27 October 2014

Exit Afghanistan

The British military operation in Afghanistan has come to an end after 13 years. Just come to an end; not with a victory nor with us being driven out.

The impact of our (and ISAF's) involvement here is mixed. It has caused considerable disruption to Islamist activities; while we may well see many more Lee Rigbys, I do not think we will see another 9/11. Al-Qaeda itself is a mere shadow of what it was and bin Laden is dead. Afghanistan cannot be used as a safe haven for terrorists any more and I doubt it will ever be. It's certainly a lot freer than it was and girls now can go to school.

However, the Taliban are still around, Afghanistan is still a dangerous place (although not as dangerous as Iraq or Syria) and corruption is endemic. Our troops lacked the support and equipment they needed, lives were lost as a result.

We did good, but we could have done better.