think they care if we threaten them with death? I think the only way to win there is to give them something to actually enjoy their life because then we could threaten them to take that away again (by waging war).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is adifference between the Afghans themselves and what are known as the Afghan Arabs, who the locals don't like.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Most people of Afghanistan have been at war for their whole life. Do you think they care if we threaten them with death? I think the only way to win there is to give them something to actually enjoy their life because then we could threaten them to take that away again (by waging war).

 

Even the Afghans get to the point where enough is enough though.

 

Don't forget the Brits have been there before, twice.

 

 

 

 

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,

And the women come out to cut up what remains,

Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains

An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From a recent CNN documentary about the recruitment of children by the Taliban (video clip):

 

 

CHRISTIAN AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are just children, but they are the prize in a fierce competition.

AFGHAN BOY: The mullah said go to Afghanistan for a suicide attack.

AMANPOUR: They are poor, vulnerable and ripe for recruitment.

MARNIE GUSTAVSON: These kids are fueling the insurgency

...

AMANPOUR: My guide inside this world is Marnie Gustavson, an American who grew up in Afghanistan... Marnie, who runs PARSA, has been rebuilding broken shelters in this broken country shattered by 30 years of war and hobbled by a government that's financially strapped.

GUSTAVSON: They were going to shut down this orphanage and send the children back out into the villages.

AMANPOUR (on camera): Really?

GUSTAVSON: Or into the streets or into the madrassas. They were going to do that in November because they ran out of money.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): But now, Marnie has given these children at least a roof over their heads and a chance to choose a life that keeps them off the street and away from the extremists.

...

AMANPOUR: The only thing Marnie and her staff learned when they managed to call Nasim's brother is that he's studying in a remote, unsanctioned madrassa where the Taliban is active and he now calls himself Mullah Aladard (ph). She fears that along with food and shelter, Nasim's brother is being fed a steady diet of fundamentalism.

(on camera): Have you tried to get Nasim's brother out?

GUSTAVSON: No. It would be very dangerous for me to attempt.

AMANPOUR: Do you think this is prevalent, that there are kids all over this country who, for lack of a helping hand, for lack of something to eat, are driven into these madrassa?

GUSTAVSON: Absolutely. I don't think it was religiously motivated. I think it was motivated by poverty.

...

There are places in many, many parts of the world where conditions are equally poor, equally run down. Why, though, do you think it's so important here to try to rescue these kids?

GUSTAVSON: I have it connected with if Afghanistan is stabilized, my country will be protected. I have that connection.

AMANPOUR: You do?

GUSTAVSON: Absolutely, without a question. This country needs to be stabilized for our safety.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0908/15/se.02.html

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the days of Empire the British used to keep the peace by killing anyone who was not being peaceful and even the Afghans, as warlike and implaccable as they have always been, decided it wasn't worth the candle in the end.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. But probably not doable for our democracies. Even the soviets didn't have enough will to win and they probably didn't restrain themselves as much as we do.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now