Afghan casualty rate at WW2 level

The war in Afghanistan is ...

  • a war agaings terrorism

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • a war that stimulates terrorism

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • simply a stupid needless war

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • just one of many American wars in the ME and central Asia

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • a noble struggle for democracy and better future of the Afghans

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
Bert_Preast said:
nigegilb said:
"The recovery of Afghanistan must entail the restoration of rights of Afghan women," insisted Colin Powell, then the US secretary of state.
Bit tricky that one Colin. Especially when you haven't the guts to tackle the cause of the oppression.
BP, which I suspect is also the root problem back here in blighty. Which also suggests, we may as well bail out of Afg before committing thousands more British troops. There doesn't appear to be a great deal of difference between Talib and Karzai rule, aside from the progress in growing poppy. WTF are our soldiers fighting for? I have heard of British soldiers being ordered to ignore public stonings of women in rural Helmand villages. Their crime? To smile at British soldiers. Shades of Bosnia?
 
Bert_Preast said:
All we talk about is when we're going to be able to pull out. Afghans know this, and they also know that when that day comes the Taleban will return and will retake control. They're never going to take a long term view unless we do, and do so openly. This includes our own opposition parties and anti-war movements, Afghans understand democracy and aren't going to put all their eggs in our basket if they think that an election in the west could see them back in the hands of the Taleban.

As has been pointed out, if we want to sort out Afghanistan it will take a generation, maybe two, to do so. Unless we take this long term view we're just p!ssing into the wind. I don't see us taking this long term view, and I'm not sure if or why we should.
Couldn't agree more. Many would describe the 'War on Terror' as a struggle bewtween 2 ideologies/religious doctrines or a struggle within a religion. Whilst these struggles will sometimes involve violence, I think they are ultimately over a certain way of thinking/view of the world. At stake is literally 'hearts and minds', not just the 'hearts and minds' of the odd MOD press release or news report. To me the 'War on Terror' is a kinetic and non kinetic battle for 'hearts and minds'; it is a battle to control/influence/modify the will of a particular population. As such I agree that we can't be seen to show weakness; if our resolve or will to win is seen to weaken, then I think the enemy will seek to take advantage of it. Who wouldn't. They must be delighted to see Bush lose support from his own political party for the war in Iraq. They can sense the US is about to blink......let's hope they don't blink over Afghanistan.

Anyway, it's all right. We'll sort out Afghanistan and then we'll have to go back to Iraq to take on their own version of the Taleban in about 20 years time.
 
KGB_resident said:
Bat_Crab said:
KGB_resident said:
British Empire and Soviet one tried to sort out Afghanistan. British Empire had crumbled and Soviet one crumbled as well. Now American Empire (NATO) tried to sort Afghanistan out. Rather NATO will be crumbled I bet.
Agreed, but without commitment to Iraq and with the backing of NATO we should have the quantity of troops and the expertise to stay in Afg for years and improve the lot of the Afghan people.
Quantity of troops? Number of troops is irrelevant in the struggle for 'hearts and minds'. Military victory in Afghanistan is impossible. The Soviet union had 100,000 in Afghanistan and puppet Afghani army was not symbolic. Pro-Soviet regime was able to be 2 years at power after the withdrawal.

So what was wrong with the Soviet plan to build secular, socialist, developed Afghanistan? Why had the plan failed?

It is impossible to make people of Afghanistan happy by force against its will.

Thanks to current strategy based mainly on military options, respect to Taliban is growing. Many regard it as a symbol of struggle against occupants. You may send more and more troops, lose more and more soldiers. It would be in vain, it would rather strenthen Taliban.

My son is acquainted with two lads here in Moscow. They are Pushtuns, sons of Afgani general who fled after the collapse of pro-Soviet regime. The boys said to my son: we Pushtuns are all Taliban. Btw, the general is awaiting an appointment to a significant post in Afghanistan where he has big enough business. Would he act in the Western interests? I'm not sure.
Granted hearts and minds is less dependant on numbers, but imagine what we could be doing in Helmand if we were able to add another 2500 troops to the region - that's less than half of what we have in Iraq. We would have enough to take the battle to the Taliban and win it and carry out hearts and minds with the locals. At the moment we are having to balance the two.
 

Sven

LE
Two thoughts.

First the 10% statistic is a misdirection since it is only a statistic of those troops in situ at the moment. If You use instead the base point of total manpower having served in Helmand the percentage is much less.

Second, how does the statistic compare to the Op Banner one - or more pertinent, the Israeli occupation of Lebanon - or indeed the Russian presence in AFG
 
The_Goon said:
With the drawdown of Banner, surely more troops should be available?
You've been listening to too many press releases! :wink:
 
Sven said:
Two thoughts.

First the 10% statistic is a misdirection since it is only a statistic of those troops in situ at the moment. If You use instead the base point of total manpower having served in Helmand the percentage is much less.

Second, how does the statistic compare to the Op Banner one - or more pertinent, the Israeli occupation of Lebanon - or indeed the Russian presence in AFG
Even thought the figure only applies to 'front line' units, it is still high, imagine telling a civvy that he has a 1 in 10 chance of getting injured during the next six months of work? Losing a company's worth of men during a six month tour is not sustainable in the current climate.
 
Sven, in theory the soldiers serving in Helmand will not be deployed again for another 2 years, allowing a decent interval to recover from any mental and physical injuries. However, Harmony guidelines appear to have been thrown out of the window. Ingram declared zero interest in trying to stick to this guide. However, ignoring Harmony only leads to futher problems down the track. How much of a break from frontline duties will those returning from Afg/Iraq actually get?

