Ex officer: troops are dying in Iraq for a doomed project

#1
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2432462.ece

A former captain in the Scots Guards who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq describes both operations as a political and military shambles in a book to be published next week.

Leo Docherty, 30, was formally reprimanded six months ago for breaking the Army's code of silence by criticising the top brass for a catalogue of failures in both countries. He left the Army disillusioned and under a cloud in September, but now risks further ire from his former masters by publishing an account of his time in Iraq and Afghanistan, called Desert of Death.
...
"There are nearly 10,000 British troops there just getting on with the job, taking terrible risks and dying for the sake of a doomed project, and yet they crack on like it's inevitable, reasonable and sensible to be there," he said. "A lot of what you're doing is often counterproductive, in the sense that it's damaging relations with local people."
...
"I came out of the Army ******* angry - I felt I had a right to come out and say something," he said. "My friends had been killed, so I thought: 'I'm not going quietly.'"
Btw, Independet printed a word f***ing 'as is'. But it has been filtered on ARRSE site (and it is right of course).
 
M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#2
Does it say the title of the book or the date it is to be published?

It would be interesting to know if a review of it has made the broadsheets yet?
 
#3
Captains are always angry - it goes with the rank. You have access to enough knowledge and information to see all the flaws in the system but you haven't - yet - had the full responsibility of being in command actually trying to address them (whilst keeping the system going). Only then do you realise that some flaws are inevitable in such a dynamic system and you need to focus on the important ones. Lance Corporals can suffer from the same problem.

That piece of blatant stereotyping aside, Mr Docherty comes across as a pretty decent sort of bloke and I am sure he has interesting points to make. I look forward to his book being released.
 
#5
Docherty is probably not saying anything that isn't already felt by a lot of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistanshire. But I'm not sure of the wisdom of saying it publicly when many of his former colleagues are still there in the firing-line and trying to maintain morale.

Unless, of course, Docherty regards himself as some kind of spokesman for those still serving, and wants to get embroiled in the political debate on their behalf.

On the face of it, he seems to be a capable bloke, speaking 5 languages including Arabic and Pashtu.

And there's a review in the Indy of 08 Apr '07 - see : http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2432462.ece

Docherty, Leo : Desert of Death - A Soldier's Journey
ISBN 10: 057123688X Price £9.89 incl p&p from Amazon.co.uk
 
#6
Dilfor wrote
Captains are always angry - it goes with the rank. You have access to enough knowledge and information to see all the flaws in the system but you haven't - yet - had the full responsibility of being in command actually trying to address them (whilst keeping the system going). Only then do you realise that some flaws are inevitable in such a dynamic system and you need to focus on the important ones. Lance Corporals can suffer from the same problem.
Fair comparison :D
 
#7
chocolate_frog said:
Dilfor wrote
Captains are always angry - it goes with the rank. You have access to enough knowledge and information to see all the flaws in the system but you haven't - yet - had the full responsibility of being in command actually trying to address them (whilst keeping the system going). Only then do you realise that some flaws are inevitable in such a dynamic system and you need to focus on the important ones. Lance Corporals can suffer from the same problem.
Fair comparison :D
A 2ic is a 2ic - it's just a different level of command.
 
#8
Not so sure about 'doomed' but certainly mis-conceived, politically ill-thought out and ill-directed.

I grieve for the Servicemen and Women who have died and for those who are wounded and ill as a result of this disgraceful adventure.

No, I am not a Guardian reader; I read the Telegraph; I am now a member of the Conservative Party and I spent thirty five years as an officer in the Army.

I am so ashamed of this government I could weep.
 
#9
lsquared said:
Not so sure about 'doomed' but certainly mis-conceived, politically ill-thought out and ill-directed.

I grieve for the Servicemen and Women who have died and for those who are wounded and ill as a result of this disgraceful adventure.

No, I am not a Guardian reader; I read the Telegraph; I am now a member of the Conservative Party and I spent thirty five years as an officer in the Army.

I am so ashamed of this government I could weep.
Amen to that, in every respect.
 
#10
I always thought this was part of a soldiers lot, no one get to chose what wars they will fight. life in the forces is not always about sports and functions in the Officers Mess. Lets face it these conflicts just interrupt the round of social events.
 
#11
caubeen said:
Docherty is probably not saying anything that isn't already felt by a lot of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistanshire. But I'm not sure of the wisdom of saying it publicly when many of his former colleagues are still there in the firing-line and trying to maintain morale.
...

Docherty, Leo : Desert of Death - A Soldier's Journey
ISBN 10: 057123688X Price £9.89 incl p&p from Amazon.co.uk
Begs the question. When is the right time to publish anything to do with current ops? Not disagreeing Caubeen, but as events this week seem to have changed the miltary to a "publish and be damned" should we really late until the last man is out of the embassy?
 
