Afghanistan the 40 year war

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Olympius, Aug 20, 2009.

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  1. Is anyone else getting incresingly tired of such a backward and unfocused mission as this?

    From secretaries of state claiming we could be out within a year to Generals suggesting it would take 40 years to have made enough progress so we can say "mission accomplished".

    I supported the war initially as the Taleban needed to be dealt with and I'm behind the boys four square...but it's been years since the invasion and what have we acheived?

    Nobody seems to know what consitutes a win there either.

    America and the UK keep talking about giving "freedom" and "democracy" to the Afghan people. But Afghanistan being the 4th poorest country on the planet, who adhere to a draconian religion (it's only been a centruy since Britain and the US weren't seriously influenced by religion and to some extent we still are - with the pope still being a powerful figure in western civilisations) so what the bleep are we going to do with a country that's so poor it relies heavily on the illegal drugs trade?

    On top of that - The "wests" freedom means essentially any boy or girl should grow up being able to be educated, to love whomever they want in society and to move around in society to their best potential. The easts version of freedom is "you leave me the hell alone to be amongst my tribe, beliefs and people and we won't have a problem."

    So far all the UK and US seem to be doing is propping up a corrupt, defunct and backward government? Surely the US can see this direct parrallel to Vietnam. The government in Afghanistan recently passed a law saying it's ok to beat or starve your wife if she doesn't have sex with you X amount of times a week. Are you telling me the Taleban would be worst??

    As long as we keep confusing military and political objectives we will be at a stale mate - we went there to kill the Taleban, not to be moral police or nation builders.

    I have family in Ireland who pulled their daughters out of school because they believe "a womans place is at home and they don't need to be educated". If that sort of attitude is rife in one of the oldest democracies, what do we hope on achieiving with people with a far more radicalised mind set on top of having no education and being completely illiterate!!!???

    Rant over. :evil:
  2. I cant understand anybody slaying the war in Afghanistan will last one year or even 40 years, if you check your military history I think the British Army has been fighting there on and off (with a short break while the Russians took them on) for well over 100 years against one or the other of the rulers or would be rulers of the country.. An uncle of my wife was on the North West Frontier in 1930.31, and they seemed to be fighting against Afghanis as well, and the pages of history record so many Brit regiments involved there, so perhaps the guesses of 1 year or 40 years are only about 100 years off :?
  3. I was intrigued by this article in The Times today;

    It is already the subject of another thread, it is written by Colonel Thompson who has just completed a tour in Afg. He explains the incremental progress being made in very readable and convincing prose.

    I just wonder, are the usual MoD/Govt spokesmen (eg Ainsworth), now so discredited that MoD are trying another tack?

    That ultimately is the problem. So much rubbish has been communicated from this Govt, starting with John Reid and his infamous no shots need be fired quote that people have simply stopped listening and stopped believing.

    General Richards may have been speaking the truth about the need for a 40 year war but the political reality could not be more different....
  4. In my earliet post I mentioned that an uncle of my wife was on the North West Frontier 1930/31, and one of his medals is the Indian General Service Medal with clasp NW Frontier 1930/31 issued by the govt and engraved with his army number and his regiment, the Border Regiment

    I noticed that the descendant of the Border Regiment, the Duke of Lancasters Regiment, still has soldiers in Afghanistan, so I wonder how many more years they will be there. Uncle Pat would turn over in his grave and say what the hell were we doing, we obviously did not solve the problem, and to those who read military history, you will note the number of years that British Regiments have spent in that country in since the early 1800s - will it ever end, if the taliban are finally got rid of who will be the next ones you have to fight. :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:
  5. I meant to ask this question on my last post. I have asked this question on other forums, those which have a military flavour, because I thought I would get a far more sensible answer from soldiers and ex soldiers.

    why dont the troops in Afghanistan do something to destroy the hundreds of acres of poppies growing in the country, to cut down on the amount of drugs produced.

    the only answer I have been given, and I dont consider it to be a sensible answer, was from an idiot who said if we destroyed the poppies then the price would go up for the end product, which would lead to more houses being broken into for the druggies to steal stuff they can sell to buy their drugs at the higher price. In this country the media shows every week weed being burned, tablets being seized, customs handing smugglers over to the police, yet in Afghanistan which is the source of much of it, they allow it to be cultivated and do nothing to destroy those crops, Why is that :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:
  6. Jacko2838, the poppy is the only source of income for alot of the afghan population in the south of the country. To destroy this source of income would turn the vast majority against the ISAF forces. As a large part of the strategy is to win the hearts and minds of the local population taking away their source of income would not help in this matter.

