Afghan reality.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hansvonhealing, Jun 18, 2006.

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  1. Under the Afghan sun, a dark new reality is taking shape
    Simon Jenkins(Sunday Times)

    The British deployment to Helmand, in southern Afghanistan, makes no sense and visiting Kabul has only made me sure of it. This is quite different from Iraq, where the British Army is embarked on a delicate exercise of extraction.

    Helmand is an exercise of insertion and has already cost a British life. About £1 billion is being spent on a base in the desert. Nobody in London or Kabul can offer a clear mission statement for the 3,300 soldiers garrisoning it, only implausible remarks about “establishing the preconditions for nation building”.

    At least American policy had clarity. As Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor make plain in Cobra II, their recent study of the war on terror, to Washington Afghanistan was never like Iraq. It was not about neocon nation building but was a hunt to find Osama Bin Laden, “albeit with the wrong search party”. Once a puppet ruler had been found in Hamid Karzai, America was happy to dump the job of propping him up on Britain and others. It even abandoned poppy eradication as a reward to the drug lords for their (temporary) support. The policy was cynical but it was a policy: punch hard and get out.

    Full article here:-,,2088-2230703,00.html
  2. The left wont be happy until there is no British Army left to deploy.
  3. They must be like the Americans then, they are willing to fight to the last British soldier....
  4. Crap!!! Hans one of these days you should give some serious thought to extracting your head from your arrse.
  5. The AMericans are taking huge casualties in Iraq and a fair amount in Afghanistan. We are just a sideshow to them - this idea that they are using us as cannon fodder is tripe.
  6. There is no sense to what we're doing in Afghanistan. Our two aims - turn it into a "proper" country, and stop drug production are mutually exclusive - and both are also impossible to achieve.

    It is not, and has never been a nation state in the western sense. It harks back to the Eastern empires of old in that it is a loose confederation of different groupings that co-exist and where the "leader" only leads as long as he doesn't do anything to offend anyone. The current Aghan PM is in terms of power the Mayor of Kabul - and as the riots have shown his writ there is shaky. Who guards him ? Not Afghans, but mercenaries. He is maintained in power solely by Western money and troops. Yet we persist in the delusion that a few years of patronising interference can do what took a thousand years or more in the West.

    Drugs are the only thing that makes money in Afghanistan. It forms the majority of GDP. Without it most would starve. And the organisations that sell it on have lots of money, ready access to arms and no morals whatsoever. They will happily arm anyone who wishes to resist us, and given that no poppy = no food for most of the locals that'll be a lot of people. More likely though is that the "representatives of the Afghan Govt" advising us will target a few token areas of poppy owned by their business rivals while theirs flourish. The British Army acting as drug enforcers, not what I expected but what we will be doing.
  7. There is that as a question.

    If we stop drug production, what will they grow instead. It is hardly the best place to grow marrows is it?
  8. Probably an urban myth, but I keep hearing that its cheaper to buy up all the smack, rather than deploy our army for 1 year*

    (*That said, any porridgewog regiment would just snort their way through it)
  9. least it is still capable of thinking for itself - I suggest you read the last paragraph above, ''Once a puppet ruler had been found in Hamid Karzai, America was happy to dump the job of propping him up on Britain and others. In other words, the Americans are getting out, leaving it to us.
    Your head must be up someone else's arrse if you think thats a good thing for us.
  10. I'd be keen to find out the truth in that, we could say that we were helping build their economy too! On a serious note though they're after a permanent solution.

    Ref: Us being cannon fodder, I dont think thats fair. Bagdad is no walk in the park and the US have lost a hell of a lot more men than we have.
  11. I don't think anyone's buying the "establishing the conditions for nation building" - but delete "nation building" and insert "power base for western nations" and you might be closer to the mark. There may actually be sound reasons for doing the latter - removal of pit of vipers and replace with pit bulls would benefit all of us indirectly.

    But to do this by trying to create a democracy is a mission doomed to failure - if you want to control that region economically and politically I'm sure there are far smarter ways of going about it than trying to create a democracy. You can even create something that isn't a democracy but still brings freedom of expression, rights for women and a non-religious based educational structure. These conditions are probably the most hostile for religious extremists.
  12. I agree with the above,

    I think the democracy building is a bad way to go about creating stability in Afghanistan. What we should be doing is taking the political and cultural system of tribal chiefs and regional tribal warlords and working with it rather than attempting to overpower it with our own western democratic values. The average Afghan isn't going to give a shit, but as long as we get the provincial elders and warlords on board then we could have this country sewn up for our needs and let them crack on with running themselves the way they did long before the Taliban.

  13. Surely we good by their opium for the NHS you know as an anaesthetic.

    It would mean no trade of heroin for the hippies and terrorists here in the west.

    Plus Britain would be seen as heros by the Afghan country folk, not as oppressors
    goin to wreck their cash crop.
  14. Which 'us' are you talking about? The British Army? The country in general? Whether we like it or not and one has to assume that because the current government was re-elected only about 12 months ago - well over 3 years into the GWOT - the country in general approved of the foreign policy decisions of that the government made in relation to both Afghanistan and Iraq. Or at least did not disagree with them enough to vote them out of office. The British Army and the armed forces in general are instruments of policy. They are deployed in accordance with policy decisons agreed between the government and our allies. If we are in this Coalition we should not expect to cherry pick the missions that suit us although I think we can do that to a certain extent. I for one do not want to be associated with a view that we are 'fair-weather' allies.

    When you do remove the obstruction in your rectum think about this. If you are in the forces you should leave if you disagree with how we are used then go into politics and try and make a difference there. If you are not serving you should still go into politics. If you do choose to do this I think you need to sharpen up your populist rhetoric to the point where anyone with the IQ greater than that of an amoeba can take what you are saying seriously.
  15. To boil down your long-winded and, frankly, pompous tirade to its basic thrust, 'ours is not to reason why etc....' Frankly, if that was the case, ARRSE would be empty of opinion. Are you saying that we, serving soldiers or not, must keep our opinions to ourselves and slavishly follow our masters bidding in THOUGHT as well as action?
    You may agree with Government policy in Afghanistan but to throw infantile insults at anyone who disagrees with you shows a deep insecurity and a complete contempt for the democracy you profess to hold so dear.