#12
KGB_resident said:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2432462.ece

A former captain in the Scots Guards who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq describes both operations as a political and military shambles in a book to be published next week.

Leo Docherty, 30, was formally reprimanded six months ago for breaking the Army's code of silence by criticising the top brass for a catalogue of failures in both countries. He left the Army disillusioned and under a cloud in September, but now risks further ire from his former masters by publishing an account of his time in Iraq and Afghanistan, called Desert of Death.
...
"There are nearly 10,000 British troops there just getting on with the job, taking terrible risks and dying for the sake of a doomed project, and yet they crack on like it's inevitable, reasonable and sensible to be there," he said. "A lot of what you're doing is often counterproductive, in the sense that it's damaging relations with local people."
...
"I came out of the Army * angry - I felt I had a right to come out and say something," he said. "My friends had been killed, so I thought: 'I'm not going quietly.'"
Btw, Independet printed a word f***ing 'as is'. But it has been filtered on ARRSE site (and it is right of course).
What is it with everyone writing books at the moment and giving interviews for money yes they are Angry etc by the way they have been treated etc but most probably earning a lot of money from the sales of there books and interviews to lets hope these people are going to give some or all of their proceeds to charities to help soldiers and their families with the trauma they are going through
 
#13
lsquared said:
No, I am not a Guardian reader; I read the Telegraph; I am now a member of the Conservative Party and I spent thirty five years as an officer in the Army.
35 years as an officer and you're a tory? There's a shock. I can see you now, barbour jacket, tweed everywhere, trophy wife etc. Give it up lsquared, the Labour Party is far better, it's full of rich lawyers and probably right up your alley. Is your Torygraph pen-name "Outraged of Hampstead"? What with your blinding hatred of people who call Oxford a "uni", I think you need some valium. Our country's great. All hail the leader. (only taking the p*** by the way, don't send your masonic mates round please).
 
#14
lsquared said:
Not so sure about 'doomed' but certainly mis-conceived, politically ill-thought out and ill-directed.

I grieve for the Servicemen and Women who have died and for those who are wounded and ill as a result of this disgraceful adventure.

No, I am not a Guardian reader; I read the Telegraph; I am now a member of the Conservative Party and I spent thirty five years as an officer in the Army.

I am so ashamed of this government I could weep.
your not alone with those thoughts :x And while 'W.Anchor' your right we dont get too pick or choose! I disspair at fruitless losses of both sandpit campaigns! I am lucky to be out and past my best before date so i am personaly at no risk now but that doesnt stop me being both angry and disgusted with the whole thing!
 
#15
I look forward to Ex Captain Leo Docherty donating every penny gained from this highly principled publication to the RBL or ABF or better still, the families of his friends

Or alternatively listen to the same old, same old, “well a man has to make a living don’t you know”
 
#16
Cast your mind back 6 months or so.

Doherty's views were reported in the Times, by Christina Lamb, as he returned from the 'Stan, angry enough at at the killing of women and kids that was going on at such a rate at the time, to put have his papers in.

Not long afterwards, Majs Jamie Loden and Jon Swift became the headline news, and Doherty (presumably working out his 6 months notice) has been unheard of.

Here's hoping he writes well - it could be a corker of a read, and a cautionary tale for B'liar et al.

P.S. For Isquared:

Go ahead and weep - you will be very far from alone, and probably in very godd company.
 
#17
Should be interesting.

Anything that highlights the Fcuckups and shortcomings of the whole thing -the underfunding, crap planning and bad equipment - Anything that brings to light the dangers and difficulties that servicemen and women are dealing with - anything that makes the Public more aware and the Ministers more embarrassed and flustered. I hope it is extremely uncomfortable for the people in Power.

It`s about time that someone told it like it is.

and if he can retire on the Money he makes - good on him
 
#18
Given recent events, the original poster missed an interesting part of the quote:

"Mr Docherty resigned his commission last autumn, but not before attacking those who sent him to Iraq and Afghanistan in the press. His comments earned him a formal reprimand for speaking out without clearance from his superiors."

Nice how one guy talks to the press and is reprimanded while for others speaking to the press is positively encouraged.
 
#20
I have just finished his book. I'm not a trained critic so cannot put my finger exactly where this one failed. He gave me the impression that he was a bit out of the run anyway. His tale of getting extras from CO because he had his hair cut short before deployment seems to reflect a major trauma in his life. He was with ANA and rips out at our Army blokes a couple of times. I think he was enjoying the 'romance' of a bit of Lawrence of Arabia but the killings broke into his life.
 

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