Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by lsquared, Dec 11, 2007.

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  1. Just heard a serving officer - a Lieutenant Colonel - describe his recently ended tour in a Middle Eastern country as "....certainly worthwhile.....". This statement was clearly referring to the 'question': 'Should British Forces be in.....?'.
    It occurred to me, within seconds of hearing this officer, doubtless a gallant man, that the 'Bottler Mr. Bean' would sell his reverend father to hear such words.
    Has the Noble and Gallant Lord West set a precedent?
    Is this appropriate?

    PS. Don't bother to respond - it will land you trouble with the 'Thought Police'.
  2. IRAQ? I am undecided. There where plenty of good reasons (IMO) for going. Just think that the aftermath has been very badly handled. Mainly due to political reasons/planning, than soldiers efforts.
  3. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    From a proffesional soldiers(him not me) point of veiw would a tour of Iraq and Afghanistan not be benificial
    The experiance his Regiment has gained is second to none
    They know their tactics, equipment,men etc are all tested and surely that is a good thing
    British Forces gained immensly from NI but surely the combat experiance lately cannot be matched
    From Cavalry to Artillery and Infantry almost all combat teeth arms will have fired main armourment in anger
    That can't be a bad thing
    Before they were nails now they are nails with experience
  4. I can see your point but not sure if I agree completely. It is kinda saying that we need to be at war to get experience at fighting wars. Personally I would prefer peace, if we could afford to have it.

    Fighting a war (or two) to practice being ar war seems a bit like practicing being cold and wet. Something better off left to when it is impossible to avoid.
  5. There is actually value in practicing being cold and wet. Like a lot of things, it doesn't come naturally to most people not to start monging it when it starts to rain. The ability to see through the problem comes with training.
  6. Excuse me Gents, but I am having problems with the analogy of training to be cold and wet tied to that of training whilst at war for war... does not seem right some how.

    Just me perhaps, I think I know what you mean but bit off all the same.
  7. Perhaps I chose a bad analogy. Using the reasoning that going to war is a good way to train for war seems a bit redundant to me.

    Surely the best way to train does not involve doing it? Once you are fighting a war you are no longer training, you are actually fighting one.

    Trying to explain what I mean better: You do not TRAIN to be surgeon by doing operations on patients. You train for that by practicing on mock-ups or dead bodies. Show you have learned and then operate. Doing he job is not training. You train first and then do the job using what you learned from training.
  8. What reasons perturbed? I can understand Afghanistan but Iraq? one British serviceman death there is one to many.
  9. I understand where you are coming from and agree, in principle just the analogy just did not sit right.

  10. You may train on exercise and know all the theory but the only way to learn about war is to be in one. I have always disagreed with the Iraq adventure but can understand how a CO would consider that what his unit had done was wortwhile . If his unit had done it's job effectively and , hopefully, with minimal casualties he would be entitled to say that they had done a good job and had learned a lot of skills that only combat can give them an dwhich will stand them in good stead ata later date.
  11. Prior to the invasion I believed that Saddam still had at the very least chemical weapons, he was a danger to local stability and a threat to oil trade on a massive scale. Oil may sound like a luxury (and the "no blood for oil" posters/signs do have a strong emotional message) but society would collapse without it and many people would probably lose lives if it was stopped or severly disrupted.

    At the same time lots of ordinary Iraqi people where suffering badly through the UN sanctions, war damaged infrastructure and a sometimes opressive political regime.

    The UN was essentially corrupted with bribery between Saddam and senior UN officials while some security council states where gaining financial benefits from the status quo.

    All in all at that time I did believe that invading could make the World a slightly better place.

    Good reasons for going in (IMO) would have included:-
    1] Remove Saddam from power.
    2] Get sanctions lifted.
    3] Improve the security and infrastructure.
    4]Have qualified Iraqis running a national rebuilding programme.
    5]Hold elections to get the Iraqis governing themselves.
    6]Leave Iraq a better place to live for the vast majority of Iraqis than under Saddam.

    It seems to me that we didn't do too well. With the benefit of hindsight it looks as though the invasion was a misstake. But there is still hope in the long term. If the violence ended and oil revenue was invested into Iraqs infrastructure life could still get better for the people there. Unfortunately that all lies in the balance right now.
  12. My Bold
    I'd like to think that even before the 20th of March 2003 that the vast majority of (non-tabloid reading) people knew there were no chemical weapons, The big clues were the UN inspectors saying they couldn't comfirm there was and the fact Bush and Bliar didn't want a second UN resolution.

    We have united muslims (Both shia and sunni) in the middle east into hating the UK.
    None of what we have done there has been worth the life of one British soldier at least in Afghanistan we are there for a valid purpose and the majority of people there support any anti-taliban policy.
  13. Numbered bolding in Stacker1's post mine

    Well I pretty much agree with most of your insertions with a few qualifications. Saddam posed as a threat to our national interests most other dictators don't to any real extent. Sanctions where unlikely to ever get lifted while Saddam was in charge. Electricity was unreliable before the invasion.

    As to my bolded points.
    1) I am not a tabloid reading oik.
    2) I was a weapons inspector for a short period in 98. Most of the people I worked closest with thought he still had prescribed weapons.

    The terms of the peace treaty signed after GW1 required that Saddam get rid of those weapons and show that he had done so. What did we get? Around 10 years of obstruction to inspectors which meant sanctions stayed in place. What would have been an easy process had Saddam compied with the treaty ended up with inspectors searching for evidence rather than Iraq openly demonstrating what had happened to the prescribed weapons.

    Other than all that I still think that I mostly agree with your points now. But that is with the benefit of hindsight.

    One last thing. Wether you are correct or not about numbers of Iraqi deaths during and post-Saddam, most Irais have not been killed by the direct action/intent of the troops sent there. It saddens me TBH as I quite liked the vast majority of Iraqis that I met when over there and hoped toppling Saddam would improve their lot in life.

    Added in preview: I justified Bush/Blair not wanting a second UN resolution as them knowing France or Russia certainly vetoing it as they where doing business with Saddam.