Afghan canal where soldiers ask: do you think were winning

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jul 6, 2009.

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  1. From The Times
    July 6, 2009
    The Afghan canal where British soldiers ask: do you think we're winning?
    Tom Coghlan at the Shamalan Canal, Helmand Province
    “Do you think we are winning?”

    The Welsh Guardsman was on his stomach with his light machinegun outside Checkpoint 11 when he asked this of the person lying next to him. He listened intently to the open-ended answer and quietly went back to scanning the canal bank for an expected Taleban attack.

    A week ago it was just another irrigation channel in a dusty corner of Helmand Province. But seven days of relentless fighting for British troops has turned the Shamalan Canal into a name that is becoming grimly familiar.

    Several British soldiers have died on the canal’s banks in five days, defending a string of checkpoints thrust about 10 miles straight into the heart of a Taleban-held area northwest of the provincial capital Lashkar Gah. A larger, undisclosed number have been injured. Among the dead is the commander of the Welsh Guards, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, the most senior British army officer to be killed since the Falklands.

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    The tempo rarely lets up. Attacks at dawn and dusk are routine. One Welsh Guards company was attacked 15 times in a day.

    As night falls there is something reminiscent of the Western Front about the battlefield. From their positions the soldiers watch parachute flares cast shifting shadows until somewhere the silence is broken: the first thump of a Taleban rocket-propelled grenade, the rattle of Kalashnikov fire and then the heavier chatter of British heavy machineguns and SA80s. Red tracer bullets make graceful arcs and occasionally there is the heavier crump of artillery rounds and clattering cannon fire from Apache helicopters.
    More on the link
  2. Sounds like someone trying to be smart quoting a scene from a deleted scene from Apocalypse Now
  3. May well be cliched but makes you think out there.
  4. I thing the Taff's question is answered elsewhere in the write up - One Welsh Guards company was attacked 15 times in a day.
  5. From the link…

    "… The Taleban fight not to win, but to outlast…"

    And there you have it, all they have to do is outlast like they always do. Invaders come, invaders go, but the Afghans are always the last man standing - been that way for over 2,000 years.
  6. Well. we're not going to win overnight! It will be a gradual wearing down process of either them or us. At least we've got some good kit out of it and lots of experience fighting insurgents which is the future of warfare.

  7. They have effectively limitless manpower courtesy of Pakistan.
  8. And Leeds, Bradford, Leicester, Burnley, Birmingham........................