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November 20, 2010


Victor Southern

Four years too long as far as I am concerned.

Cleethorpes Rock

I wonder how many more of our guys are going to die in those four years. There are families that are gearing up to spend, unbeknownst to them, their last ever Christmas together before they're torn apart, meanwhile these world leaders and the Chicken-hawk advisers egging them on are too busy slapping each other on the back.

John Bright

Our troops should come home now, not in four years time.

john parkes

Our armed forces are volunteers. They all know that the act of enlistment shows a commitment to service that might well mean they will be killed while carrying out their duty. The unduly sentimental remarks above are neither helpful nor necessary, because any man who decides that service life is too dangerous can apply to resign. Some do but many don`t. So while backing for our troops is praiseworthy in itself, it is of no help to them in highlighting the fact that in due course they might die; which we all do eventually anyway.
My own view has been that we were misled in sending troops other than Special Forces to Afghanistan. I could not see that doing so was in our national interest. However a political decision was made and we deployed forces there, a decision that has been costly both in blood and treasure to us and to our Allies.
The latest NATO meeting has now reviewed our commitment and changed its aim. Putting a time limit on what we do there has focused minds in allied capitals as well as in Afghanistan. The operational commitment is now time-limited and in my view there should be no flexibility in this deadline. Any hint that slippage will be acceptable will ensure it occurs.
Now the foundations must be laid for post-withdrawal management of the situation by the Afghan government and its security forces; and they should not be encouraged to believe that last minute pleas will change the cut-off date. It`s "stand-on-your-own-feet time" coming up and they had better work to be ready for it.
We ought never to have gone there but we went; and now it is important we leave in an orderly fashion, giving the Afghan Army and Police forces the best possible chance to continue the work we have started. As for Al Qaeda returning after we leave, I`m sure they will find somewhere else to go in the meantime; Somalia, Yemen and the like. We had better start thinking now about what we will do when we are faced with a moving target.

Ultimo Tiger

So how many Taliban have been killed? I read it's over 25,000? Any other estimates out there?

john parkes

I think `guesstimates` would be a better description. However of greater significance than this number is that which accounts for the Special Forces` strategy of `decapitation`. The number of Taliban leaders put out of action permanently by this means is making a real difference, I believe; to the extent that pressure is being put on President Karzai to call off the dogs. It is having much the same effect as it had on the IRA and they were brought to the negotiating table as a result. This way of doing business is very cost-effective.

Andrew Smith

How can we tell now that our objectives will have been achieved in 2014 (not 2013 or 2015). I suggest that we cannot tell because objectives have never been specified.


I find it really difficult to understand why we have set a deadline for leaving so far in advance. All it does it give comfort to the enemy who will increasingly lie low until we leave. I suppose that the timing has nothing to do with the election date?

Ignorance is strength

What actually are we doing there? is seems to be the false perpetual war that George Orwell warned us about in the book "1984".

David MacDonald

Like Andrew Smith, I’ve often wondered how we will know when we have won in Afghanistan. Now I know the answer. We will know when we have won when it’s late 2014!

Yes our servicemen are volunteers and yes, their duty does require them to place themselves in danger of death and being maimed. This does not mean that we, or our political leaders, should be carless with their lives.

Whilst I was serving in the RN a number of military operations were going on in Aden, the Far East (Confrontation) and Northern Ireland. Probably because I was young and possibly because I was (theoretically) in danger too, I felt sad when British servicemen were killed in action but I felt that it was all in the line of duty. Now I am old and well past military age I feel very very guilty every time a soldier is killed in Afghanistan. I feel this way because I am sure that this Afghan war serves no discernable British interest and has little is nothing to do with combating terrorism in the UK.

My views of the British ruling political class, who have led us into this mess, would certainly be censored if I wrote them here.

Jack Pershing

Now is better. I've yet to hear a reasonable argument/plausible excuse as to why we blundered in there in the 1st place

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