Eight young soldiers dead in a single day in Afghanistan is a heavy price. It has woken the media up to the dangers of Afghanistan, and led to the start of a debate about what we are doing there, for how long we might be doing it, and what winning might look like. We all send our condolences to the families, and salute the bravery and selflessness of our troops.
Readers of this site are strongly of the view that we should not be in Afghanistan. They are worried that the terrorists can operate from Pakistan as well as from remote and difficult areas within Afghanistan. History should warn the great and lesser powers of the problems of interfering in the complex and dangerous civil wars that have shaken this country.
The government must engage in both the issue of our force and its protection, and the bigger issue of how long we will remain committed and when we might be able to hand over to the civil power. The Afghan war needs the government’s urgent attention. We need a change of policy, not just more spin reinforcing old soundbites about terrorism.