At the June meeting of the Stop the War steering committee, Steve Bell outlined the "new stage of crisis for the NATO occupation of Afghanistan". His report is worth reading in full, and is reprinted here.
Steve notes the increasing sense of 'disengagement' on behalf of many allies of the US operation, and argues that the election of the new ConDem government has brought into the open some of the 'tensions' surrounding the British role in Afghanistan.
With public services facing the chop, a £5 billion a year bill for this war is increasingly hard for its advocates to justify. But more than that, they clearly do not know how a war like this could ever be 'won'. David Cameron has ruled out sending more troops, and now says that Britain cannot be in Afghanistan in five years time. The occupation is in crisis, and those leading it are refusing to face up to the obvious necessity of starting the search for peace.
Steve's report concludes that, "...the anti-war movement must be aware of how vital it is to increase its activity. Parliament is full of new MPs, many of whom can be placed under real pressure..." He is right, and now is the time for us to revitalise our campaign.
Birmingham Stop the War is holding its annual general meeting this month. I will be speaking alongside Andrew Murray (National Chair of Stop the War).
TROOPS OUT OF AFGHANISTAN
Birmingham Stop the War
Wednesday 14 July
Carrs Lane Church Centre (opposite Moor Street Station).