Is Britain paying too high a price in Afghanistan?

July 8, 2009

The death toll among British troops in Afghanistan is rising fast.  The soldier who died on Tuesday was the seventh to die in the last week and the 176th since the war began.

Last Wednesday, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe became the highest ranking British soldier to die in the conflict in Afghanistan when he was killed in Helmand. British commanders are quoted as saying things are going to get worse before they get better.

Not surprisingly, doubts are being raised about the price being paid in Afghanistan, about the nature of the mission itself and whether security can ever be made effective enough to rebuild the country after 30 years of war.

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth concedes there is gloom about the rising death toll but rejects comparisons with the Vietnam war that lasted over 15 years and says there is a “real sense of momentum” in Afghanistan.

Do you believe Britain should stay in Afghanistan?


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We have been beaten before in Afghanistan , the Russians were beaten in the same way ,with all the manpower and Military recources they have . The people are not worth wasting the precious lives of our young soliers ,as they offer little if any help to improve there own situation. When we and the others eventually leave,the Country will quickly revert to its old ways of fuedalism Corruption and illtreatment of its women. WE SHOULD LEAVE NOW

Posted by Eric Bartlett | Report as abusive

I couldn’t disagree more with Eric. We were not beaten. The Russians were because the Afghanis fighting them were backed and fully supported by the United States. Then the CIA totally messed up and simply left Afghanistan to cause the horrible power vacuum. We are not “wasting” precious lives. Stability in Afghanistan is key to obtain safety and stability elsewhere in the world. I’d much rather have professional soldiers fighting then to risk the security of civilians. This being said… I simply hope we can wrap up instability in Afghanistan soon.


Posted by Blake | Report as abusive

Too high a price for …..WHAT?

Saddam Hussein was no threat to the British people.

The Taliban are no threat to the British people.

There is a group of international terrorists called Al Quaeda who are SAID to be a threat to the British people and who used to have training camps in Afghanistan. Those training camps were destroyed and no international terrorist in his right mind would stay in Afghanistan to have his plotting and planning interrupted by the bombs and bullets of unfriendly forces.

A better place to do the job in peace would be in a council flat in London, or in Kuala Lumpur, or Jakarta, or Los Angeles.

And when (if) Afghanistan has been “stabilised” by killing all the Taliban, which “failed state” will be next on the list? Somalia? Iran? Burma? None of those are any threat to the British people, either.

The proper way to defend a country is to control its borders. The actions in Iraq and Afghanisatan are simply a smokescreen for the fact that Britain has no such defence and the enemy is within.

I have the greatest respect for our soldiers, but my opinion is that they are fighting the wrong people in the wrong place for the wrong reasons. We should bear in mind an apt description of British troops in earlier wars: “They are lions led by donkeys”. The donkeys in this case being the incompetent politicians who sent them there.

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

I agree peter, It is the same here in Australia, those countries are not a threat to us either, in fact fighting over there actually has made us a target now.

The international enemies of Islamic terrorism are very clearly the US and Israel, and for good reason. In all the hype after S11 – 2001 revenge seemed to be a higher priority than rational.
If only the time had been taken to understand all the atrocities the US have committed against these people we would have realized who the real bad guys are and we wouldnt be fighting these ridiculous wars against “terrorism” to protect a country that doesnt even deserve it.

Posted by brian | Report as abusive