Saturday, 11 July 2009

Afghanistan Mission - British Troops

In light of the tragic rise in British deaths, Afghanistan has moved back into the headlines. Questions surrounding equipment and the mission's point are being raised. The government have said that troops are on the offensive, the Taliban will be defeated and they are well equipped. I can't judge if that's true, though the mission's point and plan does raise serious questions.

Armies by their nature are a destructive force and sometimes you do need to destroy, yet you need a constructive force to, they speak of destroying the Taliban, but what gets built after that? When you are fighting an ideology, you don't just destroy it by killing people. It's Afghanistan's government that will be the constructive force here, as it will be the state that controls the army, schools, police and hospitals. It is the state who will create an ideology for people to believe in. An army alone can never do that.

David Miliband has defended the UK military presence saying Afghanistan is "a launch pad for attacks" by terrorists. 7/7 was perpetrated by British Muslims, terrorists don't need to go to Afghanistan to launch an attack. Our foreign policy always has and always will effect terrorism within our shore lines, just as our national policy does. This never was, nor will it be, the Waterloo of terrorism, it's wrong to portray it as such.

People often compare the conflict in the Middle East to the Second World War, though I disagree with the parallel, there is something to learn from it. The allies never just focused on the conflict, but had a narrative, a start, middle and end plan. We have become entrenched in Afghanistan and we will never be able to leave if our plan doesn't include doing so. This conflict will just become Vietnam, though I could say it's already becoming that. There's still a prospect of something constructive coming from this, if the plan wasn't so destructive driven.

No comments:

Post a Comment