Who best articulates why the Allies are in Afghanistan, Clinton or Espersen?

Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speak with the media in the Treaty Room.

SECRETARY CLINTON:  Now, certainly, we know how hard this is and we believe that this is in our national security interest and the national security interest of our NATO allies and other partners who have voluntarily joined ISAF for this effort. No one likes war. If people were not worried about or concerned about war, there would be something wrong with them. And we come from nations that are democracies with strong values and ideals, so certainly, you’re not going to find either the foreign minister or I doing anything other than recognizing that war is sometimes necessary. And in this case, we believe it is necessary.

We cannot speak for other countries and their decisions, but I think both the United States and Denmark see the geostrategic political significance of what we are trying to achieve in Afghanistan. Both Denmark and the United States understand that an Afghanistan that once again became a failed state and provided a refuge for terrorists to organize attacks against our countries, our people, our allies, would require response as we had to after 9/11. …

FOREIGN MINISTER ESPERSEN: I think that sometimes when we see the casualties, the Danish and American soldiers on Helmand, which is one of the places where the insurgents are in the largest amounts and really fighting back, sometimes we forget why we’re there. We’re there for the safety of ourselves. We’re there for the safety of the Danish citizens and American citizens, because if we weren’t there, we would get attacked by terrorists. So it’s our own safety that’s at stake.

Excerpts of remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen.  (photo: AP)

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