Helping a Friend in Afghanistan

Nigel D. White

in Democracy goes to War

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780199218592
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191705595 | DOI:
 Helping a Friend in Afghanistan

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The war on terrorism, starting in earnest with the military action in Afghanistan October 2001, involved British troops acting alongside the United States against al-Qaeda and the Taliban on the basis of the right of self-defence, the same right that was invoked in the Falklands War. Was the British reliance on the right of self-defence controversial either domestically or internationally? Was the fact that the action seemed to have approval from the Security Council, as well as NATO, important? While the initial operation — Operation Enduring Freedom — was based upon article 51 of the UN Charter preserving the right of self-defence, once the Taliban had been removed and al-Qaeda routed, Britain led a Security Council authorized security presence in and around Kabul providing stability while a nascent Afghan government tried to assert authority over the country. Concern was expressed in parliament at ‘mission creep’ as the functions of the NATO force (ISAF) changed, and British troops faced a resurgent Taliban in Helmand province from 2006 onwards.

Keywords: war on terror; self-defence; Enduring Freedom; al-Qaeda; Taliban; ISAF; NATO; Helmand

Chapter.  11973 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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