It’s all to obvious to most of us, apart from David Cameron and Barack Obama perhaps, that the war in Afghanistan has been a failure. Well, to be honest, most of the wars our country and the U.S. goes into ends in failure. Strategically, when the US, the world’s greatest military power, and NATO, the world’s strongest military alliance, can’t win against a poorly armed insurgency after a decade long war, then they have lost in terms of deterrence and prestige. Now is the time to pull out, unless of course, our leaders want our soldiers to continue being killed. And killed for what?
We are told the war was initiated to quell the terrorism emerging from Afghanistan, and to help the country become a more stable state. But as long as the country is occupied by foreigners, especially imperialistic foreigners, the status quo will never change for the better. The feelings of the Taliban towards its western occupiers, and that of the western countries towards the Taliban is mutual: they both see each other as a threat. The Taliban believe their country has been illegally invaded and is under constant attack by the ‘kuffar’ (disbelievers) who are sending drones into their country-killing scores of civilians in the process in the guise of ‘collateral damage.’ The Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan also see their respective governments as the enemy who are working in conjunction with the ‘kuffar.’ And so their suicide bombings and indiscriminate killings of their own countrymen are aimed attacks on their on government in an attempt to further destabilise the establishment.
It’s simple. America and Britain have invaded Afghanistan to counter the terrorism in the country. But what our leaders fail to realise is that the very reason why much of this terrorism exists is because they continue to stupidly invade countries and kill civilians. So we invade countries, to fight terrorism, which we have caused in the first place. It doesn’t make sense. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad summed it up nicely when he said: “They [America] created terrorism, and now all they want to do is fight it.”
Afghanistan has been an unstable country for decades with rival armed groups fighting for sectarian power. By the mid 1990’s, Afghanistan became divided into spheres of control. The Mujahideen, who fought the Soviet Union, and who later became the Taliban in 1996, have had their fair share of support from the USA, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The U.S. backed the Mujahideen for obvious reasons. Saudi Arabia condone and encourage the Wahabi-like approach endorsed by the Taliban with their extremist version of Islam. And Pakistan, obsessed with their neighbours India, have often protected and aided the Taliban to counter India’s influence in Afghanistan.
Pakistan and America have a complicated relationship and the two countries often betray each other. Although Pakistan has received billions of dollars to help fight terrorism, they, in effect, abuse the role America have given them and often help to sustain and shape the Afghan taliban- undermining America’s mission.
The Taliban get recruits from ordinary afghans who want to avenge the killings of loved ones and who are fed up of the poverty, occupation and corruption endemic in their country- all exascerbated, of course, by the west. Britain and America are fighting a war they cannot win. Efforts would be better spent in the Arab countries, where the people are tiresomely fighting the tyranny of their oligarchic dictators. The $1million dollars to keep a single soldier in Afghanistan for a year is a waste of money. Bring the soldiers home! Although most of them will come back injured, mentally ill and suicidal…
by Omar Shahid
pictures from the Telegraph & Daily Mail