In the past week the war in Afghanistan has been brought to the attention of the public. Few could ignore the deaths of our troops or the numerous debates in the media. I feel awash with information and trying to assemble it into some kind of sense is not easy.
French troops have refused to go to Afghanistan while Spain ruled out sending more, yet our politicians can't give us accurate numbers and we're given the reason of 'protecting our country from terrorism' as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But how many believe it.
Informed writers have their opinions, one being Julian Kavanagh who, quite rightly in my view, criticises General Sir Rchard Dannatt for his public outpourings. His statement 'The politicians, for all their faults, are the masters and they make the decisions they are elected to make and crucially, within the budgets that they have.'
Our politicians are in charge and the military bosses have little influence with the present government. Bob Ainsworth is ridiculed as Defence Secretary as it's so obvious he has no grasp of his remit but, for Gordon Brown, he was the least worst choice. I admit to having to re-read this paragraph in that article - "Bob is liked by the military," a friend (of Ainsworth's) said. "They like his toughness. They like his occasional laddishness." Ludicrous.
This country has fallen to a new low when we have a Prime Minister who is only interested in his own status and has no concern for Britain and we have the likes of Ainsworth and Rammell making major military decisions. As well as being less than truthful about air support, they refuse to tell us the numbers who have been injured in the Afghan war as 'they are of no interest to the public.' They interest me. Hundreds have been seriously injured, many will never lead an independent life again, yet they are never acknowledged by our elected representatives.
Gordon Brown has stated the war in Afghanistan 'could go on for years'. Why? It is a country with a corrupt government and it will hold a corrupt election.
It is my hope that when more people realise Afghanistan is not a military problem but a cultural one, they will call for our soldiers to be returned home. The war is unwinnable. Until we have proper border controls in the UK, terrorists will be able to walk into the UK unchallenged and having 9000 soldiers in Afghanistan is not going to alter that fact.
Instead of investing in infrastructure and security, the Department for International Development has invested £420,000 on a leisure park for women and a Ferris wheel. Hospitals and schools seem far less important.
While I write this I'm listening to Gordon Brown stumbling and stuttering through an acknowledgement of the kindness and respect the people of Wootton Bassett show to our fallen. Doesn't he realise people go to Wootton Bassett because they support our troops not the war.
This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
This war, plus the Iraq war, may well have long-term effects on Britain. Taliban sympathisers will not forget Britain's contribution and will target us at every opportunity for many years to come. We have paid our dues to the US, it is time to make our own decisions and show some sense where the security of this island is concerned.