Afghanistan Ten years later.
Afghanistan was declared by the United States to be harbouring terrorist as part of George W Bush declaration of your either with us our against us. This in the eyes of the United States gave them just cause to launch what has now became a decade long occupation of the middle east.
In two months it will be precisely 10 years since the joint armed forces of the United States and the United Kingdom despite widespread protest in international bodies declared war on Afghanistan.
The objectives of liberating the Afghanistan’s from the Taliban have been achieved and slowly the security of the region is starting to grow. Allied forces standing with an overwhelming 4:1 strength ration should have been able to easily secure the country.
Writing in OutsideTheBeltWay, Dave Schuler states that the 2003 US Strategic Objectives were as follows:
- Eliminate the Al Qaeda network in Afghanistan.
- Convince or compel the Afghan Taliban to end its support for Al Qaeda.
- Demonstrate that the United States is not at war with the Afghan people or Islam.
- Demonstrate U. S. resolve in the war on terrorism.
- Build international support for the war in Afghanistan.
- Stabilize Afghanistan following the fighting.
I am not entirely convinced that the United States has demonstrated even to its allies that it is not at war with Islam. On the international support front, there is now a coalition force there so at a push we could say they have achieved that. Afghanistan certainly is not what I would consider to be stable.
Price of the Invasion
So the joint task force might have achieved some of its goals during the last ten years This however does not mean that the cost was low. The United Kingdom has officially lost 374 personnel during the war. These loses are unacceptably high especially as a large portion of those loses come from “friendly” fire by US Forces. In contrast it means we lost about the combined personnel lost by Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy and Spain.
This cost should be considered in the future when the government wants to join the United States in any more invasions of the middle east or anywhere else for that matter.
David Cameron has declared that Britain will slowly withdraw, in what seems to be his policy of doing little, as slowly as he can do and hope it works out for the best with no strategic thought into what he is considering. Supporting the second largest military presence of the coalition in Afghanistan, at the rate which the Prime Minister is suggesting, the United Kingdom will withdraw from Afghanistan in 2029. Not good enough.