The western occupation of Afghanistan has brought neither peace nor development - and it fuels the terror threat
Thursday August 23, 2007
"Enthusiasts for the catastrophe that is the Iraq war may be hard to come by these days, but Afghanistan is another matter. The invasion and occupation that opened George Bush's war on terror are still championed by powerful voices in the occupying states as - in the words of the New York Times this week - "the good war" that can still be won. While speculation intensifies about British withdrawal from Basra, there's no such talk about a retreat from Kabul or Kandahar. On the contrary, the plan is to increase British troop numbers from the current 7,000, and ministers, commanders and officials have been hammering home the message all summer that Britain is in Afghanistan, as the foreign secretary, David Miliband, insisted, for the long haul......
Britain is now fighting its fourth war in Afghanistan in 170 years, and might have learned by now that you cannot impose a government from outside against a people's will. Earlier this summer the Afghan senate called for a date to be set for the withdrawal of foreign troops and negotiations with the Taliban, as did the Pakistani foreign minister, Khurshid Kasuri, this month. There will be no peace or stability in Afghanistan while foreign troops remain, and a wider settlement will surely have to include the Taliban and regional powers such as Iran and Pakistan. Unfortunately, politics dictates that a great deal more blood is likely to be shed on both sides before that comes to be accepted."