Does anyone have figures for amputees in the last year or so? All of this is very difficult to assess because of the secrecy employed by the MoD on casualty figures.

"Some units, particularly infantry and armoured regiments, have already served three "operational" tours in Iraq since 2003. Combined with the 5,000-strong deployment in Afghanistan that began earlier this year, senior commanders admit the armed forces are severely strained.

Air Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the chief of the defence staff, said last month the military was being "stretched" by the two missions.

Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, said the infringement of the "harmony guidelines" on tour intervals was not a serious problem.
But the defence committee rubbished that claim and will launch an inquiry into military overstretch in the autumn.
 
Bat_Crab said:
Granted hearts and minds is less dependant on numbers, but imagine what we could be doing in Helmand if we were able to add another 2500 troops to the region - that's less than half of what we have in Iraq. We would have enough to take the battle to the Taliban and win it and carry out hearts and minds with the locals. At the moment we are having to balance the two.
With additional 2500 troops you would kill more Afghans and Taliban would have even more followers.
 

Nosher361

War Hero
I just watched Max Hastings being interviewed on Sky News. He was quite scathing about the Government and MOD's approach to what is going on, and seemed to accuse them of deliberate obstruction and dishonesty, virtually. He was quite forthright about it.

What's being done is quite shameful, there's no other word for it.

And Sven, the 10% quoted may "only" be "a statistic of those in situ at the moment", as you put it. I doubt that's of much comfort if you happen to be one of them.
 
As I understood it, units in Normandy and Italy were losing troops at WWI rates in 1944. The racecourse attacks around Caen involved Battalions ending the day at Company or even Platoon strength. Even the most rabid anti-war type would have trouble presenting our current casualty figures as being on this scale. Admittedly, the Army isn't anywhere near as large as it was then, but then, hardy as they are, the Taliban aren't Germans.

What is worrying me is our lack of ability to replace the dead, invalided and long-term wounded. We can't recruit to strength, retention is down the toilet, the Reserves been mined to exhaustion: how do we keep these wars going for the next 2-3 years, let alone the 10-15 minimum that'll be needed? Pulling the troops out of Iraq to concentrate on Afghanistan will still leave units in the poo for the next couple of years until 'harmonisation' (spit) can be achieved. That doesn't even begin to look at the long-term negative effects on recruiting.
 

rampant54

Swinger
There are many problems facing us.

Firstly we attacked the country, promised them untold things, totally under manned, under equipt, and under funded the military involvement.

The Taliban watch our news, and see the effect casualties on the country.
They see all the politicians squabling, and can sense an end in their favour.

We are in catch 22 now. If we pull out, we will have been beaten by the Taliban in their eyes. We will have let down the Agfhan people. We will have lost our credibilty.

Do we run, and re-invade when a bigger event than 9/11 happens? The next time we try that we will really become unstuck

I will probably go there myself next year, already having served in Iraq. So I am not talking as an armchair warrior. I will also be putting my b***s on the line.

Or do we keep the Taliban at bay long enough to help the Afghans rebuild, e.t.c The corruption of not only AFG govrnment departments, but also western companies making a mint will not make rebuilding the infrasructure any easier
 

TartanJock

War Hero
In order to eliminate terrorism, you need to take on board all nations that would commit its troops to the fight including Russia etc etc,but they will not do that as they are exporting arms and ammunition to these fundamentalists which in turn is keeping their arms industries going.So where there is war there is profit and to h*ll with people's lives.
 
TartanJock said:
In order to eliminate terrorism, you need to take on board all nations that would commit its troops to the fight including Russia...
Oh, no, no, thanks. Russian generals, all of them served in Afghanistan know about the country too much not to repeat stupid decision made by Soviet leadership in 1979.

I believe that NATO should negotiate with Taliban to end this senseless war. NATO promisses to get the troops out. Taliban should not host terrorists. It a fair deal.

Let the Afghans live as they wish and that's all.
 
KGB_resident said:
TartanJock said:
In order to eliminate terrorism, you need to take on board all nations that would commit its troops to the fight including Russia...
Oh, no, no, thanks. Russian generals, all of them served in Afghanistan know about the country too much not to repeat stupid decision made by Soviet leadership in 1979.

I believe that NATO should negotiate with Taliban to end this senseless war. NATO promisses to get the troops out. Taliban should not host terrorists. It a fair deal.

Let the Afghans live as they wish and that's all.
Let the Afghan men live as they wish and that's all.
 

Bert_Preast

War Hero
Need to take a leaf out of the French book - promise that in the event of a large scale terrorist attack on our country, the response may be nuclear.

I mean why not? Can't do any harm.
 

Sven

LE
Nosher361 said:
I just watched Max Hastings being interviewed on Sky News. He was quite scathing about the Government and MOD's approach to what is going on, and seemed to accuse them of deliberate obstruction and dishonesty, virtually. He was quite forthright about it.

What's being done is quite shameful, there's no other word for it.

And Sven, the 10% quoted may "only" be "a statistic of those in situ at the moment", as you put it. I doubt that's of much comfort if you happen to be one of them.
I doubt if it ever was, in any war or campaign. I'm very sure that my dead aircrewman friends liked being a statistic either. I was commenting on the papers obfuscation in statistics not on the dead.

Tosser
 

Nosher361

War Hero
Righty.

Edited to add - I wasn't having a dig, Sven. A one in ten chance of catching a packet must be a daunting prospect.
 

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