15 years in Afghanistan?
This is exactly how long the Afghan President Hamid Karzai expects British troops to be present in Afghanistan. He bases this assertion on a timeframe for training and equipping Afghan security services. It is becoming increasingly clear that Karzai is cynically exploiting the West’s infatuation with pursuing it’s ‘war on terror’ to co-opt troops into the defence of his corrupt government.
In response to a memo from a US ambassador criticising him and his government Karzai is quoted in The Independent as saying;
“Afghanistan is on the frontline of the war on terror,” he told reporters in Turkey, which has cost “massive casualties”. He added: “If partnership means submission to the American will, then, of course, it’s not going to be the case. But if partnership means co-operation between two sovereign countries, one of course very poor and the other very rich… then we are partners.”
The international community is purportedly to discuss how to split the Taiban however, an interview Reuters news agency, a son of Osama bin Laden raise doubts as to whether Al-Qaeda and the Taliban had a relationship that went beyond one of strategic convenience:
“Although al-Qa’ida and the Taliban organisations band together when necessary, they do not love one another,” Omar bin Laden, 28, said. “If there were no more enemies left on earth, I believe they would fight each other.”
In other words intervention in Afghanistan may well have forced the Taliban and Al-Quaeda into a strategic alliance which otherwise would not have existed. What a result! Hardly surprising that the German public are along with the British increasingly disillusioned with the Afghan mission with four in five opposing an increase in German troop numbers. Splitting the Taliban will now be made harder by the permetation of the Taliban by Al-Quaeda.
Furthermore, a withdrawal is likely to be a pre-condition for splitting the Taliban. A 15 year stay only serves the interests of Karzai and his is a government that is much more than inadaquote. Another British troop should not lose their live in defence of the Karzai government.