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The public, the press and Afghanistan

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posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:17 PM
I decided to start this topic to examine the UK's role in Afghanistan - in particular the public's perception of the conflict and the reasoning behind it.

I get the sense (from comments here on ATS, from people I know, and from the media) that many people are lumping Iraq and Afghanistan together. You hear comments like "We should just leave altogether" applied to Afghanistan just as they are to Iraq. Not only do I think this is incorrect, but I also think it's dangerous.

Iraq and Afghanistan are two separate conflicts, regardless of how governments try to link them. Afghanistan was fully mandated by the United Nations and was a response to a series of attacks which killed over three thousand people. 67 of those people were British citizens, meaning that our country was directly affected by the attack. We had a duty to respond.

Now I don't want to turn this into a thread about Iraq, since I know it's very controversial and people have a range of opinions on it that have been discussed in depth elsewhere.

Instead, I'd like us to look specifically at Afghanistan and how popular perception has changed since 2001. Has it changed? Why? Does anyone else get the sense people are writing off Afghanistan as 'just another Iraq'? Does anyone think we should leave Afghanistan? I'd like to hear your reasoning.

Oh, and on a related note from Afghanistan, I was amazed to learn of the bravery of one young Royal Marine from 40 Commando who threw himself onto a hand grenade to save his comrades... and miraculously survived the explosion! Hopefully the MoD will put him forward for the Victoria Cross; he has certainly earned it.

posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 11:35 AM
Both the on going conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq do get lumped together, however they are very different and in my view we should be committing more effort into Afghanistan and we should by now be making a staged withdrawal from Iraq.

I can't see us "winning" in Iraq and the only reason we're still there is to save the American Government from embarrassment, however I'll avoid discussion of Iraq
and stick to Afghanistan.

The international community needs to commit more equipment and manpower to the country in order to route out the remaining Taliban, in particular we need to involve none western countries in order shed this image of occupation.

I'd like to see more investment in technology to protect soldiers, in particular lighter stronger body armour and hopefully we'll eventually see the introduction of the long awaited medium weight army vehicles.

posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 12:51 PM
reply to post by UK Wizard

I agree whole heartedly with yuor comments.

Iraq and Afghanistan are two seperate issues.

More emphasis should be placed on the brilliant job our Armed Forces are doing in Afghanistan.

I was deeply disappointed when Paddy Ashdown was not appointed UN Special Representative to Afghanistan, especially considering his success in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Ashdown is a pragmatic politician with considerable military experience.
He advocated a thorough but all encompassing plan to address all of the issues which affect Afghanistan.
I suspect he ruffled to many feathers.
(Despite numerous searches I have been unable to locate the ATS thread discussing this).

I suspect too many people are scared to ask the relevant questions that would provide a lasting solution to the Afghanistan problem

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 10:03 AM
reply to post by Ste2652

I think the main problem is that most people in the U.k don't really care about what is going on in Afghanistan. How many could point it out a map? It's to far removed from most peoples lives to have an impact. There isn't a daily stream of news about ten's of British soldiers dying, it is more of a trickle which will never outrage the British people. If the conflict escalted and alot i mean alot more soldiers started dying, people would begin to take notice.

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