Daily Mail Article "How monstrous that we care so little

#1
about young men fighting in our name on the far side of the world"

really good article by Max Hastings. Well worth the read.

Sorry not able to cut and paste article as its not on-line.
 
#2
A fairly pointless post then really...

I quite like Vanilla Coke too but I do not feel honour bound to tell everyone about it.
 
#3
It's NOT that we don't care.

It's just that we can't read the article.
 
#8
It is not fashionable to praise the troops as it's un fashionable to support the wars.

Negativity is the norm in our wonderful press, we are turning into a country of whingers.

The Aussies are right and they spank us at cricket.

:(
 
#9
Mukhabarat2003 your a ruddy star.

I have been trying to run that article through our super fandango all singing top of the range scanner at work and can you believe that people kepp disturbing wanting to put work stuff through.e
Bugger off this is more important.

Thanks for your help on this matter and it is a good article.
 
#10
Napoleon_Bunnyparte said:
Mukhabarat2003 your a ruddy star.

I have been trying to run that article through our super fandango all singing top of the range scanner at work and can you believe that people kepp disturbing wanting to put work stuff through.e
Bugger off this is more important.

Thanks for your help on this matter and it is a good article.
Try my best! You need to have a serious word in your work colleagues' shell likes.

Photo enhanced and enlarged for those interested.
 

Attachments

#11
mukhabarat2003 said:
Napoleon_Bunnyparte said:
Mukhabarat2003 your a ruddy star.

I have been trying to run that article through our super fandango all singing top of the range scanner at work and can you believe that people kepp disturbing wanting to put work stuff through.e
Bugger off this is more important.

Thanks for your help on this matter and it is a good article.
Try my best! You need to have a serious word in your work colleagues' shell likes.

Photo enhanced and enlarged for those interested.
That’s a REALLY nice photo, even more so because you know its not staged: bayonet on, something burning & lads facing all quarters as British Infantry and the RM have done for the past 400 + years
 
#12
Kind of sums things up really - ordinary people doing extraordinary things, without too much fuss, forgotten by the miserable sods where what pass for heroics in their soft world are a daily chore for the Armed Forces.
Blimey, where did that come from? Must be a bitter old cynic or something.......


Edited for clarity or something
 
#13
Another well written article from Max Hastings. I wish it were different but the public no longer seems to care about the Armed Forces, and the current crop of politicians do not consider us important enough to adequately fund us, although they love the ability to despatch troops at the wave of a Prime Ministerial hand.

Litotes
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
Whats that ont he left hand guy7 weapon? desert DPM tape?
 
#18
Why do we care so little about our troops in Afghanistan?
by MAX HASTINGS

As you read this, in the Helmand province, Afghanistan, it is already noon.
Somewhere out there in the middle of nowhere, the men of the Royal Marines are almost certainly in action, moving clumsily in their heavy body armour, muttering urgently into their radios, peering forth into the dust and haze for a glimpse of an ever-elusive enemy.

They are engaged in the first stage of NATO’s spring offensive, Operation Achilles, designed to take the war to the Taliban before the Taliban start their seasonal push against us. Some 4,500 allied troops are committed, most of them British, along with 1,000 Afghan government soldiers.

This may sound like a lot of men, until you think of how small a crowd it would represent at a football ground.

Then consider that these men are deployed over hundreds of square miles of wilderness, in a country three times the size of Britain.

The force committed to Achilles amounts to just half the number the Americans put into a similar operation last year.

They are trying to do something very hard, in our name but with precious little thanks: to overcome tough, skilful guerrillas, formidably supported from across the border in Pakistan, amid a local population that dislikes all foreigners, and has only the sketchiest idea of what is going on around them.

The SAS likes to tell a story of one of its patrols entering an Afghan village and announcing themselves as British. The locals looked bewildered. Eventually the soldiers shrugged: "Okay, you don’t do British - let’s just say we’re Americans."

The locals looked grave and shook their heads: "Americans? The Russians won’t like that."

The joke, of course, is that though it is 18 years since Soviet troops left the country with their tails between their legs, the message has still not got through to some corners of this fantastically primitive society, in which few people look beyond their tribe, their goats and the opium crop.

