blair iraq... the flip side.

#1
with the increasing hostilities on arrse towards big tone and his cronies about the iraq war i thought id give you all a thought.

what if we had said NO
no we didnt want to go to iraq with america and all the other contingents.

no tours in the sand... no casualties.

what would your feelings be then??

would you be angry that we didnt participate?

would you feel cowardly?


its only a thought but just imagine if it had been the other way around

floors open.


EWK
 
#2
Humm, interesting. I'd expect retention would still be an issue as everyone would be bored with moving back and forth to 'stan. Would our commitment there be higher? Not much else going on with so wasn't that bad a deal another war coming along.

We have a battle proven Army. Most of the Infantry and other arms now have combat experience, can't be a bad thing? late 80's there wasn't much going on (correct me if I'm wrong) and most people were static or on exercies after exercise. Now there's less of a need for a fire power demo when CAS and other capabilities have been used for real.

Investment in the forces, while not at a required level has increased and new technology has been brought in. Would this have happened if we weren't making sand castles? War while never nice is usefull.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
A couple of things I have thought

Our combat arms are getting plenty of operational experiance which must be a good thing

We have lost 132 soldiers in 4 years in Iraq

How does that compare with accidents etc back in BAOR and other large scale formations duing the 70's and 80's (including RTA's)

Is there much of a differance?
 
#4
I think a huge sigh of relief would have come over the Govt. once the US had declared there were no weapons of mass destruction. Blair would have been forgiven for many of his failings too and seen in a better light. I also think 7/7 bombings would not have happened.
 
#6
the_boy_syrup said:
A couple of things I have thought

Our combat arms are getting plenty of operational experiance which must be a good thing

We have lost 132 soldiers in 4 years in Iraq

How does that compare with accidents etc back in BAOR and other large scale formations duing the 70's and 80's (including RTA's)

Is there much of a differance?
I don't think the two can be compared TBS. There is much of a difference, a huge difference mate. One is war, one is accidents/bad luck. Both are set by fate but that's where the similarities stop IMHO.
 
#7
would any other political party have done any different?

i suppose the thing im really after is would you be wanting to go. before everyones first tour of iraq i havent found anyone to be unwilling to go... quite the opposite infact


EWK
 
#8
No, they all require US support to carry out their wishs. Better to be on the band wagon than left behind.

I wanted to go, it's the only time I get to do my job and the garages suck.
A few snco crabs that were with my unit were gripping about it but apart from that we were getting phone calls from the UK asking if we could up the manning so people could get out there.
 
#9
Agreed, an interesting thought.

There was considerable pressure for GB to become involved in the Vietnam fiasco.

There cannot be many who regret the decision to stay out of Vietnam. At the time we (GB) were 'confronting' the third largest army (Indonesian) in the world. This conflict was successful in contrast to the US eventual defeat in Indo-China. Had Indonesia, a giant of a country, won this struggle, it is likely that the world would be a different place today.

Confrontation was a just and legal action against an unprovoked aggressor whose aim was domination of neighbouring countries.

My conclusion is that we would not regret having stood back and not joined America in the ill-starred and dubious adventure into Iraq.

It may interest some to know that the general who commanded in Confrontation as Director of Operations was awarded a DSO for his efforts. He already had two DSOs ! He had fallen out with his political masters (Labour of course - SoS for Defence: D Healy once a card carrying Communist) and paid the price for speaking out.
 
#11
Some very good points , be interesting to know the comparison between casualties in conflict and those in RTA's . Remember in my time we lost quite a lot , mainly in motorcycle accidents.
This thread has only been comparing our casualties though. How many Iraqis have died both during the war and since compared with a similar time span under Saddam? Is life for them really any better ??
 
#12
OldTimer said:
Some very good points , be interesting to know the comparison between casualties in conflict and those in RTA's . Remember in my time we lost quite a lot , mainly in motorcycle accidents.
This thread has only been comparing our casualties though. How many Iraqis have died both during the war and since compared with a similar time span under Saddam? Is life for them really any better ??
Despite what Stonker says, the Brookings Report gives an interesting view of how Iraqis view their situation
 
#13
Sven said:
OldTimer said:
Some very good points , be interesting to know the comparison between casualties in conflict and those in RTA's . Remember in my time we lost quite a lot , mainly in motorcycle accidents.
This thread has only been comparing our casualties though. How many Iraqis have died both during the war and since compared with a similar time span under Saddam? Is life for them really any better ??
Despite what Stonker says, the Brookings Report gives an interesting view of how Iraqis view their situation
Sven,

This report says nothing at all about how the Iraqi's view their situation.

