Criticism of Afghan War Is on the Rise in Britain

#1
Criticism of Afghan War Is on the Rise in Britain

Luke MacGregor/Reuters

By JOHN F. BURNS
Published: July 11, 2009
LONDON — Just as President Obama’s plan to nearly double American troop strength in Afghanistan gets into high gear, Britain’s involvement in the war has come under the fiercest criticism yet at home as a result of a steep increase in British casualties, including the deaths of 15 soldiers in the past 10 days.
The latest losses are the heaviest British forces have suffered in any comparable period since the 1982 Falklands war. With the Defense Ministry’s announcement of eight soldiers’ deaths on Friday, Britain’s toll in Afghanistan is now 184 killed, five more than its total losses in Iraq, where Britain’s combat commitment ended this spring.

The deaths have generated grim images that have led the nightly television news, of slate-gray transport aircraft carrying coffins landing at a military air base in Wiltshire and being driven slowly in hearses past crowds lining the high street in Wootton Bassett, a nearby town. When five coffins passed down the street on Friday, on their way to a mortuary in Oxford, women wailed.
More on the link

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/world/europe/12britain.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss
 
#3
There's always been a groundswell of disagreement about the war in Affers which really started after the initial success and then the Septics taking their eye off the ball to prepare for the illegal war in Iraq. Contrast that with the overwhelming support for GWI, when just about everybody had a very good idea of the reasons for it.

In spite of all the waffling going on, there's no clear mission to Affers and folks are becoming impatient, especially when they see fine young men and women dying for what they perceive as a fop to the Septic gobment and because Brown the Clown doesn't have the cojones to call it a day. I reckon the level of discontent is set to rise much higher, in spite of the absolutely immaculate job the lads are doing out there.

MsG
 
#4
Is it also not the slow but growing awareness by the general public of what a crock the government has made of all aspects from military ops to the role of the department of international development from the very start, of operations to what is happening today...
 
#5
It's not just the casualties. It's the casualties taken to no apparent effect.

Vietnam was for the same reason. People can accept the body-bag factor if there's a payoff, but where's the payoff in Afghanistan? The Taleban still roam free, the government is still as corrupt and the poppies still winding up on British streets. A higher price for a definite and favourable conclusion would be accepted, I think. The current risk/reward equation just isn't worth it.
 
#6
And unfortunately, Carrots, the Taliban are well aware of this. They don't have to kick us out; they just have to make it too "expensive" for us to stay... :evil:
 
#7
Werewolf said:
And unfortunately, Carrots, the Taliban are well aware of this. They don't have to kick us out; they just have to make it too "expensive" for us to stay... :evil:
And there are still loads of them around who well remember how playing the long game against the Ivans from '79 to '89 eventually led to success.

MsG
 
#8
Fallschirmjager said:
Of course it is. It always happens when we start taking a higher than normal rate of casualties. Look at Vietnam as a prime example.
How can you comapre VN to what is happening in the Stan?

I believe VN was the 10 thousand-day war.

VN was, and ended, as a conflict between Communism and Liberalism, and went so far as to end up with "year zero" under the Khamer Ruge (spelling) who murdered hundreds of thousands for being "intellectuals".

Vietnam, the casualties, and operational policy have not the slightest relationship to modern conflicts.

This is not the place to talk about strategy, but what we should be doing is promoting links to support our troops, not for morale sake, but just incase one of the relatives of a fallen hero see's a comment by the scum who berate our troops.

OC
 
#9
OldCorps said:
How can you comapre VN to what is happening in the Stan?
Easy. Soldiers get killed. General public gets pissed off with soldiers being killed in a far away land that they perceive has nothing to do with the interests of their country. Simple really!
 
#10
Bugsy said:
Werewolf said:
And unfortunately, Carrots, the Taliban are well aware of this. They don't have to kick us out; they just have to make it too "expensive" for us to stay... :evil:
And there are still loads of them around who well remember how playing the long game against the Ivans from '79 to '89 eventually led to success.

MsG
And of course some of the Muj - now Taliban - were trained by unohoo in Scotland :roll:
 
#12
eodmatt said:
Bugsy said:
Werewolf said:
And unfortunately, Carrots, the Taliban are well aware of this. They don't have to kick us out; they just have to make it too "expensive" for us to stay... :evil:
And there are still loads of them around who well remember how playing the long game against the Ivans from '79 to '89 eventually led to success.

MsG
And of course some of the Muj - now Taliban - were trained by unohoo in Scotland :roll:
Correct, and also in-country. What everybody seems to have conveniently forgotten is the very extensive but largely unmentioned role the Pakistani Secret Service played in the war with the Ivans.

It was also the Pakistanis who effectively sabotaged the efforts of the more moderate Muslim groupings to take over the running of Afghanistan after the Ivans pulled out, preferring instead the radical elements. That's the main reason why it all started to go to rat-shite a couple of years after the Ivans upped sticks.

