Any student with only a rudimentary grasp of history can tell you that Afghanistan is a damn near impossible land to conquer, and then even if it could be 'conquered', it begs the question what on earth would it achieve and how would it make us safer over here? The gravest threat to our civilisation is radical Islam and its assorted terrorist offshoots, but unfortunately for us radical Islam and Al Qaeda is not a land or country, but an invisible idea that can migrate from state-to-state without borders. I'd dearly love it if we could just get them to change their minds and beliefs by bombing them into submission by force of arms, but alas we can't so we have to seek other means. Even if we could flatten the entire region they'd just drift into Pakistan, and then if we went into Pakistan they'd migrate to the Yemen or Somalia - where they already are incidentally! I might add too, that the greatest direct threat to our country are radicalised and home-grown Islamists from our own backyard; men who are as British as you or I but have chosen to embrace this death-cult. The 7/7 bombers were British - and I'll bet the next lot will be too. Before we start worrying about potential radicalists thousands of miles away we'd perhaps be wiser to worry about those a little closer to home... The Soviet's spent a decade in Afghanistan and tried every tactic known to man; I know that we're better than they are militarily, but we're not that much better for Christ's Sake - we're not supermen! - and if they couldn't do it with ten times our number then I don't see how we can. And remember too: The Soviet's didn't have to worry about collateral damage... We're losing the best and the brightest of our British youth here in a War that was begun by political novices who've only ever seen the business end of a rifle on the telly. The decision to invade Afghanistan and Iraq was made within ONE WEEK of the twin towers going down in New York, by perhaps the most misguided President ever to hold the office; he'd have put more effort and thought into deciding what colour tie to wear most days than he did in going to war. There is a reason why our NATO and European allies are hesitating and failing to commit fully to our efforts in Afghanistan and itâs not because theyâre cowards or war-dodgers â they arenât. Itâs because to go in heavier is to risk being sucked ever-deeper into this quicksand like quagmire of a country, that has a long and proud history of spitting out mighty invading armies â after theyâve been chewed to pieces. As Ho Chin Min said about the American invasion of Vietnam: âThey will come here and kill many of us. We will kill a few of them and they will go home.â Anyway, we are where we are, and our sons and brothers are paying the blood price for that mistake. Let's get them home ASAP and re-org and re-arm for a worthier cause in the future - but not this one. Steven McLaughlin, Author of Squaddie: A Soldierâs Story PS: And please Mr. Moderator donât delete this post or my account - I promise not to post it elsewhere and have duly learnt my lesson. Apologies to those whom PMâd me on my earlier account; I couldnât reply to you as I was suspended from my account, and quite rightly too, so thereâs no complaints from me!