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War with no victory in sight

It is generally accepted that 9/11 was masterminded by al-Qa’ida from their training camps in Afghanistan.

In the aftermath of 9/11 the US attacks on al-Qa’ida bases had understandable motives: retribution for the attacks, to satisfy public opinion in America and to reduce the threat of further attacks being masterminded from Afghanistan.

Reducing the threat of terrorism against the West became and remains one of the main justifications for the “war on terror” and continuing military operations in Afghanistan. It was a mantra constantly repeated by Bush and first Blair, then Brown and now Cameron, in order to justify military action and persuade voters to accept the cost in lives and injuries and billions of pounds of defence expenditure in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the light of the latest warnings about the “severe” level of threat against European countries that still have troops in Afghanistan, nine years after the war in Afghanistan was launched, it is clear that the “war on terror” has not yet achieved this primary objective.

On the contrary, if anything it has provoked even more Islamic anger against the West, raised the level of threat and dispersed it into Pakistan, Iraq and right across north Africa. Nor is there any evidence to support politicians’ claims that the continued war will ever reduce the threat from terrorism.

Julius Marstrand, Cheltenham

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