Afghanistan is a country that no power has ever conquered or subdued. Even with sophisticated weaponry, the task has been hopeless, always resulting in a ‘withdrawal’ once the lessons of history have been learned. Afghanistan itself is not a united country. Even in times of short-lived peace, it is a myriad of tribal groups, owing allegiance to warlords or a despotic religious faction.
The Soviet Union was sent home with its tail between its legs and the USA, along with its allies (Including NZ) will soon do the same. Why prologue the inevitable; whilst watching more of our personnel being killed or maimed? Bring them home now. Mr Key has already foreshadowed that this will happen, so just bring the date forward. I do not want to see one more Kiwi death, or anyone else for that matter.
When we look back at our involvement, I suspect that we entered this war for the same reason we have been sucked into other military misadventures, led by the USA. We follow because of historical events. Once Britain became almost irrelevant in military and world terms, we tied our manner to that of the USA. Britain proved that it could not ‘defend us in times of trouble and when we watched in horror as the Japanese swept aside paltry British forces in South East Asia during WW2, we had to find a new protector. The USA able stepped up to the mark and New Zealand has a long memory and sense of relief from those actions.
Add to that the demise of Britain being our major trading partner and the rise of the USA in the Pacific region, and then it is not hard to understand the shift in ‘reality allegiance.’ We have witnessed NZ joining the USA in a number of wars but there has been growing sense of our own futility at these unfortunate events. The fact is that these wars are rarely ‘won.’
Now we find ourselves in another unwinnable war, under the guise of ‘rebuilding and peacekeeping,’ we see our troops being killed. It is time we recognise that we are ‘not necessarily’ wanted in that country. Large sections of the populace actually support the Taliban, much to our disgust. That the Taliban was in power for a few years and wreaked havoc in in many aspects of Afghan life does not change the fact that they are able to operate in many areas of Afghanistan because of this support. Whether that is through ‘fear’ of reprisals for not supporting the Taliban cause, is just a reality of life in that country.
I feel for the many Afghanistan people who see no future in a country rules by clerics, but there is something different about this ‘failed nation’ that belies all efforts form the ‘West’ and it’s reluctant allies. Let the Islamic world lead in bringing about change. They have the wealth but lack the will, but let’s put responsibility where it belongs; then, maybe we can consider supporting their efforts, with recourses but not personnel. The Crusades after all belong back in past failed interventions.
Russia has been burned and no doubt China has its own burgeoning issues with its Islamic minorities, so don’t expect action anytime soon from those quarters.
So--- USA, get the hell out of Afghanistan and please try to ‘stay out of other regions, unless you have the ‘clear’ backing of the Full UN. Britain should take note too, but I am sure NZ will continue to kowtow to whoever is pulling the ‘trade-strings.’ OH MY GOD--- are we going to be joining China on a military misadventure sometime in the future? Such is the plight of a proud little nation at the bottom of the Pacific.