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November 5, 2009
U.K. public opinion turning against war in Afghanistan

A British Field Hospital in Helmand province. Photo: Flickr user foreignoffice

After news yesterday of the deaths of five British soldiers in Afghanistan, public opinion in the U.K. seems to be shifting. Amid growing calls for a policy change, Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to deliver a major speech tomorrow.

Does growing British opposition to the war affect your perspective on America’s role in Afghanistan?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

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USA,Russia,UK and other 42 countries hands off Afghanistan. Leave Afghanistan out of this “Cold and Hot War” at least now. How many people you want to kill to become politically strong???




I wasn’t aware that the majority of the UK did not want forces in Afganistan. This is good news because there’s a country of people who are thinking beyond the rhetoric! The majority of the Afgan people do not want us there. I have seen many interviewed on international news and they have said we should not be there, they want us to go home. I think our political leaders “forgot” that Russia tried to intervene in Afganistan and pulled out because of too many casualties. Have we not learned anything from Russia? Or do we “politically” think we can do a better job? Well, we haven’t and all of our countries’ good men die every day for a cause that is clearly not worth fighting for and not even in our best interest.

We got ourselves “hooked” into “their” fight and Washington probably thinks we can’t pull out and “save face” at the same time. Are the deaths of all these people worth politicians’ “saving face?” Do any of them remember Vietnam? Were they even born yet?

I think no one thought this through. When you engage with someone and play to their strongest point, you lose. We played to Afganistan’s strongest point: taliban’s guerrilla warfare. We will never win someone’s guerrilla war. We didn’t in Vietnam and we won’t in Afganistan.

The way to deal with these types of people is to “not” engage them. Isolate them, cutting them off from the rest of the world and not allowing them to be in any country where they can inflict pain. Then they can only inflict pain on themselves. It’s like dealing with a big bully. If you engage with a big bully, he will beat you up. If you don’t engage with him at all, he can’t do anything to you.

This is a civil war. Finally, on international news, someone recently said this is clearly a civil war among these tribes. We are only fueling the dissention against ourselves by our presence there. We are taking “away” from the focus of the tribes against “each other” and have created an environment where “all the tribes” are against the us-the international forces. All countries need to pull all troops out and go home.

If Afganistan wants to become a democracy, they will have to on their own. Here’s the thing, they clearly “don’t” want a democracy. A corrupt government and corrupt elections are clear signs that a country is not ready for a democracy, but is instead milking us for as much money as they can get by “playing” us. There is an economic incentive for Afganistan NOT to get it’s act together.

The EU is fed up with all of this as well and many countries are re-evaluating the worth of the deaths of their people. I have recently heard some commentators say that if everyone pulls out, will those deaths be in vane. The answer is yes anyway, already. When the first guy died it was already a death in vane. So why cause more death to fight a cause that will not be won and more deaths in vane?

Everyone needs to cut their losses and go home. There’s plenty of infrastructure work to be done in all of our countries to get out of this recession. Eight years of losses is enough.

Our countries’ borders are too open to these terriorists. We are free countries yes, but if we keep allowing the terriorists into our countries, they will continue to suicide bomb us or shoot us in our own military bases (Thursday) and we won’t be free anymore. The countries from where these terrorists originate should be closed to all Western countries as well as and any other country who does not want them. Issolate them so they have to live with themselves. If they want to practice their religion, they already live in a country where it is practiced. There is no need to go elsewhere. Why are they coming to the US, the UK or the Netherlands and other countries for religious freedom, when they are from Muslim countries to begin with? What is their point? In the news for the past couple of years, in every country where there is a Muslim population, there has been in-country terriorist attacks, murders, bombings and suicide bombings. I am beginning to see a clear pattern of their immigration and then turning around and bombing the country they immigrated to……why?

Write to your elected officials and call for a withdrawal. If enough US and UK citizens demand this end, the governments will have to listen. There are several other countries like Germany and the Netherlands who have soldiers over there. These countries, too, are not so sure they should be there. If everyone writes to their country’s officials, we can bring our people home. If we don’t stand up for our soldiers, no one will. Write today.


Al-Qaeda isn’t a person place or thing; it’s an idea. Dumping explosives on Afghanistan or any other place isn’t going to make any one safer. I witnessed the first B-52 carpet bombing of Vietnam, June 1965. The results: some dead woodcutters who picked the wrong place to cut wood. The most important lesson I learned during my stay in Vietnam was that the human spirit trumps technology. The 911 we should focus on is September 11, 1776, on Staten Island, when Ben Franklin gave the finger to the most powerful nation on the face of the earth.