    Whilst somewhere along the line it is planned to provide the local farmers with another crop to grow, it is as you can imagine not at the top of the to do list for the overstretched forces on the ground. Also by growing this new crop the farmer will be advertising to the taliban that he is cooperating with the ISAF forces and thus be soon to part company with his head. So tackling the Taliban is the first task before the poopy can be phased out. I hope this brief answer helps.

    It has nothing to do with the effects on the UK, as even after afghanistans drug production is tackled the billion pound industry that the drug trade is worth in western europe will just find a new source.
  7. Poppy currently worth 4 - 5 times the value of wheat to the farmer. If I was a farmer in Helmand, I would be growing poppy too. Whoever said this was a war on drugs?
  8. to Kyle_ni, thanks for the explanation, at least it is sensible, it does make sense to me anyway, but if the soldiers from the coalition of nations that have troops there are trying to win the hearts and minds of the people and that is the reason for not destroying the poppies, what about the govt of Afghanistan, does it mean so much to the economy of the country that even they, through their own troops and police, take no action. We already know that the taliban are against the govt so if they destroyed the poppy crops and helped the people to grow food crops instead would that change the way the terrorists or the population think and feel.

    I am against drugs of any kind, I know many drugs are prescribed to help people, and I dont even take an asprin (cvos I am lucky, I dont get sick either - all those years as a soldier must be still keeping me fit and well) and I know some people cant live without their prescription drugs, but it seems to me to be a terrible mistake to make, as Im sure the taliban take a rake off from all the poppies grown, and that funds their continuing purchase of the stuff that IEDs are made of, and pays for their guns and ammo.
  9. Yes it is the country's primary source of income. I would think many Afghan government officials are involved in the trade too in way or another.
  10. Baboon6 gave me further word on the poppies in Afghanistan

    If that is right that the govt or perhaps members of the govt, are involved in the cultivation and sale of the product, then I have to ask myself, and anybody else who can give me an answer, why the hell do we have soldiers there at all, why not just let them get on with it, as we have with so many other countries round the world for the last 100 odd years.

    The only successful defeat of terrorists was that by British Commonwealth forces in Malaya, (British incl Ghurkas, Australian, New Zealanders and Fijians) in the Malayan Emergency and Indonesian Confrontation. It now seems to me that after the UN Ambassador to Afghanistan admits there were "irregularities" in their recent elections, and his Assistant was sacked recently because he made a public statement on TV that the elections were not conducted honestly or with any fairness, that makes me wonder even more why we are there. We never did intercede in South Africa, we seem to be doing very little against the dictator in Fiji,(both Commonwealth countries at the time) :?: yet we involve ourselves in Afghanistan where most likely the majority of the population dont want us there, and the politicians in that country want us there to protect their cushy jobs. :?: :?: :?: :?:
  11. US Army Col (Ret'd) Bacevich has this to say about the goals:

    "What is your understanding of President Obama's policy in Afghanistan?

    The president tells us that this is a necessary war and it's a war that he is committed to winning. What winning means is not at all clear, but the means to achieve victory, however it is defined, is to be a protracted counterinsurgency campaign.

    It's enormously ambitious.

    I think it's spectacularly ambitious, and, unless winning is defined in exceedingly modest terms, the president is betting his presidency on a project that is quite likely to end in failure, and at a minimum, a project that will continue through his first term and probably through his second term, if there is one." Quoted on pbs. My bold.