Afghanistan Primed for May's War Agenda
As Theresa May gears up for the election, she looks set to send more UK troops to Afghanistan
In any remotely democratically accountable country, the fate of Britain’s involvement in wars should be a centrepiece in the general election discussion. Instead, what is actually happening in the name of the British people is ignored, while cheap political points are made about the need for security and defence.
Any such honest accounting would be putting somewhere near the top of the list that the British 16 year involvement in the war and occupation in Afghanistan has been a colossal failure. News today that Theresa May will meet the Nato secretary general in Downing Street on Wednesday where she will be asked to send more British troops to Afghanistan will surprise no one who is following events there.
It is estimated that the Taliban – yes the Taliban, supposedly defeated back in 2001 – now control 40% of the country. This force is a much greater threat to the US and British troops than the Afghan Islamic State group, which has been much talked up by Donald Trump. The dropping of the MOAB (mother of all bombs) on IS was hailed as a great policy success, as was the killing of its leader earlier this week.
But these supposed PR triumphs mask the reality which is that, after tens of thousands of deaths, huge numbers of refugees, many injured physically and mentally, and a whole society living through a seemingly endless war, the only solution politicians have is to send more troops into this catastrophe.
Theresa May has repeatedly made clear her commitment to a war agenda. She is determined to stick close to Donald Trump – the US is sending an estimated 3000 troops – and her defence secretary Michael Fallon said recently that they were prepared to join another attack on Syrian government forces, if necessary without parliamentary authorisation.
The election is being fought with constant references to safety and security, with repeated admonitions to fight terrorism. Yet the truth which should be shouted from the rooftops is that this war has made terrorism more of a threat, has left people in Afghanistan and Britain less safe and less secure, and has absolutely no end in sight.
At NATO’s summit in two weeks, to take place in Brussels, Trump will be demanding that Nato members spend more of their national incomes on ‘defence’ – otherwise known as promoting and perpetrating unwinnable wars.