Saturday, July 11, 2009


I suppose the one thing nobody can say about the deaths in Afghanistan is that the numbers are remarkably low considering the intensity of the fighting. But equally, I suppose, the deaths feel worse because people don't really know why we're fighting and dying. Either the war aims have been forgotten or because, if the Taleban are so dangerous, why aren't there Germans, French, Italians etc instead of just Americans dying with us? NATO- schmato, let's just call it an Anglo-American war. I can't form a coherent opinion about this. One minute I feel it's a necessary conflict, the next I think it's madness and there must be better ways of containing terrorism in the region. But I do know that if we must fight our soldiers deserve a better government than this one.


  1. why aren't there Germans, French, Italians etc instead of just Americans dying with us?

    Now there's a question.

  2. Just Americans? I know you have a hard time remembering us colonials, but on a per capita basis the largest number of deaths have been Canadian and others are in there more than you imply.

  3. I think we can maintain a stalemate if we're prepared to keep taking casualties. That would continue to deny the Taleban/ Al Qaeda a base in Afghanistan, which would be useful, but that commitment is completely open-ended - it depends on an American willingness to keep taking casualties for the forseeable future.

    The present situation is catch 22. We can't win in any more definitive sense without the acquiescence of the population, but the population won't acquiesce unless they're sure we're going to win, for fear of reprisals if we bail out.

    As long as Joe Afghan fears the Taleban more than he fears us then a draw is the best we can manage.