Are all the leaders of these governments now operating in Afghanistan illerate or dont they recall history. The Brits tried back in colonial days, the Soviets more recently and now it is a
“coalition”. The Karzai crowd are nothing more than a bunch of thieves. Corruption is rampant. Extract everyone from this flea bitten hole and let them figure it out for themselves. Thats is what they have been doing for centuries.


U.K. public opinion was NEVER for the war in Afghanistan in the first place – se this list fo surveys.

The media prefer not to report this.


Yes in a way. The British have concluded that unless the Afghanistan government is cleaned up – it is useless to try and do the right thing for them while your soldiers are dying. Example is that of the 5 British soldiers that were (murdered) by a so called good Afghan. The British are absolutely correct in saying if the government is vile – then we’re pulling out and the US should take a line from the British. The USA and British have always been allies and we need to work with the British and other allies to ensure that we’re not wasting our time over there – I have sincere doubts of the Karzi government cleaning things up – so what this tells this writer is that up to this point both American and British forces have in a way wasted their time over there – what a shame and even worse yet, what a shame that both our countries have expended our young brave soldiers. Other Nato countries have been reluctant to place their soldiers in harms way – now we know why. I was glad to see the very attactive Daljit back on the anchor desk – she’s great. JIM (USA)


If we are supporting a corrupt government in Afghanistan, I think it is time to pull out. The Taliban has shifted to Pakistan.
I think we should be going after Al-Qaeda, since they were the group that trained the 19 terrorists who attacked the U.S. on 9/11/2001.
I think that a continued presence in Afghanistan is self-defeating.


If people are unaware of the long history or Fascism and Islam, you can do research and there are plenty of sources to educate yourself. The Bath Party of Iraq and Syria are both based upon the Nazi party.


The growing British opposition is heartening, and is important. In ostensible democracies, of course public opinion is important. That is why there is the constant attempt to manipulate it. But ultimately, the humanitarian, progressive, peace-loving side comes out and that is what is happening here.

In contrast to the state of affairs just a year ago where the consensus was a commitment to “victory”, there are many forces, including public opinion, calling for a withdrawal. There is the defection of the Foreign Service Officer Matthew Koh. George Will and Thomas Friedman came out against escalation, and in Will’s case, for total withdrawal. With all due respect, to hell with Gen. McChrystal. This is a not a military government. He is just doing his job off course, but obviouslly the military wants more troops. They are a hammer, an awesome hammer, and so every problem is a nail and of course he wants more hammers. But from a strictly practical view, we can not do it. We are bankrupt. Our military is stretched thin. In light of the heinous attack at Fort Hood, we become aware of the hundreds of murders and suicides committed on the home front by recent veterans and the enormous toll we will face for decades. And then from a principled point of view, it is barbaric and violence loving. Afghanistan is not a country we can or should control. It may be lamentable to us Westerners, and it is to me, but if a Taliban-type regime rises to power, I think we have to allow it (oh yeah, we funded these guys to the tune of $$$ billions in the 80s). The best we can give is our example, and not the example we are setting with bombs and invasion, but the example of good living, prosperity, freedom, equality.

I can look at our society and see, for example, rampant disgusting pornography. Should a country invade us so we stop doing this?!



What we are doing in Afghanistan is clearly not working. Doing more of it won’t work better. We are like the carpenter who said, “I cut this board three times and it’s still to short.”


The US should leave Afghanistian ASAP and not wait for the Brits to show the way out.


I have yet to see a Muslim reading primary source Fascist literature in Italian or German. I wonder when it was translated into Arabic or are these Muslims reading Fascist literature in English? My favorite Fascist quote was always ” Long live death.” I still don’t understand it or the irrational name calling.


It is impossible for many Muslims to see anything of their own behavior that has contributed to the current wars on terrorism. They don’t even bother to apprise themselves of the 800 worldwide attacks on innocent people at the cost of thousand and thousands of lives before 9/11 even happened. 9/11 was just the final straw after decades of Islamic attacks on non-Muslim or un-satisfactory Muslims by Islamofascists.

Many Muslims have radical educations that believe the most ridiculous lies about Christians or the West. It is impossible to reach millions of Islamic kids whose dreams are set to become all that they can be by blowing themselves up for Allah.

We live in an imperfect world in which we have few tools to change Islamofascist minds with diploomacy, it seems to require their deaths. When enough of them die grisly deaths and we can be sure to make those deaths a fixed image in their minds, their romance towards that death will eventually be deterred and their better angels will take over and they will choose to live with us in peace.

Any reticence on our part will do nothing but strengthen the resolve of terrorists or Islamofascist resolve towards violence agaist us. We must have greater strength of purpose than any Islamofascist terrorist ambitions or else we will only suffer generations of this violence rather than finding ourselves resolved to see this through.


