Britain sending more troops to Afghanistan shows the end of the war isn't in sight and lays bare what the 'special relationship' is all about argues Lindsey German
The announcement that the British government is to send 400 plus troops to Afghanistan – bringing British troops there to over 1000 – gives the lie to the idea that the end of the war is in sight. The reverse is true. Islamic State has grown, the Taliban control large parts of the country and there is no security for the ordinary people of Kabul.
There is never any explanation why this happens, because to try to do so would be to admit that the war launched by George Bush and Tony Blair nearly two decades ago has been an abject failure. The war on terror has not ended terrorism but has greatly increased it in Afghanistan and the Middle East.
We were told this war ended more than 16 years ago. Since then countless lives have been lost and Afghans live in a war-torn and dangerous country. Sending more troops is only compounding the problems.
Theresa May has done this to please Trump. He is demanding greater military commitment and their ‘special relationship’ means that she is determined to agree. The consequences for British people are more spending on the military, and the risk to British troops sent to fight in this wasteful and unnecessary war.
It is not about humanitarian aid or helping the Afghan people but about political and strategic control of this very important area.
The US under Obama said they would withdraw troops, but reversed their decision, and there are now 16,000 US troops there. They do not need this additional number of British troops except for political reasons. We should refuse to accept this right-wing bidding war which is ruining so many lives. Time to get all the troops out.
As national convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, Lindsey was a key organiser of the largest demonstration, and one of the largest mass movements, in British history.
Her books include ‘Material Girls: Women, Men and Work’, ‘Sex, Class and Socialism’, ‘A People’s History of London’ (with John Rees) and ‘How a Century of War Changed the Lives of Women’.
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