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Osama's gone, now let's leave Afghanistan

The death of Osama bin Laden has achieved the original aim of the invasion of Afghanistan, namely to get the man who carried out the worst terror attack in history.

Now that aim has been achieved after nearly 10 years, there is no more need to be in Afghanistan. A total withdrawal of troops from that country should now take place immediately.

Bin Laden could - and should - have been captured or killed in the early days of the Afghan war, but for the incompetence and hubris of George Bush and Tony Blair. They decided to divert all resources into invading Iraq.

Bin Laden's death, however, will not end the threat of Islamic terrorism.

The al-Qaida ideology has spread across the globe and is especially prevalent in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan and, most notably, Saudi Arabia - the number one funder of terrorism across the world.

Bin Laden's death will be hyped by the US government as a propaganda coup, but in reality he had been neutralised for most of the last decade. He could not use the phone, or internet.

Terrorism can only be defeated when the bombing of civilians comes to an end and Western support for dictators ceases.

ALAN HINNRICHS

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