Another British Retreat From Kabul


PM Cameron has told MPs that 3,800 British troops – almost half of the current force serving in Helmand province – are to be withdrawn from Afghanistan next year.

Troop numbers are already being reduced from 9,500 to 9,000 before Christmas. And numbers would fall to about 5,200 by the end of 2013, Mr Cameron told MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions.

All Nato operations are due to finish by the end of 2014, with responsibility being transferred to Afghan forces.

This constitutes yet another British defeat in Afghanistan, and yet another retreat from Kabul, which in the past – the 19th century – saw just handfuls of British troops returning to India from failed attempts to conquer the country, leaving thousands of British corpses behind them.

What is extraordinary is the failure of the arrogant British ruling class to heed the warnings of those who knew better, such as Winston Churchill, who warned ‘never to invade Afghanistan’, and that an invasion would only serve to unite the disunited and permanently at war Afghan tribes against the foreign enemy, and lead inexorably to military disaster.

It was Euripides who said: ‘Those that the gods wish to destroy they first make mad’.

It was in this spirit that the UK military and government decided to quit Basra and Iraq where another military adventure had left the British forces under 24 hour attack by Iraqi nationalists. This was after another act of insanity – the decision of British imperialism that it was so weak, that it had to keep in with the US ruling class by volunteering to play a key role, even bigger than the US required, in the US attack on Iraq in 2003.

However, the British army could not cope with holding Basra, and retreated under a flag of truce to Basra airport, which a few months later became the jumping off ground for the troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

The extraordinary thing is that their political and military command did not realise that they were going from the frying pan into the fire.

Labour Defence Secretary John Reid, relaying the thoughts of the UK military and political command, said that not a shot would be fired at the UK troops in Afghanistan, an opinion that was akin to insanity and indicated that those that the gods wished to destroy were voluntarily heading into a massive disaster.

In fact, the sending of the UK troops, and then large numbers of other NATO troops after them, proved to be a godsend to the Taleban, and won them immediately tens of thousands of new recruits and millions of supporters as they moved to repel the foreign invaders, especially the long time historic enemies of the Afghan people, the British military.

Now, after millions of rounds of ammunition have been expended, and thousands of tonnes of bombs and thousands of missiles exploded, hundreds of UK troops killed, and tens of thousands of Afghan civilians, Cameron is getting ready to cut and run, handing over power to a Taleban-dominated regime in the process.

However the unbalanced British ruling class, driven on by its economic and political crisis, is now on the brink of an even bigger disaster.

That is dispatching the returned troops to Syria to step up the war that is aimed at overthrowing the Iranian government and grabbing the oil of the Gulf.

Our advice to British troops is ‘don’t go’. We would remind them that their enemy is at home and it is the ruling class that has treated them as cannon fodder and is reducing the UK population to being a nation of paupers.

The Afghan war must be the last British ruling class military adventure.

The trade unions must speak out and tell the government that any attempt to send the returned troops to Syria or the Gulf will be met with a general strike to bring it down, and bring in a workers government and socialism.

It will bring in a socialist planned economy at home to provide jobs and homes for all, and will also establish for the first time fraternal relations between the British people and the working people of the world especially of Afghanistan Iran, Syria and Palestine.