Why are Britain and the US engaged in military operations in Afghanistan? Why are British and US soldiers dying there? With the British losses over the last two weeks, some of the key leaders in prosecuting the Afghan campaign have addressed themselves to these questions, and it's interesting to note what they say. David Miliband says:
This is about the future of Britain because we know that the badlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan – that border area – have been used to launch terrible attacks, not just on the United States, but on Britain as well.
And Gordon Brown:
There is a chain of terror that runs from the mountains and towns of Afghanistan to the streets of Britain. Our resolution to complete the work we have started is undiminished.
And Brown again:
[O]ur purpose is clear: to prevent terrorism coming to the streets of Britain... [T]his is a fight to clear terrorist networks from Afghanistan and Pakistan...
And Barack Obama:
This is not an American mission... The mission in Afghanistan is one that the Europeans have as much if not more of a stake in than we do. The likelihood of a terrorist attack in London is at least as high, if not higher, than it is in the United States.
When obliged to speak in earnest rather than merely playing with forms of rhetoric, they speak in plain terms. Whatever else it is, it's a war against terrorism. FKATWOT 24.