Thursday, 16 July 2009

Why Are We In Afghanistan

With several recent deaths the country is at last debating the perpetual war in Afghanistan. Unfortunately it is mostly about the lack of equipment, but that is a start.

For what purpose are their families suffering such grief? The Prime Minister speaks of 'our soldiers are dying in order to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan in time for presidential elections in November'. Gordon Brown insists the UK is winning the war in Afghanistan! His spokesman said: "We are trying to deal with the terrorist threat to prevent attacks here and elsewhere." And I though this was making terrorism worse.

Almost forgotten are the words of the then defence secretary John Reid who said the troops were there to help the Afghan reconstruction effort, and "would be perfectly happy" to leave without firing a shot! They fired more than four million bullets in 2007 alone.

John Reid has recently secured a £50,000 job with a private security company operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is to be a consultant to G4S Security Services, the company provides armed security guards to British Government employees stationed in war-torn countries. He joined a long list of former Labour Ministers who have cashed in on their Government connections and inside knowledge by taking private- sector jobs, including Tony Blair, Patricia Hewitt, David Blunkett, Adam Ingram and Richard Caborn.

11 September, 2001
US hit by major terrorist attacks. USA Authorities blame the al-Qaeda network led by Osama Bin Laden. Ignoring other 'inconvenient' links to Saudi Arabia.

October, 2001
The UK was involved in Afghanistan alongside Coalition forces, led by the US under Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Royal Navy submarines fired Tomahawk missiles against the Taliban and Al Qaeda networks, and RAF aircraft provided reconnaissance and air-to-air refuelling capabilities in support of US strike aircraft. The US flew missions from Diego Garcia, part of the British Indian Ocean Territory.

9 November, 2001
Opposition forces seize MazareSharif and within days march into Kabul and other key cities. The Taliban fall.

August, 2003
Nato under its United Nations mandate assumes control of an international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.

September, 2004
British combat jets along with 315 troops are sent to Afghanistan for the first time.

October, 2004
Democratic elections are held. Hamid Karzai is declared winner with 55.4 of the vote.

1 October, 2005
Defence Secretary John Reid says Nato troops should be sent to southern Afghanistan.

9 October, 2005
Amid escalating violence four Britons are injured when a suicide bomber rams their armoured vehicle.

26 January, 2006
The UK announces extra troops are to be sent to Afghanistan peaking at 5700 over the next three years. During 2006 the consequences of neglecting Afghanistan to launch an invasion of Iraq became evident.

November 2007 Baghlan sugar factory bombing kills 75, including six Afghan MPs.

December 2007: Battle of Musa Qala, a major clash in Helmand Province.

17 February 2008: Kandahar bombing kills 100 people, the deadliest suicide bombing of the war.

13 June 2008: Sarposa Prison attack. Taliban attack the Sarposa Prison, freeing up to 1,000 prisoners.

July 2009:
The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission estimates the number of civilians killed in 2008 at around 1,800, with about 1,000 killed by militant groups and about 800 killed by U.S.-led military forces. In 2008, 38 aid workers, almost all from NGO's, were killed, double the number from 2007, and 147 were abducted. This month Seven British soldiers were killed in seven days, that's has caused the reassessment of out tactics.

There seems to be little in the way of strategic planning, Brown finds it easier to let things keep going, to keep the USA happy. Its time for talk about getting out of there, we are not achieving anything, and may be making things worse.

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