The reasons for the fourth Anglo-Afghan war - discuss

A level - general studies

Remnants of an armyRemnants of an army

The image shows the painting - Remnants of an Army' by Elizabeth Butler portraying William Brydon arriving at the gates of Jalalabad as the only survivor of a 16,500 strong evacuation from Kabul in January 1842.

Afghanistan now provides the 90% of the world's opium and 80% of the world's heroin. In the 10 years since 1996 the output has trebled. The farmers receive a tiny percentage of what the traffickers get so even when growing poppy they are not growing rich. Without this crop they can survive only with difficulty. The Independent tells us here
that - The governor of Helmand, Engineer Mohammed Daoud, claims to have eradicated 7,000 hectares of poppy this year. But even that modest claim is disputed."The real figure is about 1,000 hectares," one Western source said. "The district elders just followed the eradication teams around handing out wads of money. Sometimes the teams just drove a single tractor through the field and announced that they had eradicated it."

In 2006 Downing Street said that the UK Army's main task was the eradication of the poppy fields. Just like that! Where poppy fields have been destroyed the Taliban recruits terrorists by paying them £70 a month. Much more than they would earn in the Afghan Army. Richard North has an interesting article about this subject in EU Referendum. Surprisingly, it appears that part of Helmand province contains an agriculturally rich valley. It produces a surplus of cereal but cannot sell to the rest of the country because of reasons such as poor infrastructure and security. Rich landlords own much of the land and land tenure is the familiar reason for abject poverty. He advocates reform of this. However, for this to happen a parliament and executive that does not consist of corrupt individuals and warlords would presumably be a prerequisite.

In 2006 John Reid said it was not necessary for British troops to engage the Taliban. Reconstruction was their primary role. Now our troops are being killed by roadside bombs which can take as little as 30 seconds to set up. They are driving around in the notorious 'Snatch' Land Rovers and have little protection. Both Gordon Brown and David Cameron say that our troops are stopping the Taliban attacking us here. Yet - we can't deport terrorists such as Abu Qatada and we won't prosecute fanatical preachers see here but try to prosecute those who expose them. We hand out thousands of pounds to a canny Muslim because she was told she couldn't have a job in a hair salon if she wore a headscarf. See Thin end of the Wedge below.
Malalai Joya Malalai Joya

The United States is making a mockery of democracy and the war on terrorism by supporting corrupt Afghan lawmakers who are criminals and warlords, said an outspoken female Afghan politician, who was removed from parliament. She is still in hiding under threat of death and has to change houses every night. Malalai Joya tells her story to Reuters.

The Russians lost after a 10 year war; we fought three disastrous Afghan wars between 1839 and 1919 totalling seven years yet we are told that we are going to win this one. What for? To provide schools for girls, destroy poppy production, reconstruct the whole country, bring democracy, root out corruption, defeat the Taliban and so on. Pull the other one.

Billions have been given to Pakistan - thousands of their troops have been deployed and many have died. Yet, in the absence of any other education system madrassas proliferate to teach jihad in the tribal regions and beyond and Afghan and Pakistani man passes seamlessly between: tribesman, Taliban mercenary or fanatic and supporter of the Western forces. We are forever being told that thousands of British Muslim terrorists are planning to attack us, that light aircraft could easily be used ................bring our forces home. At the rate we're going we need them here. We don't want our bravest and best young people legitimising such corruption.