Tuesday , September 28 2021

Afghanistan keep out

The remnants of an army, Jellalabad, January 13, 1842 by Elizabeth Thompson

The Afghans succeed in destroying the British Army which invaded in 1839 and causing the British Empire no end of trouble until we decided to finally leave it alone. They succeeded in defeating the Soviet Union after the invasion of 1979 and have now defeated the coalition led by the Americans. After defeating three of the greatest empires in history and the three powers most responsible for winning the Second World War, it is now time to create an historical rule. Don’t invade Afghanistan. No good can come of it.

Afghanistan’s neighbours appear to have learned this lesson. The invasion of Afghanistan and the subsequent war involved countries that were far away from it either in Europe, North America or Australasia. Countries like China, India or Iran which actually border Afghanistan did not join the American led coalition. If Afghanistan’s neighbours are happy to leave it alone, why did we feel the need to travel all the way from Britain to invade it?

Afghanistan as a country is no threat to Britain whatsoever. An Afghan Army would have to travel all the way from Central Asia in order to invade us. It would get minimal help from the Afghani Navy as Afghanistan is rather far from the sea. The threat from Afghanistan was solely due to the terrorists who lived there. But so long as terrorists live in Afghanistan and don’t come here, there is minimal damage that they can do. If the resources spent over twenty years fighting in Afghanistan had been spent instead on defending ourselves from terrorism and keeping terrorists out of our country, we would all have been a great deal safer.

I would not give ten pence for the whole of Afghanistan. If you offered me a mine with minerals worth millions, I would not take it even if you tried to give it away, because it would not be worth the risk going there. Let the Afghans live as they please so long as they don’t cause trouble elsewhere.

We describe our armed forces as defence, but unfortunately all too frequently lately we have not used them to defend our island. Instead, we have sent them on futile missions to Iraq, Syria, Libya and other places none of us would ever want to visit. This is not defence. It is attack.

We must focus instead on only ever attacking those countries that attack us first. We must tell the world if you leave us alone, we will leave you alone. It is not our business what goes on in the whole region stretching from North Africa to Central Asia where there is constant instability, oppression and war. If Afghans don’t like living under the Taliban let them fight to get rid of it. If Iranians don’t want to live in a theocracy let them revolt. If Syrians want to fight a civil war let them fight it out amongst themselves, just as we once did, without the involvement of anyone else. When they get tired of killing each other let them stop.

We should have no involvement whatsoever in places which cannot invade us militarily. But the condition for the possibility of leaving them alone is that they leave us alone.

When Britain invaded Afghanistan in 1839, the threat of terrorism from those living in Afghanistan was approximately zero against both Britain and the United States. There was no danger whatsoever of people from Afghanistan or similar blowing themselves up or causing any other forms of trouble in the West because none of them lived here. Terrorism from this region can only occur in Britain or the United States if we allow terrorists to travel here. The people who blew up the Twin Towers in 2001 were not born in the United States. They had been allowed to travel there and to train to fly aeroplanes. There would have been no need to defeat Al Qaeda in Afghanistan in the first place if Al Qaeda had been kept out of America.

The wars that Britain has been involved in for the past thirty years have wasted our money and our lives and have achieved nothing. They have not made us safer, because we are unwilling to do what is necessary to keep terrorists from arriving here. Let the Taliban live and rule in Afghanistan. They can do us no harm whatsoever so long as they stay there. Just keep them and those who have an ideology similar to theirs from coming here and we will be safer just by leaving them alone.

Of course, the Taliban and their friends may continue to try to influence people already living in Britain. The problem is that these people don’t want to leave us alone. It will be easier to defend ourselves if we do everything in our power to prevent anyone else arriving here who has sympathies with terrorism. But instead, we allow people to arrive illegally and unchecked. We allow people who have previously supported terrorist regimes abroad to return. We allow a steady stream of people from regions where terrorism and oppression are commonplace to arrive here and are then surprised when some of them bring with them the values, they have learned from living there.

Instead of fighting foreign wars we must use our armed forces exclusively to defend our territory. We must tell our enemies if you don’t attack us, we will leave you alone. We must focus our attention instead on identifying those people who are a threat to us whether they live here already or wish to do so. We must do what is necessary to prevent this threat from developing and eliminating it when it does.

I am delighted that our armed forces have left Afghanistan. I wish they had never gone near it in the first place. But our safety depends on preventing Afghanistan coming here for the simple reason that we cannot tell whether someone is a supporter of the Taliban by looking at him. We cannot allow these people to use values that they do not share and our unwillingness to do what is necessary to protect ourself to infiltrate our society.

It is only because the Taliban and its supporters were already in Britain and the USA that we felt the need to fight them at all.  Focus on solving this and the Taliban can be left alone along with all other sympathisers with its ideology. Focus on neutralising the threat from those who wish to attack us from within. If they had not been here, we would have not wasted twenty years fighting a war history shows we could never win.

This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog: https://www.effiedeans.com/2021/08/afghanistan-keep-out.html

About Effie Deans

Effie Deans is a pro UK blogger who works at the University of Aberdeen. She spent many years living in Russia and the Soviet Union, but came home to Scotland so as to enjoy living in a multi-party democracy! When not occupied with Scottish politics she writes fiction and thinks about theology, philosophy and Russian literature.

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