At a gala event in Singapore last night, Afghanistan was chosen to host the next world war, expected to start in 2008. They beat off strong competition from Belgium, Israel and Pakistan to emerge victorious with the catchy slogan "War: Its What We Do".
A delighted prime minister Hamid Karzai said he was "overjoyed" with the result and explained that preparations had been long underway. "We think we are the natural choice. We have first class facilities for such an event and a highly enthusiastic fan base. We can boast a proud history of over 100 years of warfare, and are confident that all battles will be well attended."
The Belgians, on the other hand, were bitterly disappointed. Their government spokesman, whose name has been forgotten, said that he had fully expected to win the bid based on their track record. "We successfully put on the 1914 'Great War' and hosted many major events during the Second World War." He dismissed suggestions that they would not be able to cope with a more modern type of warfare. "If nuclear weapons are used, the loss of Belgium would probably go unnoticed by the rest of the world", he argued.
Of the other bids, Israel's looked most promising. It floundered, however, when the judges realised that the Bible had predicted the end of the world or 'Armageddon' if such a war should come to pass in their region. The judges controversially made a point of promising that "their time will come", a hint that they will indeed be granted the 'big one' at some future date. Pakistan's bid did not make it past the first round of votes, although it is possible they may host some minor skirmishes in the border regions in 2008.
Meanwhile in Kabul, scenes of wild celebrations followed the announcement resulting in a tribe of Kushti herdsmen being wiped out. "We just can't wait for it to start now," said the leader of one Mujhadin fighter group and, true to his word, launched an anti-aircraft missile into a nearby hospital.
The Pentagon was quick to congratulate Afghanistan's success. A US official said, "As long its nowhere near the US, we are happy to offer our full support."