Afghanistan - What did we actually gain?

#41
Back to the drugs.....
The Taliban had, to all intents and purposes, eradicated Afghan's Poppy harvest, pre-invasion. Offenders (Poppy farmers that didn't get the memo.) were killed dead.
It is back at record levels again...


Oh. And as we are all aware, Afghanistan became one of the most drone-surveilled and scrutinised countries in the world, back when the US was trying to reduce a massive mountain range to builders sand.
wouldn't have thought they'd manage to get a goats fart out of there, never mind a certain tall bloke and a whole world's supply of Heroin.
So who was/is it taking it all in and out of there?
Quite often, a 'Taliban' attack on a 'Governor's convoy' was actually two warlords fighting it out over the poppy crop. In many cases the 'Taliban' were merely the rivals of whichever local warlord was on our side at the time, not one-way ticket fundies with a chip on their collective shoulder.

So, as noted above, look to the local law for the law-breakers. And don't for a moment think that our intelligence community was unaware.
 
#43
The question is revelant, ?spelling? Help . Relevant. OK apart from all medal chasers , war of any reason for any reason is a total waste of time, can any one on this site give me a valid reason for going to war except to dominate another country.
 
#46
Yes.

To prevent one's country being dominated by a foreign invader.
That would apply to one side in pretty much any war.
 
#48
None of any of that.

Afghanistan was, and could well be again a free and reasonably prosperous society. The Taliban, and their backers wrecked the ideal, and used the place for their own ends.

We went there to destroy the Taliban who were bad. Militarily we did okay. We achieved some success and then washed our hands of it all when it all got a bit politically tricky and found ourselves financially exposed.

Sangin DC was not "taken" contrary to some headlines. It was reduced to rubble, a new DC constructed elsewhere, and AN Forces moved out. The freedom of movement available for bad guys in Helmand should wake some people up though.
 
#50
None of any of that.

Afghanistan was, and could well be again a free and reasonably prosperous society. The Taliban, and their backers wrecked the ideal, and used the place for their own ends.

We went there to destroy the Taliban who were bad. Militarily we did okay. We achieved some success and then washed our hands of it all when it all got a bit politically tricky and found ourselves financially exposed.

Sangin DC was not "taken" contrary to some headlines. It was reduced to rubble, a new DC constructed elsewhere, and AN Forces moved out. The freedom of movement available for bad guys in Helmand should wake some people up though.
i think when you talk about Afghanistan being free and prosperous you mean Kabul and possibly some of the other major cities. most of the country looks the same as it did a few hundred years ago with the same locals fighting each other just operating under different banners.

there's been a bit in the press about Sangin and much herrumphing both here and on the other side of the Atlantic but i'm not convinced the Afghan government are that concerned about holding it in the first place.
 
#51
i'm not convinced the Afghan government are that concerned about holding it in the first place.
I'm not convinced that the thing we call the Afghan Government actually governs very much, beyond (maybe) Kabul, because it doesn't suit local nabobs for it to do so.

We haven't had a situation like that in England for centuries - certainly not since Magna Carta, possibly not since before the Norman invasion in 1066.

The notion that a decade of low budget military mayhem could conceivably unlock (across an entire regional culture) a mindset so alien to that of modern Western states is astonishingly naïve and depressingly arrogant
 
#52
Were they destroyed?
Most of those that wanted to face us, yes. And have vivid memories of bad people, and those who commanded them, coming to a full stop. As an organisation, no the Taliban endured and prevailed. Beyond poppy, there was lower hanging fruit elsewhere.

I refuse to accept that all the work done, particularly in Helmand, was in vain, it wasn't. We'll never know how many Afghanistan trained terrorist attacks back home we stopped, it's intangible. But I bet it was a few.
 
#53
We achieved great things. We gave hundreds of thousands of women equal rights and built thousands of schools and roads. We trained and equipped an army the equivalent of anything in the west. We made many afghans incredibly rich and gave them massive amounts of natural resources in the former of brass and depleted uranium. We helped them move from a stone age society to a liberal democracy in less time than it took america. All this we achieved for just the cost of a few dead and injured.we should be proud.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#54
We'll never know how many Afghanistan trained terrorist attacks back home we stopped, it's intangible. But I bet it was a few
I admire your optimism but I seriously doubt it was as many as it inspired!
 