It is an report based on US DoD data which suggests an upward trend in violence and insurgent numbers.

Depressing reading in its own right though.
 
#14
the_boy_syrup said:
A couple of things I have thought

Our combat arms are getting plenty of operational experiance which must be a good thing

We have lost 132 soldiers in 4 years in Iraq

How does that compare with accidents etc back in BAOR and other large scale formations duing the 70's and 80's (including RTA's)

Is there much of a differance?
Isn't it true that better body armour etc has reduced casualties?

The low number of fatalities masks a high number of injured with serious wounds to their arms/legs who would have died in previous conflicts.
 
#15
Lots of good points. A few from me:

Combat experience is good experience and no matter what the public understands about the Armed Forces, it does now understand the sacrifices that (sadly) some of our brethren have made.

It has made the public realise how the Govt has underinvested in our Forces.

It has continued (and enhanced) our relationship with the US, who really and truly believe that we have stood beside them. That does not make Bliar's decision right and I take the point that we were right to stay out of Vietnam.

The carnage in Iraq would still be happening even if we had not joined the Coalition. We are an influence within the Coalition and that gives us more chance to have a beneficial effect.

I also take the point that 7/7 may not have happened, but given our involvement in Afghanistan it may well have done anyway.

On balance, given the intelligence that there was (even though it may have been wrong in some areas but not all), I reckon that we were right to go in.

I just wish we had more troops. Cutting Inf Bns whilst increasing commitments? Barking! Not to mention an antiquated strategic lift fleet, not enough in various specialist trades throughout the various Corps etc etc. The Tories need to make Defence a Vote winner rather than hugging hoodies.
 
#16
in_the_cheapseats said:
Sven said:
OldTimer said:
Some very good points , be interesting to know the comparison between casualties in conflict and those in RTA's . Remember in my time we lost quite a lot , mainly in motorcycle accidents.
This thread has only been comparing our casualties though. How many Iraqis have died both during the war and since compared with a similar time span under Saddam? Is life for them really any better ??
Despite what Stonker says, the Brookings Report gives an interesting view of how Iraqis view their situation
Sven,

This report says nothing at all about how the Iraqi's view their situation.

It is an report based on US DoD data which suggests an upward trend in violence and insurgent numbers.

Depressing reading in its own right though.
ITC

A Question on page 37 - Please tell me how much confidence You have in those forces to protect You. Unless I'm mistaken asking for a point of view on the current situation.

Followed on by - How llikely do You think it is that 5 years from now Iraq will be a single state. Asking for a view of the future extrapolated from the subjects take on how things are at the moment

The next question - Do You feel that Iraq is generally heading in the right direction or the wrong direction. I'll leave it there, not wanting to rub it in
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
lsquared said:
Agreed, an interesting thought.

There was considerable pressure for GB to become involved in the Vietnam fiasco.

There cannot be many who regret the decision to stay out of Vietnam. At the time we (GB) were 'confronting' the third largest army (Indonesian) in the world. This conflict was successful in contrast to the US eventual defeat in Indo-China. Had Indonesia, a giant of a country, won this struggle, it is likely that the world would be a different place today.

Confrontation was a just and legal action against an unprovoked aggressor whose aim was domination of neighbouring countries.
...

It may interest some to know that the general who commanded in Confrontation as Director of Operations was awarded a DSO for his efforts. He already had two DSOs ! He had fallen out with his political masters (Labour of course - SoS for Defence: D Healy once a card carrying Communist) and paid the price for speaking out.
Isquared,

The comparison with the Indonesian Confrontation is an interesting one, but I think you're wrong about a couple of points regarding Gen. Sir Walter Walker.

The decision to 'fob him off' with another DSO instead of the Knighthood he'd been thought to be in line for, came not from the Labour Government, but was a result of the enimity toward him from certain military commanders. Notable amongst them was Field Marshall Sir Richard Hull. The animosity dated back to 1963 when the (then Conservative) Government decided on a series on cutbacks in defence spending which included huge redundancies for the the Bde of Gurkhas (Walker being late of the 8th and 6th GR). Walker to it upon himself to warn off the King of Nepal, the US Ambassador to Nepal and various MPs. Profumo was outraged because of the involvement with Americans and Walker was recalled from Borneo for an 'interview' with CIGS Hull.