If anybody's to blame for the present catastrophic situation in Afghanistan, it's the Pakistanis. In view of that, they should take a much more active role in suppressing the Taliban, since, ultimately, they'll suffer more than any other country when it all goes really, really wrong.

MsG
 
#14
In previous wars we were not so forthcoming with our casualty rates.

Could we not manage this better. Presently, the numbers are announced like the latest test score for all, including our enemy, to read.

Any thoughts on that?
 
#15
Fallschirmjager said:
OldCorps said:
How can you comapre VN to what is happening in the Stan?
Easy. Soldiers get killed. General public gets pissed off with soldiers being killed in a far away land that they perceive has nothing to do with the interests of their country. Simple really!
That about sums it up.
The public are not happy that so many come home dead or seriously injured for some vague notion that Afghanistan was/is the home of everything evil. Or perhaps that was Iraq?
In addition to that there is he little factor of how half arsed the whole campaign is. We are informed of how important it is but then have to watch a few thousand troops, dependant on the US for things that they should have had all along. Right from the start we have listened/watched as British soldiers/ Marines have struggled with insufficient gear and equipment that doesn't work.
To cap it all, nobody is actually really sure why British forces personnel must die in that shithole anyway.
The war against terror? That would explain why the 7/7 bombers didn't come from Afghanistan then.
 
#16
The general public didn't get pissed off with Northern Ireland and that as we know went on for some time.Soldiers were getting killed in greater numbers there and yet we still had bombings on the UK mainland.It seems that no matter where we perceive the battlefield to be or who the current enemy are perceived to be, they always seem to be able to harm us at home. Taking the fight to them seems to be an open invitation for them to see our streets as a legimate target.
 
#17
basso said:
In previous wars we were not so forthcoming with our casualty rates.

Could we not manage this better. Presently, the numbers are announced like the latest test score for all, including our enemy, to read.

Any thoughts on that?
Makes it easier for the general population to understand.
Be realistic most members of the public couldn't find their own arrse with both hands and a map, and are mainly interseted in Big Bruvver,Celebrity Divorce shows and Can't cook-too fat to dial pizza shows.
Plus its good for the TV journos, shock and outrage from a comfy studio in the capital.
Should we be there, yes.
Should the press try and report this operation in a more balanced, less sensationalist way, yes.
Will that sell airtime, NO.

Have to play the game with the cards you get dealt and accept the fact , the press are only really interested in themselves and their careers, most of them have little or no experience of warfare (in any theatre). We can't blame them for senstionalist reporting, its their job.
 
#18
Darthspud said:
...
Have to play the game with the cards you get dealt and accept the fact , the press are only really interested in themselves and their careers, most of them have little or no experience of warfare (in any theatre). We can't blame them for senstionalist reporting, its their job.
OK, I can understand that in comercial news outlets. They have to make a profit. The BBC is diferent and should not be trying to compete with comercial stations. The BBC at least should go for more in-depth factual reporting.
 
#19
OldCorps said:
Fallschirmjager said:
Of course it is. It always happens when we start taking a higher than normal rate of casualties. Look at Vietnam as a prime example.
How can you comapre VN to what is happening in the Stan?

I believe VN was the 10 thousand-day war.

VN was, and ended, as a conflict between Communism and Liberalism, and went so far as to end up with "year zero" under the Khamer Ruge (spelling) who murdered hundreds of thousands for being "intellectuals".

Vietnam, the casualties, and operational policy have not the slightest relationship to modern conflicts.

This is not the place to talk about strategy, but what we should be doing is promoting links to support our troops, not for morale sake, but just incase one of the relatives of a fallen hero see's a comment by the scum who berate our troops.

OC
Let me see
HO Ci Mihn
lakky of the American OSS,promised the moon if he helped kick the Japs out of Vietnam sold down river to the French

Osman Bin Laden
Lakky of the American CIA, promised the moon If he helped kick the Russkys out of Afghanistan sold down the river to the Pakistanies and Taliban

No not a bit like vietnam
 
#20
Werewolf said:
And unfortunately, Carrots, the Taliban are well aware of this. They don't have to kick us out; they just have to make it too "expensive" for us to stay... :evil:
Then we change the risk/reward dynamic. I think the public will accept 'victory' - however that's defined - as being worth a higher price than the UK is paying now in blood and treasure. Fannying about with a constant drip of casualties and no clear idea about what we're trying to achieve let alone how we're going to achieve it just saps morale behind the lines.

Supporting a corrupt medieval dictatorship against a corrupt medievalist theocracy-in-waiting doesn't seem to many to be worth the price we're paying. Start sorting out who we're supporting and why, and things will change. As in Vietnam, if the guys we're supporting aren't qualitatively better than the opposition, we can't command any public respect for their cause.
 

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