US and allied forces should retreat from Afghanistan immediately.
Debate Rounds (3)
The occupation of Afghanistan has lasted for 8 years and the current government is a corrupt kleptocracy taking advantage of generous foreign aid. The Afghan government and NATO military occupation is not sustainable and requires billions of dollars of tax money per year.
Justifications for the occupation of Afghanistan:
1. Fight The War On Terrorism
Surgical strikes against Al-Qaeda and police actions against small bands of terrorists does not require the occupation of an entire nation.
2. Fight Radial Islam
The Taliban followed an extreme form of Islam called Wahhabism. It is not the duty of America, or NATO, to determine which religious orders are acceptable and which are not. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia follows the same form of Islam yet they are American allies.
3. Control of natural resources and pipelines.
Vast riches have been recently discovered by geologists. These resources, however, do not belong to the American people. Military control over these regions does not benefit the American people in any significant way. The extraction of these resources is of interest to the international mining markets, not the American people. There is also interest in building an oil pipeline which would pass through Afghanistan. Such a pipeline is interesting, but irrelevant to American interests.
My proposal would be an orderly withdrawal starting immediately, and supporting local warlords in keeping law and order. Support for warlords has happened since the start of the conflict, and is the best force to keep the territory out of the hands of Al-Qaeda.
Cost of Afghan War http://costofwar.com...
Corruption of the Afghan government increasing http://www.commondreams.org...
I am not in support of Bush/Cheney's inability to manage their foreign policy effectively. i.e.. rebuilding the country with a new superior infrastructure, utilities and governance. They have failed, the right has failed.
It is clear that the war has not gone particularly well; slow progress and high casualties are not an enchanting image nor do they add weight to my argument. Yet it is surely honourable from a liberal perspective to see that it is the most right-wing, the most reactionary and indeed, the most repulsive (sticking with the letter 'r') groups in Afghanistan whom would like nothing more than to see the back of the Allied troops. Not for this silly Neo-Con idea that they will 'follow us home', such an idea is ridiculous, but instead of that unfounded idea that they would turn their evil outwards rather one would see the return of a nefarious inward looking control by any number of rival or co-operative terrorist or insurgent groups. Is it desirable to once again have the civilians living in a state of terror from their own government? To have women back at the lowest rung of society having being elevated from it by the intervention?
I would say not.
To address the points in order:
To fight Terrorism I agree that it is the police whom defend the people of the West from those who wish nothing but destruction. Yet it is very difficult for a rag-tag organisation such as Al-Quad to mount an offensive when it's bases are under constant pressure, when they have to continually relocate and when their primary source of income the poppy crop is no longer their monolopy.
I would actually argue it is the role of NATO to defend the population; we are all people and just because through pure chance one has been born in affluence and one into the wilderness does that mean the latter should be forsaken due to cost? Though there is hypocrisy in foreign policy, which is regrettable I would argue, subjectively, that it is ok to say one idea is better than another. What we have in the West is not perfect but it is far better than that in the Middle East and Afghanistan; should we let gay people marry? Vs should we use the blowtorch or just stone them to death... Defeating an idea is possible it is a fallacy of anti-war campaigner and activists to claim otherwise. The Soviet Union and revolutionary communism seems to have died. (ignoring Obama)
The resources don't belong to the U.S but they don't belong to controlling bullies and murderers who exploit the populace in a Feudal style of leadership; denying them their basic economic rights. This is a failing of the Neo-Cons not the premise of the war.
It is unwise to rely on Warlords for they have no laws nor code to follow, if they behave immorally then there is no-one to hold them to account without the presence of a peace-keeping force.
It is reasonable to reach out to the progressives of the Middle-East and the intellectuals and allow them to have a chance to run a democracy and set up their state; a Constitution was drafted back in 2004. Rather returning the keys of power to those govern with graft, torture, imbalance and a vile indifference towards civil liberties and rights.
Then strive to revert the policies of a race-based Taliban to a fairness based democratic system. President Karzai may be corrupt, or alleged to be, but has promised to do away with this and even if it is an empty promise one should surely feel it is preferable for a leader of Afghanistan to promise to deal with problems rather than telling people to either shut up or be beaten and killed.
their own government? To have women back at the lowest rung of society having being
elevated from it by the intervention? I would say not."
In many parts of the world civilians live in terror of their own government. It's
not our job to liberate everyone from government tyranny. The current position of
women in Afghanistan is still at the lowest rung. And Karazi's government is fairly
"Yet it is very difficult for a rag-tag organisation such as Al-Quad to mount an
offensive when it's bases are under constant pressure"
Yes, which is what we're doing in Pakistan! Yet in Pakistan we're not building a nation,
just killing Al-Queda.
"What we have in the West is not perfect but it is far better than that in the Middle East
and Afghanistan; should we let gay people marry? Vs should we use the blowtorch or just
stone them to death... Defeating an idea is possible it is a fallacy of anti-war campaigner
and activists to claim otherwise."
