The forgotten war….
Every week, Prime Ministers Questions opens with the slightly mawkish, ritualistic reading of the names of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. It is one of the few reminders you actually receive from the mainstream media that we are still at war in Afghanistan. However, the BBC has acquired a secret NATO report which makes plain the utter futility of the conflict in which these soldiers have sadly died.
The two major findings are that the Taliban is heavily supported by the Pakistani security services – something that probably isn’t surprising to observers of the region – but, most damning of all, the Taliban maintain a high-level of popular support;
the document says that in the last year there has been unprecedented interest, even from members of the Afghan government, in joining the Taliban cause.
It adds: “Afghan civilians frequently prefer Taliban governance over the Afghan government, usually as a result of government corruption.”
In other words, NATO is fighting a losing battle because it is not just fighting against the Taliban but an increasing number of ordinary Afghani’s. This exposes the problem of attempting regime-change in a country with no indigenous popular opposition movement. You may well wipe your enemy off the map initially but since the successor government will always be tainted in the eyes of the people and they will eventually return because they still have a place in the people’s hearts and minds. This is especially true if the government you install is as corrupt as the one presided over by Hamid Karzai.
It’s non-existent from the start social base is therefore never expanded and it becomes solely dependant on your troops being there, in the line-of-fire, protecting its own degenerate fastness. Meanwhile, you don’t make anybodies life better materially or culturally because, riled by your presence, the local population cling even tighter to the people you just deposed. This is the tragedy of Afghanistan, that all these soldiers are dying totally in vain, they are not making Britain safer and only marking time until the inevitable return to power of the Taliban. Withdrawal is long-overdue. We should be saying so, it is time to put a stop to such ceaseless but futile loss of life.