The killing of the five soldiers in Afghanistan has brought into sharp focus the rationale behind this country's involvement there. Whilst the immediate response of the public is to get the hell out of that forsaken country, those who we trust to know the consequences of such a move, appear to be of the opinion that we should remain there. The argument of government ministers and security experts, is that the presence of our soldiers keeps the Taliban at bay and makes it difficult for the terrorists of Afghanistan and Pakistan to set-up training centres that ultimately send young men out and about across the globe, to terrorise and bomb the likes of you and me.
Now, I have to assume that the experts know what they are talking about and that the deaths of our army personnel is for a good and just cause. So, why is it that we have a difficult time believing them? It appears that Britain and the thirty-odd other countries with soldiers out there, are waiting for a decision from the US President to either pour more troops into the conflict - up to 40,000 is the figure discussed - or...? Or what? If he decides not to commit further, do countries like the UK announce a withdrawal date and only commit to a force to arm and train the local police and army, one of whom turned on the five soldiers this week?
We have a duty to the ordinary citizens of Afghanistan, but what about their government's commitment to the democratic process? President Karzai is an ineffectual politician surrounded by a bunch of corrupt gangsters making a fortune from the spoils of war. Paid for with the blood of our soldiers.
President Obama talked tough last week, insisting that Karzai address the issue of corruption within his government, but does anyone actually believe he will do so? He needs to dismiss those around him who have been identified as being involved in large-scale corruption and surely the Western powers, especially the USA and Britain, need to er, encourage him, even at the point of a gun! I mean, it is not like the man has actually won an election! Karzai and his cronies are being set up to be another Saddam regime, installed by our governments, with an army and a police force, armed by us too. The outcome no matter when and how will not be pretty. And we will continue to be in danger. That's what the public believe, regardless of what the so-called experts say.