AFTER nearly twenty years, British and American military involvement in Afghanistan is finally at an end. But why was our military ever sent there in the first place?
Military intervention began on the pretext that the Taliban government in Afghanistan harboured the terrorists responsible for the attacks of 11 September 2001, but the facts do not back this up. Of the attackers, 15 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, two were from the United Arab Emirates, one was from Lebanon and one was from Egypt.
Osama Bin Laden boasted of his involvement, but there is no solid evidence linking him to the attacks. We loathe and despise the Taliban with good reason, but evidence that they were in any way responsible for the 9/11 atrocities is flimsy.
Two decades on, and the Taliban are back in control of Afghanistan, far more quickly than so-called ‘experts’ predicted as recently as a few weeks ago.
So what are we to make of it all? And on what terms should Britain, America and her allies engage with the Taliban in the future?
Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins try to make sense of a highly complex situation.
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