Dear Sir, THE British, Americans, Europeans and others fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, while Pakistan stands by on the sidelines, is a little bit like an army from Pakistan fighting an insurgency in Wales while England and Scotland look on, mouthing hopeful platitudes but in fact, aiding the rebelious Welsh.

Whether we in the West like to admit it or not, Afghanistan is not ever going to be subdued by western forces except in small pockets of control and even those will not last long. It is just a matter of looking at history, and all the defeats which the Afghans have inflicted on conquerors.

CONTROLLABLE “FROM ARMS LENGTH” It's a matter of understanding that Afghanistan is unconquerable; by the British army, by the Russians, by U.S. and coalition forces but perhaps, only “perhaps”, controlible by Pakistan and Iran from arms length - and only as the country unites within.

Afghanistan is still a feudal society and, while the Russians made some inroads, the West can - at best - hold Kabul on a temporary basis and do little else besides.

The answer could be to delare the country a temporary UN mandated territory jointly administered by Pakistan in the east, Iran in the west and with a temporary EU military presense. Of course, that wont happen and thousands more civilians, troops and Taliban will die in what is, in truth, a feudal and religious war! Why?

Meb Cutlack, S'arraco.

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