Lembit: it’s time to pull out of Afghanistan

Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik makes the argument in (where else?) his Daily Sport political column:

I AM delighted to see the Daily Sport taking a courageous and honest stand against the unwinnable and hopelessly expensive war in Afghanistan. The only WAY OUT is to PULL OUT. Then we can start talks with the other side and find a better way to sort out the mess. In hundreds of years, nobody’s ever beaten the Afghans on their home turf. It’s an away match the British and Americans cannot win — not least because, when they were our friends, we actually trained the enemy we’re now trying to defeat! So a gold star to the Sport for having the vision to call for troop withdrawal. I only hope other newspapers will have the sense to follow this paper’s lead. Any other plan is a strategy for failure, and a death warrant for even more of our brave soldiers.

What do LDV readers think – is Lembit right to call for British withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan? Or is a new surge necessary to win the war we started?

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Europe / International.


  • He’s right. Shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Should leave now. Getting voted in in Britain gives no-one the right to occupy someone else’s country. Or to put it another way – remember the old war films set in German occupied countries? Remember the bad buys in the grey uniforms? That’s us that is.

  • @Chris – If I recall the German troops didn’t have a UN mandate for their action and occupation. Whether we are helping the situation by remaining is less clear but the action and occupation do have validity.

  • The only way that war could ever have been won was if marshal plan-levels of investment had followed the troops in, and that was never going to happen.

    There’s going to be an absolute blood-bath when we do leave though.

  • Opportunistic and band waggon jumping come to mind.

  • Tony Harwood 5th Nov '09 - 8:52pm

    A copy of my letter recently published in The Independent on the (13th July) which is self explanatory:

    When the Prime Minister states that “There is a chain of terror that runs from the mountains and towns of Afghanistan to the streets of Britain” he is right, but not in the sense he intends.

    The US/UK military campaign to subjugate the rebellious Pashtun province of Helmand is not winning hearts and minds. Instead, it sows seeds of bitterness and vengeance with every (shamefully under-reported) air strike. The occupation is radicalising a new generation at home and abroad. And, in counterpoint to its stated aims, it provides a training and testing ground for guerrilla tactics and technology.

    The asymmetric conflict against the Pashtun insurgency in Afghanistan is resembling more and more the US embroilment in South Vietnam, with one crucial difference; the then Labour government had the courage and foresight not to involve UK forces.


Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • TonyH
    Layla does well here. And it's such a fantastic campaign issue: real community politics, with a national angle - and we can make it our own. It was good to see ...
  • Nonconformistradical
    @Brad Barrows "we get more periods of really heavy rain that could overwhelm sewerage systems in urban areas, leading to sewage backing up in peoples’ homes....
  • George Thomas
    I guess the question I would ask LD's is can the politics of Westminster ever get bad enough that, if you could, you would vote to become independent of it? ...
  • Ruth Bright
    Struggling to disagree with much of that Lorenzo....
  • Brad Barrows
    @Roland Yes, the Constitution makes clear that there are other ‘unenumerated’ rights beyond those identified in the text. The current Supreme Court believe...