Peter Gilchrist, a retired British major general and former army Commander in Afghanistan, joins a panel debate about the Afghanistan War. Other panellist speakers are Michael Griffin, Bruce Kent, Lindsey German, Dawood Azami, Bill Rammel the Government Minister for the Armed Forces is unable to attend and has a prepared speech read out by the chairman of the debate, Vijay Mehta. The debate is held at Friends Meeting House, Euston Road. London, UK, 24th November 2009
Peter Gilchrist defends the British military intervention in Afghanistan and its legality which is challenged in the debate amongst other points by fellow panellist Lindsey German and from the floor by legal expert Chris Coverdale and others. Peter Gilchrist describes the conflict not as a War, but in terms such as dealing with insurgency at the request of the Afghanistan government, with training for the Afghanistan people to take over these military or policing roles in the future. However invading a country installing a new government that then invites the invaders in, does not convince all those participating in the debate of the military invasions legitimacy. Gilchrist also draws attention to the reconstruction work which he believes will benefit of the Afghanistan population. The panellist are asked to make suggestions for the improving the situation in Afghanistan, Gilchrist recommends that the UN aide distribution should be audited to reduce corruption. His personal opinion is that the President role should be a figurehead one, with the political power held at the Parliamentary level.
“It is more difficult to stop a war than start one.” Marie Byrne author & playwright
Location: Euston, London, UK
Photographer: Richard Keith Wolff