200th death in Afghanistan will raise questions

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by singha61, Aug 14, 2009.

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  1. From Times Online
    August 14, 2009
    200th death in Afghanistan will raise questions over UK strategy

    The decision to begin the campaign in Helmand with such a small number of troops was dangerously shortsighted
    The Ministry of Defence is preparing itself for an outpouring of emotion - and possibly recrimination - with British forces in Afghanistan on the verge of losing their 200th troop.

    Landmark casualty figures are a sensitive issue and the total has been reached in a comparatively short time. All but five of those who have died in Afghanistan have lost their lives since the Government’s decision to send a brigade to Helmand province in the spring of 2006.

    Judging by the comments from ministers and military commanders at the time, there appeared to have been no concept, let alone intelligence assessment, of an impending campaign that would, within three years, increase the number of deaths of members of the Armed Forces to 200.

  2. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Dont know about you but the old and bold amongst us ask questions about every death!

  3. Exactly! Just what is the difference between the first death and the last? Each and every one is a tragic, dreadful occurence and there should be no importance placed on numerical order.
  4. The press like numbers though don’t they, and while 200 will be significant, the next will be 258 (Falklands War).

    Unfortunately, I fear we will reach and pass that number.
  5. Know what's gonna really p1ss me off about the 200th death ? - these cnuts


    who are going to gone on a protest march when the number is reached . Since when were they bothered about Afghanistan ? They weren't protesting when the Soviets invaded the country , nor did they protest when the country was under foreign occupation via the taliban

    Someone's son gets killed and they have a nice , self righteous day out . CNUTS CNUTS CNUTS

    Sorry guys it makes me angry :x
  6. The planning for Helmand and the Afg deployment in 2006 was a joke. Military planners and Chiefs of Staff now have many deaths on their hands. At the highest levels it is accepted that there was no real plan aside from send in the paras and work it out from there.

    Defence Committee warnings about concern over the lack of helicopter support were simply ignored. Ministers pointed out that all the plans were the work of the military and signed off by the Chiefs of Staff.

    Now we have our soldiers being blown to bits in poorly protected vehicles carrying out what should be helicopter support missions and naval helicopters pressed into service so poorly armoured that their pilots have gone to the press. Neither have equipment that can be called fit for purpose.

    This has been a disastrous deployment by a military dangerously underfunded with no obvious exit strategy. There is little in place to prevent the onward march of another hundred deaths once we have confirmation of the 200th victim.

    Above all, the military brass hats have an awful lot to answer for. They could start by following Dannatt's lead and growing a spine.
  7. Unfortunately, I doubt the 200th will be the last.
  8. Every loss is a sad loss.

    With hindsight the operations were undermanned and the boots on the ground and given too many tasks to perform. Even currently if there are 9k troops out there then once you take all the ones that are not on fighting duties that will reduce the numbers even more to hold the taken ground and move onto new ground and of course as the more ground gets taken less troops are there to hold that ground. So this sadly will result in even more sad losses.

    If the stop the war lot are so interested, I am sure they can pop along to the travel agent and book a flight to Pakistan and take a walk over the hills and ask Mr Terry to stop killing our troops.
  9. JB, no hindsight required I can post the relevant references, all the failings were pointed out BEFORE the deployment in 2006. Both Govt and the military establishment approved those plans. It wasn't as if we had to look too far back into history was it?
  10. Every lost of life is tragic.
    I think the stop the war lots should all be given white feathers to wear and made to parade though a military town and see the response they get. I wonder how many of them would actually do it? Or if it would make them think twice about the rumor mongering they do.
  11. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    At least the anti-war tosspots have been consistent. The only people really looking forward to the 200th death - and they re looking forward, believe you me - is the media. They have outrage stories all ready, headlines filed, etc., etc. They portray themselves as supporting 'our boys' in various ways - but their only aim is to make money for Mr Murdoch, or the Barclay Bros, or Mr Desmond, or GMG shareholders, or whoever.

    Given that their sole purpose, as a plc, is to shift papers, whether that involves Jordan on the front page, or 200 dead service men and women, their only criteria for selection is which one sells most rags.

    Cruel, heartless, and absolutely wrong it may be, but that's how they work.

    Don't buy the bloody things!
  12. http://www.publications.parliament.u...ce/558/558.pdf

    All the problems of shortages of men, equipment and support predicted for the 2006 deployment to Afg and ignored.

    59. "Given the importance to the Helmand mission of airlift capability, we note with concern the small number of UK helicopters dedicated to the deployment. We welcome the commitment made by the US and Dutch air forces to supplement the UK airlift. We remain deeply concerned about the ability of the UK’s ten dedicated helicopters to perform the extensive range of roles that will be asked of them, particularly given the demanding environment in which they will operate and the likely attrition rates that
    will result."

    MoD Response to the above Defence Committee criticism;


    20. As announced by the Secretary of State on 26 January, the HTF will be supported by a total of 18 helicopters: 6 Chinook support helicopters, 4 Lynx light utility helicopters, and 8 Apache attack helicopters.

    21. The number of support helicopters deployed on this mission is based on
    recommendations made by the relevant military planning staffs and was agreed by Chiefs of Staff earlier this year.

    Worse still, the size of Democratic Republic of Afghanistan armed forces peaked in 1986 at 302,000 men, an equally impressive desertion rate of 30,000 men a year. We currently have an Afghan Army size of 80,000 men. What is it with the Chiefs of Staff? Why did they think they could do the job with 10 support helicopters? Are they plain bonkers or just arrogant?
  13. I'm with oldsnowy, as far as newspapers are concerned, dead servicemen/women will only push up their sales figures, yes 200 will be tough, as was 1-199. I have been alone in dusty rooms when bad news has come through, and i have no doubt that I will be in that position again. It's the nature of the beast. The thing is, groups like "STW" will always have, in my opinion, an agenda. I wonder what they think of socialist groups like "The International Brigade" who fought during the Spanish Civil War.
  14. That's an interesting point . People like Christopher Hitchens and Nick Cohen who still consider themselves " left wing " have nothing but contempt for the stop the war coalition . They often point to Orwell's opinions on pacifism and other " anti war " groups

    Orwell - as well as being one of my favourite authors is a veteran of the Spanish Civil War , check out Homage To Catalonia sometime - is being increasingly qouted by the anti war mob pointing to increasingly unconvincing passages that he wrote in the 1940s that somehow prove he'd be standing alongside them on their anti war protests which is entirely laughable . Im the spring of 1945 after the Nazi death camps were liberated Orwell wrote this essay condemning once and for all pacifism


    As I said the stop The War coalition are the worse hypocrits in the world today . They never condemn war per se - only if it's waged by the democracies of Britain , America and Israel , especially if their opponents never stick to the rules of international warfare
  15. I think, span, we are on the same songsheet. Having just watched a tv programme about the Scots who fought with IB and having read quite a few G.O works, my question still stands to "STW", "what do you want? do you want a single party state who have the power to dictate what you wear, who 'represents' you, as they see fit. " These are the same people who rallied for the "Troops out (NI) movement". As long as they are safe and sound, they are all right jack.