Nov. 07, 2014 - When something goes badly awry in British public life, particularly when a government is caught up in a mess of its own making, the default response of politicians is to set up a public inquiry.
Public inquiries can occasionally expose the truth after a scandal or major controversy. Sometimes they even decide who is culpable. But in Britain, public inquiries are less about digging up the truth, and more about burying it.
So no sooner had the British Army solemnly lowered the Union Flag at Camp Bastion in Helmand province, with a ceremonial efficiency that their military operations in Afghanistan too often lacked, than the cry went up in parliament for a public inquiry into the nation’s involvement in the 13-year war.
In many respects a public inquiry into this long and bloody conflict is desperately needed. It has resulted in the deaths of thousands of Afghans and 453 British military personnel, and cost British taxpayers around $60 billion.
Despite this, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon admitted there was “no guarantee”Afghanistan would be “stable” or “safe” after Britain’s departure.
“The Taliban are still there, there is still insurgency,” he said.
An inquiry could shed some light on why the purpose of Britain’s operations in Afghanistan changed so often during the conflict. It might explain whether Britain’s troops were there too long, or whether they should have been there at all. read more>>>
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014