This conflict in Afghanistan seems a little post-modern if we're now battling ideas
rather than enemies of America. The reality is we're battling real-life people, not
having philosophical disagreements. If we wanted to get into a battle of ideas, I don't
understand why we're killing them. To battle ideas you'd need diplomats, discussions and
so on. Daisy Cutters have no place in such a conflict.
"It is unwise to rely on Warlords for they have no laws nor code to follow, if they
behave immorally then there is no-one to hold them to account without the presence
of a peace-keeping force."
Even with a peace-keeping force they'd be very capable of immoral acts.
Peace-keepers aren't priests or police. A less insulting term for warlord is
"village elder". Not really much difference, as far as I can tell.
"President Karzai may be corrupt, or alleged to be, but has promised to do away with
this and even if it is an empty promise one should surely feel it is preferable for
a leader of Afghanistan to promise to deal with problems rather than telling people
to either shut up or be beaten and killed."
Afghanistan has been ranked the second-most corrupt nation on Earth. It's far more
than allegations. A promise is talk, and talk is easy. He's been in charge for about
8 years and corruption has only gotten worse. Him and his silly hat no longer impresses
You say it is not our job to police the world, to liberate those in chains, to emancipate the oppressed from anti-progressive unevolved primitives. Yet that doesn't seem like a terrible policy to me. I have the fortune to be born away from conflict, away from terror and in luxury I feel that is no reason to forsake those who are not so lucky for monetary reasons. People deserve freedom, our freedom isn't an export but the ability to craft one's own should be. Bastards and talent less drug-barons and gang-leaders are clearly, objectively, inferior to an Allied intervention which slips up, which may get things wrong but when things go wrong it is unintentional. Under the Taliban the wrong was intended, it was gleefully enforced by sadists and crooks.
To pick you up on one point, a Warlord in the Middle-East is not a village-elder it is someone with control over armed men whom blocks a road and charges for passage. Though village-elders are not a higher power either, they again are unreliable and have no mandate to govern except age and respect and support from the strong. The strong don't need help the weak do. The Allied Engineers are constructing schools, wells and basic medical equipment to the weak. If that aid was sent without the soldiers to dispense it, sent to the Warlords it would stay there; with the Warlords. The same goes for any beneficiary item or utility. You cannot rely on the goodness of these people's hearts when their hearts have shown to be black.
I re-read my original comments on Karzai they were too lenient; he is corrupt beyond belief but he is an elected ruler, not justly elected but give the country a chance, that might seem pathetic to ask but lend some clemency to the quality of governance after the vitriol and violence of the centuries which came prior.
Pakistan is another problem, another short-coming of how the war is being handled; India is the ally needed; multi-cultural, secular, democratic India. Though Pakistan has helped on occasion to make admittedly token sorties into the Spin Ghar range. Though there are no allied troops in Pakistan on the offensive per say as the nebulous quality of the border makes such a claim difficult to confirm. Though I'll concede is rather likely. Though I cannot see the wrong in fighting Al-Qaeda where ever they go.
To conclude, I must take contention with your claim it is not a battle for ideas; it is. We have faulty democracy and they have barbarism and segregation and slavery to an appointed leader. To talent less murderers. Afghanistan was a war meant to catch Osama Bin Laden, to combat his desire to see an end to the Western way of life, to spread Islam through violence if necessary. The ideas of free-society and of social mobility need to be introduced to the people of Afghanistan, especially after 8 years of war. It is not a battle of ideas for diplomats for the enemy have no request; just a wish to see the complete end to us and our way of life. To fight these ideas those with them must answer to rifles not the telegram. To cut and run now would leave the people tripped as the rug was pulled out from under their feet. The promises to improve life replaced with the lamentable return of vandals who are frivolously cruel. I don't want my fellow human beings to suffer and I agree one cannot help everyone yet with the forces in Afghanistan we can help them.
"Freedom" is a difficult-to-define concept that the west loves to say. They seem to
justify any action by claiming that they're bringing freedom. Working for the Afghan
government is a pretty bad example of freedom. I think they're seeking western luxury
not western freedom.
"If that aid was sent without the soldiers to dispense it, sent to the Warlords it would
stay there; with the Warlords. The same goes for any beneficiary item or utility. You
cannot rely on the goodness of these people's hearts when their hearts have shown to be
America has been cooperating with village elders and warlords since the beginning.
Read this article.
And a quotation from it "Other warlords, who were once his comrades in
arms, are now part of the political elite in Kabul, prominent members of the government or
multimillionaire owners of palatial houses in the capital."
These violent warlords with hearts of black are now unelected government workers.
"he is corrupt beyond belief but he is an elected ruler"
What's interesting is he is the ONLY elected ruler. Afghanistan has federal democracy,
but not provincial or municipal democracy. All provincial and municipal controllers are
government workers appointed by Karzai, not elected officials.
"It is not a battle of ideas for diplomats for the enemy have no request; just
a wish to see the complete end to us and our way of life. To fight these ideas those
with them must answer to rifles not the telegram."
