Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 07:41 | SYDNEY
Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 07:41 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Why Afghanistan?


Sam Roggeveen


12 March 2009 16:52

Lachlan McGovern responds to my post on Australia's involvement in Afghanistan:

Have to agree with your point here, Sam. The war in Afghanistan is ostensibly self-defence after the September 11 attacks. However, ISAF is fighting the Taliban rather than al Qaeda, so there really doesn't seem to be a solid basis for the action. Remember too that the September 11 hijackers/plotters were Saudi rather than Afghan. This highlights the problem of attacking a state when you're really fighting non-state actors.

As for theĀ conditionĀ of al Qaeda, I'm not even sure that prior to 9/11 it was the global headquarters of a terrorist organisation. It has always seemed happy to be linked to plenty of organisations, and claimed credit for attacks it really had little to do with, besides the fact that the perpetrators spent time in al Qaeda training camps. Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower outlines this in quite good detail.

Professor Dennis Altman also dropped me a line to alert me to a piece he wrote about this issue for Inside Story.