Page last updated at 18:15 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Afghanistan: Your comments

British soldiers in Afghanistan

Kim Howells, chairman of the intelligence and security committee, has called for the "great majority" of British troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan.

In a separate development in Helmand province five British soldiers were shot dead in an attack blamed on a "rogue" Afghan policeman.

BBC News website readers have been emailing us their views on the British operation in Afghanistan.


British soldier in Afghanistan

This is the last straw. This country has been taking our efforts for granted. They have no interest in helping themselves, so what can we do to make this process any different? We should leave them to sort out their mess on their own. If the government is worried about drugs ending up on UK streets, then why don't we spend the billions of pounds currently being wasted in Afghanistan to protect and increase security on our own borders? At least we'd have less people being killed!
Concerned member of the Royal Marines, Exeter

I agree that our troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan and I strongly agree that they should be protecting our shores. How can they possibly protect our country from terrorist attacks when the majority of our soldiers are not even in this country? My husband is a Royal Military Policeman so I know all too well about the other issues and side effects of being in Afghanistan for soldiers as individuals. It's time to pull out and look after our brave men and women. Stop sending them to early graves!
Fiona, wife of Military Policeman

I would tend to agree enough is enough. As a former soldier I can safely say that the boys on the ground would never opt to withdraw, they would continue to fight for our country. However you have to wonder whether we should be trying to bring democracy to countries which clearly do not hold the same values as us. If the Russians failed then maybe we should be looking for a way to make a tactical withdrawal without losing face.
Jim, Dunbar

After today's devastating news, then surely there should be no doubt, they should be withdrawn. Why should our soldiers continue to loose their lives and suffer appalling injuries trying to help a country which seems no further in sorting itself out! I have never felt so strongly to comment on a story before but as a mother and a wife I feel for the families of our soldiers.
A Lowe, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs

Why are we lining up our soldiers to die in a political war that few understand? How do their noble deaths make our lives safer?
Neil, London

This 'war' has no achievable or definable end

We will continue to lose our people because this "war" has no achievable or definable end. We work with a regime where we cannot trust the integrity of the President nor the Afghans forces we are there to help. We are failing to recognise that unless all the agencies that should be delivering change in Afghanistan, are publically held to account, it is the blood of British, American, Canadian and Danish Service men and women that will pay for their failure.
Roy Beavis, Salisbury

Wars cannot be won until the local communities support it. The troops need to be pulled out and a peace conference for the region needs to be initiated, involving troops, the countries involved, local groups and tribes.
Hasan Beg, Kirkcaldy

We have been fighting in Afghanistan since the 1800s. Their way of life is quite different from ours and we shall never understand it. Even if we were to subdue the Taliban they would return as soon as we left. As for terrorist training, if Afghanistan was not available to them they would find somewhere else. We should leave now.
Ian Morden, Paignton

Pull our troops out now. They have a working government; they have their own security and military. We do not need to be there anymore. How many more innocent deaths before this political war is ended?
Chris Haynes, London

I believe the campaign in Afghanistan will ultimately fail. The tribal situation, terrain etc all count against our troops and like Vietnam, what are we actually fighting for? The price our troops are paying for politicians' misguided ideas is too high!
Keith Grainger, Keighley


British and Afghan soldiers searching a village for Taliban forces

It is sad to hear day after day the loss of lives of British soldiers. But I do not agree with Kim Howells as Afghanistan will become a breeding ground for terrorism yet again, and the world has to be ready for another 9/11. The best strategy would be to get all the tribal leaders together and a government should be formed representing tribal leaders from all section. Involve countries like Jordan, Egypt and other moderate Muslim countries to have talks with the Taliban.
Shazmin Sheikh, Ilford

Why would anyone even consider withdrawing the British troops after all the sacrifices they have made to take the Afghan people this far? Our troops went there because they had a job to do. Many British solders have sacrificed their lives for this cause. If the troops are brought back then all that will be just for nothing and their deaths will be in vain.
Ignatious, Norwich

Troops should remain in Afghanistan until the job is finally done

In spite of this latest tragedy, I still believe that UK and coalition troops should remain in Afghanistan until the job is finally done. If they withdraw now, then those men will have died for nothing and both the Taliban and al-Qaeda will have won. Is that what we want?
Graham Rodhouse, Helmond, Holland

Despite the tragic loss of life it is essential that the UK and its allies remain in Afghanistan and win the war against the Taliban. Otherwise their colleagues in al-Qaeda will be back here very soon with more terrorist atrocities. We should massively increase forces there, insist on the new government being honest and incorruptible (and remove it if it won't) and finally destroy the entire poppy harvest to stop the supply of heroin to the west.
Michael Sage, Kirkwall, Orkney

British troops should stay and win the war against the Taliban otherwise the deaths of all 229 British soldiers will have been in vain.
Peter Pearce, Dagenham

We need to finish what we started. Perhaps this could be a call to the EU to test the 'Lisbon Treaty' in the context of projecting EU Foreign policy?
Patrick Rice, Colchester

Mr Kim Howells and all other politicians who call for a pull out of all soldiers after an incident like this, please understand we are at war and as such you must expect casualties. I'm sure our soldiers would much prefer your full support. Let them do the job they are trained to do.
Rhys, Pontypool

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