That does seem to be the opinion of the industrial-military complex, that ideas must
be transmitted with bullets. Stephen Cohen, senior fellow for Foreign Policy Studies
at the Brookings Institute said "We need to give war a chance". I seems very illogical
and I cannot think of any time in history where this has worked. If you wanted the
peasants to follow a more western, modern way of life, convincing them of that requires
communication. In addition to the soldiers not speaking the native language, they kill
I think if we wanted to bring real freedom to Afghanistan, we should enforce true democracy,
starting at the smallest regions. Mayors, regional leaders, should all be elected, not
appointed. The west has no interest in doing such a thing and instead kills anyone who
opposes the government and builds roads. Lots of roads. Roads are necessary for moving
But, in the end, Afghanistan was not a humanitarian mission, and it should not be. If
we wanted to end inhumane behavior in Afghanistan, then why not do the same in Nigeria,
Bangladesh, Somalia, and many other places? We lack the resources to do so. Just as
Nigeria is not our problem, Afghanistan is not our problem.
America would suffer terribly from a withdrawal, the hatred it feels from fellow Western countries is based on the fact it has interventionist policies, well imagine how that hate would be ramped up by withdrawal; 'not only did America invade where it liked but after messing up the country they just got tired and left.' That would be disastrous for the one superpower to lose its moral authority even further during a time when the World's economies are looking towards it.
The anti-war claim that if those of us who wish democracy and peace and stability and a future in Afghanistan rather than a return to darkness we should do the same everywhere injustice stands is pathetic. Why? It is not reasonable, it is not do-able it is not workable. Within the bounds of reality all injustice cannot be righted at once yet Afghanistan has the ability; the endo-skeleton of society to be built on. Why abandon the progress made? In fact the progress made through the construction towards a semblance of infrastructure would at the use of the enemy, making him more effective at carrying out heinous crimes against people.
Freedom isn't some difficult, wishy-washy term which is hard to define in generalities. This isn't a philosophical debate. It is obvious to see that what we have in the West is freedom compared to that of pre-war Afghanistan. It is slightly disingenuous to start questioning what freedom even is, it diverts attention from the suffering Afghans
In 1788 Muslims from the Barbary States attacked, tortured and enslaved European and American sailors, Jefferson met their representatives in London and was told the motive was the Koran gave permission to do so to infidels. The fundamentalists who ran pre-war Afghanistan hate us, do not get this wrong, they hate us and believe it is intrinsic to their existence to hate us. There is no co-operation, no quarter, no middle-ground, no negotiation terms as with ETA or the IRA, they are the true definition of an enemy. They want the Western way of life destroyed, they will not rest until it has been done, now why have the attacks been so few and far between? So poorly designed? Because our soldiers are in the lion's den and our special forces are hunting them and forcing them to run, not to sit and plan and calculate.
'If you wanted the peasants to follow a more western, modern way of life, convincing them of that requires
communication. In addition to the soldiers not speaking the native language, they kill them.'
Sorry but wrong. If you want peasants to follow a modern way of life then you emancipate women, allow them to control their own birth rate, allow them to work and have choice of sexual and domestic partners.  This can be done by having soldiers there to stop the Taliban from reclaiming power, to stop the warlords from pushing them down, as they would! Those in unofficial power do anything to stop people rising in society, to challenge or weaken their position. The article in the Independent does little to support the idea of Warlords being given sanctioned power, it fact points out their violent methods.
You're conclusion of how to restore Afghanistan is happening, it's the monsters of the enemy who are making it so difficult, the troops need to remain in order to continue progress.
The war in Afghanistan started in pursuit of a noble cause; retribution for 9/11. Killing Osama Bin Laden, decapitating his organisation. The fallout of the war has meant that troops are in the country, Somalia or Nigeria were not responsible for 9/11 nor 7/7 nor all the attempted bombings since. The troops went for a noble cause and now should stay and repair the damages of war and improve the situation from what it was. It also means that the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq could stop the spread of possible Revolutionary Guard revolution dangerously spreading from Iran. It also has become a policy of containment. The soldiers there are becoming increasing skilled at their role which suggest if a country requests intervention then they would excel in its provision.
Afghanistan is our problem, even if you don't agree with those who took us there, it is not a problem to be shaken off and ignored, leaving allows the fascists and sadists to reclaim their lost land and re-enslave its innocent majority. Leaving prematurely allows Afghanistan to become the melting pot from which all manner of hate can be forged against the West. The opium crop can be used once again for funding and would propel enemies of the West to another threat level, as more advanced weapons would become affordable. It is for our safety, but also our fellow human beings, the liberals and the progressives of the country who would wish a chance to live as we do at home, but could possibly not have this dream met as the liberals and progressive in the West feel progress is only for themselves not for the Middle-East. Such a stance is cowardly, introspective and selfish.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by LaissezFaire 6 years ago
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||3||0|
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.