Leaving Afghanistan

While I have no doubt in a few days it will all be forgotten, unless of course there is an escalation of violence that certainly can’t be ruled out, one of the main news stories of the day was that of combat British troops leaving Afghanistan after having a presence for 13 years, following on from the 9/11 terror attacks and in support of the US war against terror. The operation has cost the British tax payer billions of pounds and has taken the lives of 453 military personnel. If polls are to be believed, most did not feel we should have been there. While the operation has arguably resulted in considerable improvements in the country’s infrastructure and has added to its security and making it more stable, and much else besides, e.g. seeing a new generation of girls and boys getting a decent education and much needed health care facilities etc., there is no guarantee there won’t be a reversal and the relentless march of fundamentalist Islam, in this case under the rule of the Taliban, will continue.

I decided to post because I felt this was a significant event and my intention as a blogger is to reflect on those things I believe to be significant. However, I do not have a profound statement to make and as to whether we should have been in there in the first place I am somewhere between ambivalent and thinking we should have – we meaning Great Britain of which I am a citizen. When it comes to our leaving, while understanding why many (maybe most) who give the matter much thought think we should leave, I am less sure and fear a similar situation to what we are now witnessing in Iraq. What is clear, we live in perilous times and, while I wish the people of Afghanistan all the best in the world, I fear for them and everyone else come to that, as I reflect on a world that has gone mad. I will follow developments with interest, try to come to an informed view, and try to do “my bit”, including committing the whole matter to Almighty God. If there is a word of comfort, it is to point to Jesus, who offers peace to his followers and when he returns to rule.

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