Afghanistan - our leaders know we can't win

#4
At least the Dutch government have had the sense to listen to the people and call it a day
As have the Australians and the Jerrys. The Dutch might have called it a day because of the Intelligence they received from our rogue MI-6 agent: including where Prince Charles has hidden the REAL Crown Jewels and the secret ingredient for Dr Pepper.
 
#5
Not sure what the point of the article is ? " People don't like foreigners in their country " Is this the same person as here ?

Stephen Vizinczey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The author is unable to prove a single thing in his argument and much of the argument is incorrect . Surely Napoleon's debacle in Russia was caused by the weather for example ?

Oh and a couple of Mr Vizinczey's books have been republished by Penguin . I guess this fact and the article might be related in some way ?
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Not sure what the point of the article is ? " People don't like foreigners in their country " Is this the same person as here ?

Stephen Vizinczey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The author is unable to prove a single thing in his argument and much of the argument is incorrect . Surely Napoleon's debacle in Russia was caused by the weather for example ?

Oh and a couple of Mr Vizinczey's books have been republished by Penguin . I guess this fact and the article might be related in some way ?
His point is that the Russian population was hostile and, given that they burned down their own houses to deny Napoleon Winter Quarters in Moscow and thus forced the retreat, he's probably right. Essentially he's saying that you can't force ideologies on people who don't want them and that, if you try, you come a cropper. To punish terrorist attacks, you get in and get out with the threat to return if needed. We don't realise our limitations and we've embarked on the whole moral crusade thing and created our own opposition.
 
#7
But what was the alternative ? wasn't it Bin Laden himself who claimed his greatest inspiration for 9/11 was when the Americans left Somalia after suffering the battle of Mogadishu ?

Surely by showing western democracies don't have the stomach for the fight then we're building up trouble for the future ?
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
But what was the alternative ? wasn't it Bin Laden himself who claimed his greatest inspiration for 9/11 was when the Americans left Somalia after suffering the battle of Mogadishu ?

Surely by showing western democracies don't have the stomach for the fight then we're building up trouble for the future ?
Yes but again in Somalia we were trying to impose our ideal on a well-armed tribal and moslem society. We need to go into these places, turn them upside down and then get out promising more of the same if they cause further trouble. We don't need the whole world to be like us, we simply need them to know that, if they interfere with our interests, there will be consequences that they won't like. We can't change these places, we can only teach them not to export their sh1t to us and we do that with a short sharp shock, lots of them if needed, not by getting bogged down and giving them lots of easy targets.
 
#9
His point is that the Russian population was hostile and, given that they burned down their own houses to deny Napoleon Winter Quarters in Moscow and thus forced the retreat, he's probably right. Essentially he's saying that you can't force ideologies on people who don't want them and that, if you try, you come a cropper. To punish terrorist attacks, you get in and get out with the threat to return if needed. We don't realise our limitations and we've embarked on the whole moral crusade thing and created our own opposition.
With respect that article is chock full of inaccurate suppositions and like most commentators he makes a ham-fisted attempt to shoe horn history into fitting his own theories. As two examples; Napoleon's failure in Russia is largely credited to logistics and General Winter. The local populace (many of who were serfs) did not engage in wide spread resistance, instead the scorched earth tactics were carried out by Russian military units, mostly Cossacks. Secondly, the Peninsular War was not decided by the Spanish guerrilas, no matter how fierce, but by Wellington's army in Spain which the author seems to be completely unaware of.

As for the thrust of the article itself, this sort of thing has been in vogue for the past few years now and barely a week passes without another 'the war is unwinnable, the Taliban are tenacious guerrilla supermen, another Viet Nam etc.' article being published in the comments section of one broadsheet or other. For a good overview of how the General Staff of the Fourt Estate adapt their 'indepth analyses' with the mode du jour, pour over the comment pieces on the Iraq War by timeline; Invasion (US dominance is unquestioned even by anti-war crowd), pre-Surge anarchy (War is unwinnable, West can never hope to subdue the independent minded Arabs etc.), post-Surge (largely indifferent, viewed soley as a referance to political decision making).
 
#10
I think we all know that this isn't a conflict that like others will finally finish with lots of fat old men sitting round a table signing lots of detailed documentation apportioning blame to the other and demanding reparation for the damage they caused. What will be decided as a victory will come down to the perceptions of the leaders of each side and the goals they have set (or continually changed) and how they feel they have been met. We wont drive those nasty Taliban out of Afghanistan if we are there for 100 years but by leaving a government in charge that can fight them and perhaps keep their influence to a minimum then I guess that will be classed as a victory of sorts.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
I don't think he's saying that resistance by the populous is decisive in isolation but it is clear that Wellington would have struggled had the French received the support of the Spanish in the way they received the support of many of the German states which is why he was always at great pains to keep the civilian population onside. Even if one accepts your view that this simply reflects the zeitgeist, there's no doubt that it commands support, if only because no-one is making a credible case for victory in Afghanistan to counter it. You seem to believe that we're winning in Afghanistan. If so, why do you believe this and what do you think we're doing that's making the difference?
 
#12
We wont drive those nasty Taliban out of Afghanistan if we are there for 100 years but by leaving a government in charge that can fight them and perhaps keep their influence to a minimum then I guess that will be classed as a victory of sorts.
The problem is, is that once ISAF pull out no matter how well trained the ANA are the taliban will beat them. If we can't beat them what chance have the ANA?
 
#13
With respect that article is chock full of inaccurate suppositions and like most commentators he makes a ham-fisted attempt to shoe horn history into fitting his own theories.
Yes, that was my conclusion having read the article. However I found this comment illuminating:

"The most notable successful violence against terrorism on foreign soil is President Reagan's bombing of Libya after Lockerbie, targeting Gaddafi himself. The stealth bombing managed to kill one of Gaddafi's wives, one of his children, and nearly killed Gaddafi".

Mr Vizinczey seems to be proposing a continuing campaign of targeted assassination by UAV. This, in tandem with the draw-down of forces seems to be current Executive/CIA thinking. On message, if not original thought.

B
 
#14
Stealth Bombing, by F1-11S? I'm sure they were picked up on libyan radar just after lifting off from Lakenheath and Upper Heyford. I doubt the naval part of the task force were much stealthier.
 
#15
#17
The problem is, is that once ISAF pull out no matter how well trained the ANA are the taliban will beat them. If we can't beat them what chance have the ANA?
I think Karzai's approach to this will be to invite the criminals, mobsters, drug-pushers and low-level Taliban officials to join his government in some manner, tout their ideas and peddle their wares semi-legally and slowly incorporate the Taliban into the fabric of Afghan society until they are a tool and not a threat.

Who said we couldn't Westernise them? Sangin will look like Westminster in 10 years time.
 
#18
#19
"Of course, there is the notion, particularly strong in California, home of the US weapons industry, that superior weapons make the lessons of history irrelevant."

Lived in CA for 9 years and I don't have a clue where he got that idea from, but although he does drop a few clangers in there, he's making some sense.
 
#20
"Of course, there is the notion, particularly strong in California, home of the US weapons industry, that superior weapons make the lessons of history irrelevant."

Lived in CA for 9 years and I don't have a clue where he got that idea from, but although he does drop a few clangers in there, he's making some sense.
I think he's an easy target picking up where he's wrong - it's almost like kicking a cripple in that respect - so can you point out where he's right because I'm sure I missed that bit ?
 

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