Thursday, June 02, 2011


With the sad death of two more Australian soldiers in Afghanistan, comes the predictable bleating that the war is "unwinnable" and an unmitigated disaster.

While the death of coalition troops is unquestionably tragic, some perspective is required. 22 deaths, over an entire decade in heavy combat, is fewer than the number killed on Australian roads over a single long weekend. Put very bluntly, as wars go, 22 isn't bad.

I'm not saying we should stay there no matter what. Continual, serious analysis is required (and Greg Sheridan makes a compelling argument for leaving Afghanistan here). However the total lack of stomach for causalities in war, has sent a clear message to Islamists. Kill a small handful of diggers and the people back home will surrender.

That is not the sort of message you want to be sending to these animals.

It does seem however that Afghanistan is now a useful rallying point for those who previously cried that Iraq was "unwinnable", a "quagmire" and "Vietnam all over again". They do seem to have gone quiet, haven't they?



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