War is not something that should ever be taken lightly

On my drive home from town, I was listening to CBC Radio when I

couldn’t help but get lost in thought. The show was talking about the

younger generation in Afghanistan and the progress they have made in areas like radio, television and print media. What made me start

thinking is that we are leaving. Most of NATO is getting ready to pack

up and pull out of the area. I know there are a lot of people who

think that we should get out of Afghanistan, but I am not too sure.

On the combat front, there are a lot of mixed messages and the Taliban continues to give NATO troops a hard time. Now that there are more American troops in there, things seem to be a little easier on our

forces. What gets me is that if we are to pack up and leave we would

be handing the country back over to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The

Afghan military is not strong enough to continue the war that our

governments created, nor is the Afghan government functional enough to rebuild its infrastructure, economy and fight a war.

Before the Taliban was our enemy, Western governments sat by as women were treated as less than human. Owning a television or listening to music was a punishable crime. Under the Taliban, the country was nearly back to the dark ages.  There was no education for women and the majority of people were illiterate. The West actually supported the Taliban for a while in hopes that they would stabilize the region. In the West, we have a habit of supporting tyrants as long as it works in our favour. We only need to look at current events in the Middle East for proof.

I can’t help, but wonder what will happen if the Taliban gains control

again. Most likely, anyone who worked with the West will be targeted as will their families. The progress the country has made in advancing

towards a more modern country will be lost. Civil war will start again

and Afghanistan will become the same country it was before. Our

governments created the problems in Afghanistan long before 9/11. Our Cold War foreign policy paid for the people who are now our enemies. The CIA trained them, and we were okay with whatever happened there as long as it meant that the Soviet Union would lose the war there.

I fear that if NATO leaves Afghanistan prematurely and we allow the

Taliban to regain control of the country that our fallen will have

sacrificed in vain. The Taliban is not going away because Western

forces leave. Western nations created the situation in Afghanistan and

they have an obligation to fix the mess that they created. It

shouldn’t matter how long the conflict has been going on for that

should have been a consideration before they dropped the first bombs.

War is not something that should ever be taken lightly, but neither is

toppling a government and not finishing the job. Western powers have

an obligation to the people that they freed when they invaded

Afghanistan. It is time for the West to stick to something it has

started for once.