Socialist Worker

Get out of Afghanistan

Issue No. 2605

More troops to Afghanistan would just ensure the bloodshed continues

More troops to Afghanistan would just ensure the bloodshed continues (Pic: Cpl Mike O'Neill RLC LBIPP/

At least 400 extra British troops could soon be sent to Afghanistan.

Tory defence secretary Gavin Williamson wants them to join the 600 already stationed in the capital Kabul.

The move comes after US president Donald Trump called on Nato members to back his surge in US troops.

It looks like Britain will dutifully oblige to shore up the “special relationship”.

It’s 17 years since British troops were sent to Afghanistan. It’s more than a decade since Labour defence secretary John Reid said British forces “would be perfectly happy to leave in three years time without firing one shot”.

In fact the war has ground on remorselessly with tens of thousands of Afghan civilians dead.


We will never know exactly how many were killed because the aggressors—the US, Britain and their allies—refused to count.

And a reputable study in 2013 said the war in Afghanistan had cost Britain £37 billion. All the blood and money has just brought more horrors.

And some generals want even more aggression than is proposed now.

Former British commander in Afghanistan, General Sir Richard Barrons, has said Britain should deploy around 10 percent of the troops sent by the US. That would mean a force of 1,200.

Far from sending more troops, the US and Britain should get out of Afghanistan now.

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