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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
When is a soldier ready for war?
Thousands of soldiers from the coalition countries are bracing themselves for the call for decisive military action in the war on terrorism.

Many of these soldiers signed up during a time of prolonged peace. Some never thought it possible that they would go to war.

The Taleban's armed soldiers have stated that they are willing to die fighting foreign invaders in Afghanistan.

Amongst them are experienced fighters who have known decades of combat and men who are being forcibly recruited to swell their numbers.

How prepared are the military forces on both sides for what might confront them?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

Taleban soldiers are soldiers of opportunity

Mo Ahmed, San Clemente, Calif, USA
Taleban soldiers are soldiers of opportunity. Their allegiances are to their villages and their tribal elders. What good is a country where one three depends on foreign handouts? Most will "melt" away as soon as bombs fall and special operations troops encounter them. Choking off re-supply and destruction of their fragile logistics will be the key to any military confrontation.
Mo Ahmed, San Clemente, Calif. USA

If and when war starts it will be interesting to see the effect the Taliban mentality will have upon the coalition forces. Whether they're up to the challenge physically is not the question but whether they could handle it mentally is not so obvious.
Mohammed Arif, UK

America is repeating its old mistakes by arming Pakistan. Can the US or UK ensure that innocent Indians are not killed by Pakistanis and their supporters who describe everything as a Jihad?
Leo David, India

You cannot compare the military might of the coalition with that of the Taleban. Taleban military power is no match to that of coalition forces and would fall within days or weeks. The balance, however, would change if the Taleban run to the mountains. It is there that they stand the best chance to harass and destabilize any future government in Afghanistan.
Haroon Mohsini, Canada

Taliban soldiers are highly motivated, fighting as they are in their home country. US soldiers are not ready to sacrifice their lives in distant lands. Therefore I conclude that it will be very difficult to beat the Taliban in their own backyard.
Peter Bergh, Norway

See also:

05 Oct 01 | UK Politics
Blair shores up Pakistan support
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