They watch with disdain the antics of the foreigners who march through their hills. They wish we would all go away - including Al Qaeda.
So why are we there? Why are young British soldiers dying in this godforsaken country - three already this week?

In the minds of most of the British public, Afghanistan is today inseparably linked with Iraq. Two thankless causes that Tony Blair and George Bush got us into, and nobody wants to think about.

One TV news film of gunfire, screaming civilians, wounded mens’ faces etched with pain, looks the same as another, whether it is shot in southern Afghanistan or southern Iraq.

Yet there are important differences.

Iraq was always a rotten cause, in which our leaders engaged us under false pretences, and where we are about to lose a war.

Soon, politicians in Washington will announce that ‘adequate stability has been achieved to justify permitting Iraqi forces to assume primary responsibility for security’.

And the U.S. retreat will begin.

But Afghanistan is different, or at least ought to be. First, Western troops entered the country with a United Nations mandate.

It was recognised that it was intolerable for Al Qaeda to enjoy a free rein, to organise and train for murderous assaults on other nations. The Taliban’s medieval regime represented an embarrassment even to most Muslim nations.

Its fall in December 2001 was welcomed.

Unfortunately, of course, almost everything has gone wrong since. President Bush abandoned the reconstruction of Afghanistan in his haste to invade Iraq.

The government of President Karzai could never extend its writ much beyond Kabul, leaving the rest of the country in the hands of warlords - and now at risk from the resurgent Taliban.

The cultivation of opium has attained unprecedented proportions. Last year, 6,000 tons were grown, sufficient to provide the entire world’s consumption of heroin.

This year, according to the United Nations, there will be even more. Half-hearted American schemes to stop the trade, most recently by compensating farmers whose crops are ploughed into the ground, are meeting little success.

But the worst problem is that the Nato nations, who accepted responsibility for securing the country, have wretchedly betrayed their commitments.
The only people willing seriously to fight to save Afghanistan from relapsing back into Taliban hands are the Canadians, the Dutch, the Americans - and of course the British.

The French, the Italians, the Germans and the rest sit on their hands, and mouth weasel words. They want nothing more to do with Western adventures in Muslim countries. The poison of Iraq has leeched across the region into Afghanistan.

Those committed to fight, especially the British, are doing double duty for those who will not. Afghanistan has strained the British Army almost to breaking point, as the Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup acknowledged to Parliament this week.

Many men are leaving the service because they - or their wives - cannot endure the relentless round of operational deployments, brief leaves and redeployments.

A dismaying number of experienced soldiers, especially NCOs, from the 3 Para battlegroup, which fought so hard and well in Helmand last summer have since left the army, or intend to do so.

I spoke recently to one of them. "It’s not just the pay and conditions, and not being able to buy a house," he said. "If you’re going to put your life on the line you want to feel you’re doing something worthwhile, which the country values.

"That’s what is missing in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq."

For a soldier home on leave from the battlefield, there is no joy about finding himself pitied, or worse still mocked, in the pub.

It is no coincidence, that the most under-recruited branch of today’s Army is the infantry.

Rifle companies bear the brunt of every war. A diminishing number of young men in today’s rich Britain want to join them.

It seems monstrous that we care so little about the plight of the young men fighting in our name on the far side of the world.

However heartily we despise George Bush or Tony Blair, Britain’s soldiers never cease to deserve our respect.

If they do not get this, we shall soon lose the marvellous Army we are so lucky to possess - arguably, we are losing it already.

Can we win in Afghanistan? I doubt it, and so do many of those on the ground. The task is too big for our relatively tiny forces. The lack of Afghan civil and political back-up is crippling.

"There is nothing there to join up to," an American officer said to me in the context of Iraq.

The same is true of Afghanistan. Yet if we lose, it will be a more shameful defeat than Iraq, because Afghanistan is a better cause.

It might have been saved if the Americans had acted more wisely, and if our European ‘allies’ had behaved in a less craven fashion.

We shall be sorry, I think, if the Taliban and Al Qaeda are again able to make the country their happy hunting ground, and if the next 9/11 proves to have been organised from Helmand or Kandahar.
 
#20
Unfortunatly, t'was ever thus.

We'll not be thanked or appreceated untill ome bugger is knocking on the White cliffs again and then we'll be lambasted because there won't be enough of us to do a proper job.
 

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