Afghanistan was a ‘deeply flawed gamble’

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by The-Goose, Jun 9, 2010.

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  1. “Our operational level of command has consistently failed,” raged one former commanding officer with extensive Afghan experience. “You have a Cold War generation of generals who had no idea how to operate in Helmand. Some have done little more than convert live soldiers into Wootton Bassett tailgaters.”
  2. It is fair to say that the average infantry corporal now has more experience of counter insurgency ops and therefor effective strategy than the likes of Jackson, who sent him there and who only appeared to know how to say "yes, minister".

    What a pathetic shower of over-payed, over-confident, cold war yes men.

    Let's hope there is an inquiry so we can have the yes men, named and shamed. In the mean time, one can only hope that there are now some senior officers with a bit of spine in place, if they haven't already left on disgust.
  3. Cant think of one!
  4. This links with the other thread on Afghanistan and Richards' re-engagement (must be civi job hunting!!)
  5. nigegilb
    I am not excusing mistakes but who do you suppose could have done the job, the average infantry corporal only has the experience because of the COIN ops they have been involved in.

    Yes we had "cold war" generals but that is an inevitable consequence of the times we lived in, the next generation of generals will be well versed in COIN but not necessarily be the best equipped for the next conflict.
  6. Its another symptom of Labours "Minimum required" policy.

    Everything we do in The UK now is based on a minimum requirement. I.E what do we need to just about achieve our goals rather than what do we need to achieve our goals well and leave room to spare.

    If the best estimate said we needed 3000 where was the 'Experience Cold War General' saying lets take 6000 for the first 6 months just to be safe?

    I'll tell you where they were. They were sniffing around the back doors of parliament and the house of lords looking after their future interests. As were the NHS bosses, as were our nations many Chief Constables and heads of education.

    When you're fighting a war (The bit they still fail to admit) you cannot achieve more with less regardless of how many positive stories they spin about SAS raids or ambushed patrols.

    For those who want to see where we're heading in Afghanistan look at our "victory" in Basrah.

    6 years ago I never thought I'd be saying this but we may aswell withdraw now and save wasting anymore Britsh lives in a third world tribal desert with a figurehead for a government and a criminal element which have proven themselves to be as sustainable and at times capable as The VietCong.
  7. Afghanistan is a pointless exercise in my opinion. It's worse out there now then it was on Herrick 4! Why are our blokes dying when there's tens of thousands of Afghans sitting on the fence waiting to see who is the victor? The local population could end it in a week if they all got off their arrse and did something about it. Why are we there anyway? To keep terrorism off the streets of Britain? Bollox. There must be a hidden agenda to be ploughing so much money into such a fucking shithole. I'm glad i've done my last tour out there especially with the courageous restraint bollox which is in force now.
  8. Army chiefs of staff are supposedly trained to analyse and think objectively. There was plenty of recent experience (Russian) in Afghanistan to suggest very real problems deploying poorly supported troops into the south. The British army famously sent soldiers to Afg to train Muj in counter insurgency warfare. The Russian army was effectively defeated. And yet this recent experience was completely ignored. Never mind our own experience in this part of the world.

    It seems that army generals were smarting over criticism of its own operations in Basra and were actually rubbing their hands at the thought of a proper war on the plains of Afghanistan.

    Worse still, this can do attitude had a massive effect on the RAF whose supine officers felt the need to match the bravado of their army counterparts. I sat in the office of a 2 star and told him point blank that he didn't have the air assets to support two deployments, Iraq and Afg at the same time. He refusedto listen. The momentum was with the deployment come what may no matter how crap the intelligence.

    What you say falls down when you realise that a few short months into the deployment many soldiers had a better idea how to deal with the insurgency than their superiors.

    It has taken the self-critical free thinking American military to come in and show the British effective strategy.

    The Chiefs of UKAF never openly admit to mistakes. Continue to promote dead wood and seemingly tried to Lord it over American Forces in Iraq, such that they were eventually ignored in the battle for Basra.

    There is top much institutional arrogance and not enough proper leadership in our armed forces. It was obvious to anyone with an interest that this deployment was deeply flawed. You could start by Reading the Defence Committee report on the deployment. It pointed out all the areas of concern and was an extremely accurate predictor.
  9. With the what now? That already sounds cringe-worthy.

    I left Afghanistan 4 years ago and it was obvious then that no matter how much effort went in from ourselves we were never going to have the political will, public support and economic resources to win.

    The truth remains today that we can assault the enemy and take his ground wherever we choose to but holding it and getting the population onside has proven to be a non-starter.

    We should have looked at what was happening to Basrah in 2006 and the surge on Helmand should never have taken place.
  10. And some of the Muj were trained in Scotland...... (allegedly)
  11. Or did the intelligence say 'it's going to be crap'?
  12. British Intelligence actually estimated the number of insurgents at "something over a thousand".

    I wonder of Fallsch would care to estimate how many insurgents have been killed since 2006?

    The plain fact is there is a never ending supply offighters and suicide bombers from across the border. The intelligence wasn't just crap it was completely misleading.
  13. There's even more now as we are shying away from killing the insurgents to trying to win them over. I can see Gen McCrystal's thinking as we spent 4 years trying to defeat them with bullets and bombs and to be honest it hasn't got us anywhere. We can only win by hearts and minds really but it's a big gamble and in the short term many more soldiers will die and be maimed whilst we show courageous restraint. The days of dropping ordnance on an enemy position in a compound have long gone but saying that, I know one thing. We will never win by arms alone.
  14. It's not new though. This phrase was being bandied about quite a bit as far back as H5. It was called Courageous Inactivity back then - which maybe didn't sound ally enough :D