From The Times November 5, 2009 Afghanistan could be lost in the bars of Britain Only a powerful defence of the war at home and a game-changing shift from the US will stop our descent into failure Paddy Ashdown The clamour is growing for us to withdraw from Afghanistan. And the tragic loss of five British soldiers at the hands of one of those we are supposed to be fighting alongside will make that clamour louder. There is a real chance we will lose this struggle in the bars and front rooms of Britain before we lose it in the deserts and mountains of Afghanistan â particularly as we have a Government that has completely failed both to make a cogent case for this war or to convince us that it has a strategy worthy of the sacrifices being made. The blunt truth is that the events of yesterday have fractured a central plank of the only strategy we have. Before deciding what to do next, it is worth considering what happens if we withdraw or fail in Afghanistan â apart, of course, from abandoning its people, an overwhelming majority of whom, despite all, still want us to be there and only 5 per cent of whom want to see the Taleban back. First, failure or withdrawal would mean the certain fall of Pakistan. Pakistan could, of course, fall of its own accord. But it would inevitably do so as a result of failure in Afghanistan. So abandoning Afghanistan doubles the chances of a jihadi government in Islamabad. Would this certainly result in jihadi hands on a nuclear bomb? Maybe not. But do we want to take the risk? More www.timesonline.co.uk/...03529.ece?