26 March 2006
Fourth Afghan war
The British have fought three wars against the tribes of Afghanistan. The first ended in disaster during the 1842 retreat from Kabul. The second and third both ended because trying to hold that God-forsaken country was more trouble than it was worth.
So why are the British about to return for a fourth round? The plan is to send some 6,000 troops to a country that nobody else has ever managed to subjugate. Needless to say the Afghans are just waiting for them to arrive.
The wheeze seems to be that Britain's troops will act as an enducement to other countries - principally Germany and France - who will also then send troops to Afghanistan. The problem is that neither country shows any signs of putting the combat boots on the ground.
The Americans want to leave, so who is going to fight the Afghans? Get ready for the Fourth Afghan War, folks, because it looks like it is going to be Britain.