Some tourism before going back to fighting terrorism.


The other day whilst working at the Imperial War Museum (as I occasionally do) a British army officer arrived with a group of slightly bewildered-looking men.

He announced that they were Afghan soldiers who had been brought over to the UK for military training and a spot of sightseeing. A couple of them had cameras and were eagerly taking snaps of all the guns and tanks – though you’d think they’d get enough of that stuff in Afghanistan!

Hopefully hanging around in London didn’t freak them out too much. It would obviously be slightly counterproductive to invite Afghan troops to visit the UK as part of a ‘hearts’n’minds’ operation only to have them decide that the West genuinely is morally corrupt, decadent, awful, etc and that life under the Taliban again would be far more preferable.

It’s nice to think that the Afghan visitors will go back to their country and have positive things to say about Britain. They could maybe tell their friends, families, and colleagues about what they saw and liked. Obviously the Afghan people have to shape their own future, but I for one hope they will be able to build a society based on democracy, tolerance and pluralism.

And perhaps one day Afghans will have to go their own Afghan War Museum if they want to find out what a tank or a bomb look like.



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