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So why are we in Afghanistan?

I've asked this question a dozen times, not always so bluntly, to everyone ranging from the youngest tom to the CO to Civilian experts and received a wide range of answers from:
"To kill terrorists innit." to "Well, its, err, really quite complex (scratches head, sighs) (pauses) Afghanistan, is...the...melting pot of radical islam and if we are to ever be safe from this threat we must involve ourselves..."
to "Well, in order to answer that question we must look back to the days of the ottoman empire...."

So Why are we there?

According to the Nato website the reason is:
ISAF's role is to assist the Government of Afghanistan and the International Community in maintaining security within its area of operation. ISAF supports the Government of Afghanistan in expanding its authority to the rest of the country, and in providing a safe and secure environment conducive to free and fair elections, the spread of the rule of law, and the reconstruction of the country.
Which is a description of their role not their reason.

I've concluded that everyone picks their own answer which they are comfortable with which is why for a enthusiastic 19 year old out of training, the opportunity to kill taliban is more than enough reason for being there whereas an older dog might cite the special relationship and the damge we would be doing by not tagging along...

I believe the terrorism argument is weak. We have homegrown terrorism now.
The narcotics argument is a non-starter: Poppy harvests are bigger than ever. Any talk of the world-recession enouraging farmers to ditch poppies and grow potatoes is bs/propaganda.
The security argument is daft. We do not have anywhere near enough troops to do it militarily. Security will only be brought about by accepting that you must leave the local strongmen to do their thing. Ignoring their tribal heritage by talking of voting, elections and state rule is ignorant.
I personally don't think this folly is worth the life of a single British soldier.
So why are we there?
dhobi_walla said:

First post on ARRSE.

Afghanistan is now 7 years old - almost. ARRSE has been discussing it for almost as long....

But you have to start ANOTHER thread all for yourself....

Strange choice for a first post from a noob?

You have just said that you have concluded that every one has their own answer, so why are you asking the question?

Go away journo.
It seems you object to me asking the question. You're right about it being discussed for 7 years. What have you concluded after all this time?
dhobi_walla said:
It seems you object to me asking the question. You're right about it being discussed for 7 years. What have you concluded after all this time?
Why not do a bit of research on here instead of starting another bone thread, moron.
whitecity said:
This has been discussed endlessly on ARRSE for several years. Do a little reading through the threads and you'll find my answer as well as many others. What makes you think I (or others) feel like repeating ourselves everytime a nig like you starts a new thread?

Your talent for asking questions would be better off here methinks: http://www.indiamike.com/india/chai-and-chat-f73/do-dhobi-wallahs-do-ironing-t3192/
You've taken the time to post 5 times in my thread. If you'd of just answered the question in your first one you'd have saved yourself the time no?
whitecity said:
So you think your question can be answered with a few soundbites?????

That just about demonstrates your 'knowledge' of the subject to this point and real interest in the subject!

Here's something more along your line of work: http://www.betterlifestyleproducts.com/
The solution is a whole lot more than soundbites but as for answering the original question: why? We've had one perfectly valid reason put forward so far and that's "it seemed like a good idea at the time".
Thanks for finding me these links btw.

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