Williamson: Send More Troops To Afghanistan

The ambitious Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has written to the Prime Minister to suggest sending more troops to Afghanistan.

There are currently 600 British soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, but their primary duty is training the afghanistan army, rather than active duty - the last combat troops left Afghanistan in 2014. But  If Williamson’s advice was carried out, this would increase to 1000. This comes after General Sir Richard Barrons, who led campaigns in Afghanistan, claimed that the early exit “hasn’t worked” and that the Afghani armed forces are “not strong enough” to defeat the Taliban.

This strategy is based on the expansion of overseas military commitments by Donald Trump, who has recently claimed that NATO allies need to do their “fair share” in the war on terror. It’s all very early 2000s.

We do not yet know the Prime Ministers response to the defence secretary, but it is reasonable to surmise that it is a power play on the part of Williamson rather than a genuine suggestion. The letter was clearly leaked to the right wing papers, where it has been doing the rounds. The defence secretary has been playing up his national defence credentials, with many Tory insiders claiming that he is on leadership manoeuvres.

The War in Afghanistan has now been waged for almost seventeen years - which means that children who were not alive when the war started could soon be deployed. For opponents of foreign intervention, this failure is deeply troubling.

It is worth remembering the speech Jeremy Corbyn gave on the eve of the war in Iraq

"For those who say that this is a necessary and just conflict because it will bring about peace and security, September 11 was a dreadful event, 8,000 deaths in Afghanistan brought back none of those who died in the World Trade Centre.

"Thousands more deaths in Iraq will not make things right.

"It will set off a spiral of conflict, of hate, of misery, of desperation that will fuel the wars, the conflict, the terrorism, the depression and the misery of future generations.”

With ISIS, Al Quaeda, and the Taliban in the rearview mirror, it is hard to conclude that Corbyn was anything other than correct.

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