War in Afghanistan

A war with a mission

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 July, 2010, 12:00am

The appointment of United States General David Petraeus to lead the effort on Afghanistan is the cause of some controversy, including whether the war is worth it.

Petraeus is a recognised expert on counter insurgency techniques in the field, which will help to not only ensure a military victory but also one which covers the socioeconomic and political aspects of a nation.

I believe he is not a bad choice for the coalition forces in Afghanistan at the moment.

The issue of whether the war is worth fighting is a different story. With a recovering economy, the oil spill and bipartisan politics, more support is being given to the idea of withdrawal.

I think this is a bad idea. The purpose of invasion back in 2001 was to deprive Al-Qaeda of training grounds for its terrorists. A pullout would see them return.

I can only hope that President Barack Obama does not bow to pressure to call off his 'necessary war'.

Ben Allen, La Salle College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Ben. The war in Afghanistan has dragged on for longer than anyone thought it would. It is not a simple matter of military victory, however, but one of winning over the people. The coalition efforts were dealt a serious blow this week when an Afghan soldier killed three British soldiers on Tuesday. These are the people the coalition believes it is helping by its occupation of Afghanistan, and to have one of them turn against the effort is a heavy blow indeed.

On the surface it would seem that if the coalition were to pull out, the West would lose in terms of face. Women's rights would suffer and terrorism would have triumphed. Yet it is difficult to sustain a fight once the population back home is unsupportive. In modern democracies, it is hard to make the case for war. Whether or not that is a bad thing will no doubt be fuel for many debates to come.

Susan, Editor