The subsequant Labour Government stuck with the planned defence cuts, partly because they budget was based around them, but also because there was desire or interest in reversing them. Denis Healey was actually the only Cabinet member to ever challenge the succesive cuts in defence spending. Naturally enough - it was his portfolio.

Healey in fact got on well with Walker (after an initial rude introduction) and personally intervened to save his career after further run-ins with FM Hull, a move he later regretted:
[quote='Denis Healey's Autobiography: The Time Of MY Life] The Gurkha Battalions played a critical role, and Walter Walker, our leading Gurkha General, showed not only military skill but also deep political insight throughout the fighting. However, once the campaign was over, he deeply offended Dick Hull, then CDS, by fighting against the General Staff to keep the Gurkhas, as he had fought against the Indonesians. When I heard his future career was in danger, I intervened to save him. It was a mistake. All the political skills he had shown in the Far East deserted him in Europe. As the NATO commander in Oslo, he had a series of public quarrels with the Norwegians. Back in England he got involved with a bunch of right-wing crackpots who appeared to be seriously thinking of subverting the government. Not for the first time I found that every important responsibility in life requires a special group of qualities, which are rarely transferable. A good fighting soldier may be a bad Staff Officer. A good battalion commandermay be a bad General. A good General may be an appalling politician, as MacArthur demonstrated. Eisenhower and DeGaulle were exceptions which proved this rule; their military careers were successful primarily because of their political skills.[/quote]

The "right-wing" crackpots that Healley referred to were called Unison and GB75. Wallker joined/formed these 'concerned citizen lobbies' after he left the Army in May 1972.

I know this is all dreadfully off topic, but the Borneo campaign is a sterling example of counter-insurgency and the British Military in the 1960's make for some stark reminders about the way things can go both right and wrong. A more acute comparison for Iraq would be our withdrawl from Aden which may see itself being played out again in Basrah.

I remember a Para Lt Col saying that when he'd been a young Tom 36 odd years ago, he'd been trained by guys who had fought expeditionary conflicts in Aden and Borneo. Nobody had guessed that they'd be "stuck in the Province" for thirty odd years. Now he was training TA soldiers to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan and things seemed to be coming full circle!

p.s For a good insight into the Confrontation can be gleaned from "Fighting General: The Public & Private Campaigns of General Sir Walter Walker" by Tom Pocock, and "White Heat" by Dominic Sandbrook which details the economic catastrphe that was Britain throughout the 1960's and the effect that it had on Britain's defence commitments. Again the similarities to today's world is alarming.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#18
good post rp578

For myself I think I would be slagging off Labour for not having the balls to back the americans and also saying how superior british tactics learned in NI would be saving lives in Iraq unlike the american tactics of shooting everything that moves.

I would be arguing convinced I was right and as we can see, I would probably be very wrong.

Ho hum, what a problem we've made for ourselves.

Still glad we invaded though, not so pleased with how its gone since then though.
 
#19
.

easy-wan-kenobi said:
with the increasing hostilities on arrse towards big tone and his cronies about the iraq war i thought id give you all a thought. What if we had said NO no we didn't want to go to Iraq with America and all the other contingents.

Tone does not care about Iraqi-Stan, nor about grandstanding with Bush. His primary rationale was to keep the military occupied and out of the country, so they did not plot a coup against him while he was busy destroying the country.


I was talking to some NL policy advisors recently, and advised them that uncontrolled immgration may spark civil unrest and poverty on an scale not seen since Cromwell. I further warned that their children may find themselves reduced to the kind of penury that we see in Third World and most Islamic nations.

Their answer? "If that is what it takes to destroy the country." !!
Their reasoning? Well, they are all 'one-worlders', who want a single world government, and the only way to do that is to destroy all nations - even if that means destroying their own children


Nice people.


Dammat
 
#20
dammatt said:
.

Tone does not care about Iraqi-Stan, nor about grandstanding with Bush. His primary rationale was to keep the military occupied and out of the country, so they did not plot a coup against him while he was busy destroying the country.


I was talking to some NL policy advisors recently, and advised them that uncontrolled immgration may spark civil unrest and poverty on an scale not seen since Cromwell. I further warned that their children may find themselves reduced to the kind of penury that we see in Third World and most Islamic nations.

Their answer? "If that is what it takes to destroy the country." !!
Their reasoning? Well, they are all 'one-worlders', who want a single world government, and the only way to do that is to destroy all nations - even if that means destroying their own children


Nice people.


Dammat
Dammatt

You are as mad as a snake.

I salute you.

YD
 

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