Well Karzi is now the undisputed leader of Afganistan and said that he will do his best to stop corruption, etc. He needs to be given a chance and help by the U.S and allies. I do think that at the same time a clear defined goal outlined by the U.S would maybe refocus the war effort.


I hope Americans join with Brits to oppose this war. We need to create schools and hospitals, not send bombs and bodies to Afghanistan


Has anyone in the Military Command, White House, Congress, Senate, Public At Large ever heard the phrase (Cost / Benefit / Risk Analysis ?


I don’t think it will make any difference to American policy. Americans love war. It’ll take a lot longer until they see that war is not the way to fight criminals, and admit that every Afghani and Iraqi who kills Americans in their country are patriots.


The British can stay and we should get out. Afghanistan like Iraq is not worth the sacrifice.


Of course our close allies people’s opinions should matter to us. our adversaries opinions are even more important to be of matter.

I want a government who lives by the law of our Lord, though shalt “love your enemies”.

Any Christian who says otherwise is KAFIR!



British opinion is irrelevant. What is pertinent is the incompetent tactics used to chase a red herring. The real criminals held up reportedly in the caves of Pakistan should be terminated competently/frugally with machinery from afar, ie, not the obsolete idea of infantry. By spending huge amounts of money interminably in pointless war there we are giving the enemies of this country exactly what they want.


Eveyone’s public opinion of the war in Afghanistan is fading. Which is exactly what the Taliban wants to happen. They know the resolve of the public is weak, and declining public support encourages more attacks, as it proves their strategy is working!


The Brits need to honor its commitments to NATO regardless of public opinion.
I don’t believe the basic premise for this war. However, I bet that if the US and NATO leaves, alQaeda will again want to attack the homelands of these countries. Whilst the forces are there, alQaeda can kill our people at will, a few at a time, without risk. The choices are terrible. It’s no wonder that Bush is hiding in Texas.


It is time to stop subsidizing this corrupt government in Afghanistan. The money would be better spent at home building up our infrastructure and our defenses. Bring our troops home NOW and have them patrol our ports and borders. The latest poll from Britain shows that 75% of the people think that their troops should withdraw. Domestic support here is dwindling. Stabilizing Afghanistan could involve us being there for at least 20 years. We simply can’t afford the lives or the resources.


Out of Afghanistan.Reporters are too pollitically correst by not asking their guests how can they support the basic premise that the US has to tell Karsai or anyone to stop corruption,,The US put Karsi,the oil man ,in office..We were allies of the Taliban and we armed them when fighting the USSR for this oil/gas area…Stop Empires.Live sustainibly..HURRY


The greater good is to leave Afghanistan and Iraq ASAP. Declare a glorious victory. Give Dick and George medals and let them go to the Dark Side with Darth. Osama has left the building. On the other hand there are good profits to be made by the war profiteers. Hmmm!


The answer is No. A shift in public opinion wherever it comes from doesn’t change America’s or NATO’s role. Our mission must not be subject to the whim of the mob, but aimed at the greater good for all. The difference between the US and those who came before in Afghanistan and elswhere is that we aren’t interested in building an empire…our goal is to do the job, then leave, not to occupy Afghanistan indefinately. Eliminating the Taliban is the goal and for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan will result in the greatest possible good. Alowing a country to sink to the cultural and governmental level of 7th century Arabia, only with WMDs(AK-47s are WMDs BTW)serves no good purpose regionally Or globally. If public opinion shifts because the job has gotten tougher, that doesn’t change the job. Allow the Taliban to govern Afghanistan and there will again be stonings in the soccer stadiums, and Afghans will languish under their oppression…again. Pakistan and Afghanistan are now linked in this conflict, so it has become a war on many fronts which further complicates the issue.


Nothing new under the sun.

Endless Impressions fill the days and nights
but the days and nights are never satisfied.


Can any one explain the difference between Afganistan and our failure in Viet Nam? We are in a country we have no business being in, we seem to have no set goals, no plan to succeed and no end in sight. Do the politicians and high ranking military officers think that American servicemen are an expendable item just to justify their misguided ideals? I say get bring them home and now!!!




So EXACTLY how did the Taliban arm themselves to the teeth, so quickly?


Maybe now that the “Brits.” might leave Afghanistan our administration will realize that this war is not working.The TALIBAN is meantime trying to take over “Pakistan”because of their “NUKES”!This war is probably going to shift to Pakistan because if The TALIBAN gets their hands on a “Nuke” it’a game over for someone.I”d hate to think that,the “someone” is one of our “Big Cities”. We are in to deep right now and nobody wants to admit that;it would spell “Defeated by the enemy!!!

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