#55
I don't believe we were any clearer about what we were trying to achieve in Afghanistan nearly 2 centuries ago, even back then we didn't have a comprehensive strategy for the place.
The objective then was to keep it as a buffer between expansionist Czarist Russia and India... Not all decisions made were the wisest or commanders chosen the best (Lord Elphinstone for example..)
 
#56
General Dannatt is alleged to have said " If we don't deploy brigades there , they are likely to be chopped in the next Defence Review ".
So you can argue we've kept the Army at the present size due to that conflict , for the time being at least .
We have also gained a lot of vehicles mostly named after dogs which outside that particular theatre look about as useful as tits on a fish .
 
#57
I admire your optimism but I seriously doubt it was as many as it inspired!
Much better to leave the terrorists to train in peace. Bravo. Sure they can fund (drugs) and administer their network from other places.
 
Last edited:

ugly

LE
Moderator
#58
Much better to leave the terrorists to train in peace. Bravo.
That I didn't say, there is no evidence in any domain demonstrating your or my theories, they are just that theories. I suspect there were more rabble rouser meetings at mosques in the UK over involvement in afghan as there were for involvement in Iraq. Terrorists are known to train in all sorts of places, we aren't invading every other country for these reasons, for that alone I truly doubt we defeated UK terrorism in any way. The best way to do that would to have sealed the border and paid its neighbours to deal with it and strictly control who goes where and re enters this country.
 
#59
That I didn't say, there is no evidence in any domain demonstrating your or my theories, they are just that theories. I suspect there were more rabble rouser meetings at mosques in the UK over involvement in afghan as there were for involvement in Iraq. Terrorists are known to train in all sorts of places, we aren't invading every other country for these reasons, for that alone I truly doubt we defeated UK terrorism in any way. The best way to do that would to have sealed the border and paid its neighbours to deal with it and strictly control who goes where and re enters this country.
I do not understand that rationale. As Churchill suggests (paraphrase slightly) "an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last". We had no choice to make but when. Granted the military is a blunt instrument, but the only one available. Now with better INT and targeting packages (drones), it is far easier to prosecute targets. These are surely a far better recruiting tool as this is killing with cowardice.

Space, time and resources. That is all the Taliban, and their terrorist permissive environment needs to flourish. We denied them a significant proportion of 2 of the 3 for a lengthy period of time, in the area that afforded them greatest benefit.

I acknowledge that there were second order effects back home which may have assisted their aims, but frankly, that has nothing to do with the military, which barring some unfortunate incidents, and some crassly stupid ones of recent note, did theirs jobs with professionalism and dedication.
 
Last edited:
#60
I was told in no uncertain terms that "It's all about the oil man! You're so naive." Wake up sheeple, have I learnt nothing from Iraq. etc. etc.
I guess so, I mean the bearded illiterate bigots of Saudi have shedloads so it stands to reason that all the muslim version of hillbillies have it. We'll be seeing the riches flooding in soon no doubt.

But seriously. As to whether we've made Afghanistan's situation any better, either short or long term - I'll leave it to those who've actually served and know the place.
I've been working in Afghanistan for 7 years; Afghanistan's situation? For 10-15% of the pop its better - they can get their kids some level of education, bit of t'interweb, power for 12 hours a day, running water. For 20-30% about the same as before - they have telephones and a bit of TV now, but its essentially the same. The rest? Worse IMO. They have less security, cant travel, face higher levels of crime, fooked infrastructure, kids cant get educated, corruption in every walk of life, no access to water, power etc. Its certainly no better for them.

We should have left Afghanistan well alone and just bombed the shit out of it from the air. And left the remnants to fight over what was left. That's what they'd been doing for years anyway.

We should leave now and just bomb the shit out of it from the air whenever the yokels get uppity. The 'west' is achieving the square root of **** all here at the moment - just no one wants to admit it. Let them go back to what they've been doing for years: fighting amongst themselves. Cos the day the 'west' declares "mission accomplished" that's what is going to happen anyway. We're delaying the inevitable and throwing huge sums of money away doing it.
 

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top