Time to end the war in Afghanistan?

Yesterday was the deadliest day so far for the United States of its 10-year war in Afghanistan, as thirty members of the American special forces were killed when the Taliban shot down a Chinook helicopter.

That brings the US death toll since the start of the conflict to over 1,000. The UK has lost over 300. Afghanistan: countless thousands (ISAF / NATO hasn’t cared to count too closely).

This year, the projected total cost to the US relating to Afghanistan is expected to be $118.6 billion.

As the rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the US top-notch AAA rating to AA+, China took the opportunity to say another downgrade would be inevitable unless the US slashed, among other items, its “gigantic military expenditure”, of which Afghanistan is a huge chunk.

Timely, then, to listen to what Rory Stewart has to say on the matter in this TED Talks speech from a couple of weeks ago: ‘Time to end the war in Afghanistan’.

I don’t think Stewart has all the answers, but he certainly has some of them and meanwhile manages to pose some pretty uncomfortable questions for the war leaders in Washington and Whitehall.


YouTube video