Fall back, men, Afghanistan is a nasty war we can never win

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Feb 3, 2008.

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  1. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/simon_jenkins/article3295340.ece

    From The Sunday TimesFebruary 3, 2008

    Fall back, men, Afghanistan is a nasty war we can never win
    Britain’s commanders ignored every warning that the Taliban were the toughest fighters on earthSimon Jenkins
    The American secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, flies to Britain this week to meet a crisis entirely of London and Washington’s creation. They have no strategy for the continuing occupation of Afghanistan. They are hanging on for dear life and praying for something to turn up. Britain is repeating the experience of Gordon in Khartoum, of the Dardanelles, Singapore and Crete, of politicians who no longer read history expecting others to die for their dreams of glory.

    Every independent report on the Nato-led operation in Afghanistan cries the same message: watch out, disaster beckons. Last week America’s Afghanistan Study Group, led by generals and diplomats of impeccable credentials, reported on “a weakening international resolve and a growing lack of confidence”. An Atlantic Council report was more curt: “Make no mistake, Nato is not winning in Afghanistan.” The country was in imminent danger of becoming a failed state.

    A clearly exasperated Robert Gates, the American defence secretary, has broken ranks with the official optimism and committed an extra 3,000 marines to the field, while sending an “unusually stern” note to Germany demanding that its 3,200 troops meet enemy fire. Germany, like France, has rejected that plea. Yet it is urgent since the Canadians have threatened to withdraw from the south if not relieved. An equally desperate Britain is proposing to send half-trained territorials to the front, after its commanders ignored every warning that the Taliban were the toughest fighters on earth.
    More on ther link
  2. msr

    msr LE

  3. Funny, there were some arrsers who said the same thing..............before they sent the troops to Helmland! :oops:
  4. Matthew Parris has abandoned the struggle! Our Flank is crumbling! Run away! Run away!
  5. You cant win a guerilla war simple, the media are proper cnuts, Taliban toughest fighters on earth?? even the yanks are having success. I know journos read this now stop posting shit and get some good headlines up for the lads abraod
  6. I reckon the best way to succeed in Afghanistan is to win the locals over with recronstruction etc.

    But we can't provide security for the reconstruction effort without getting rid of the Taliban. It's not going to be impossible to to defeat them but it's going to be harder and take longer than alot of people first thought.

    I'll admit some of the Taliban are good, but the amount of times they've simply ran out of a village as soon as we've entered because they're scared proves they're not the fearless fighters most people think they are.
  7. I agree with Parris (who's all over the shop, having initially supported British military involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but he’s finally got it right). Leave the Yanks to stew in their own juice. It was Blair's war and Blair's gone. Time to finish undoing the damage he caused. Britain should never have invaded. Bush gains hugely valuable political cover from British involvement. Britain owes Bush nothing. He messed up post-invasion planning in both regions. He increased the likelihood of bombs going off on the London tube, so he's a threat to national security within our own borders (the first duty of a government to defend). Together with Blair he's managed to enrage and politicise a generation of young British Muslims. The only light on the horizon was Paddy Ashdown - who's been talking quiet sense, grounded in experience, about both regions for years - but it looks like the Yanks have torpedoed that. Utterly ridiculous. It was safer in Afghanistan and the people more prosperous under the Soviets. Plus less heroin was getting through to torment British sink estates. Get the boys out. Then hold a massive judicial inquiry under a fair-minded judge to stop similar games for a generation. Encourage Canada, Germany and the rest to do the same. Leave the Septic neocons high and dry in the spotlight of world opinion as they bomb poverty-stricken farmers attending wedding parties.
  8. He's right about the core issue in the Pashtun war:
    The situation in Waziristan is now critical. Our attention should be fixed on what improves the situation there. It's not just that our original quarry is there or the LOS but the wider affect on a now very unstable Pakistan that must be considered.

    Ayaz Amir put across a Pakistani view recently in Thinking for ourselves:
    Pakistan is the cause of many of Afghanistan's problems; it must also be part of any solution. We do seem to be playing into the hands of malign elements in Islamabad. An ever heavier military foot print on both sides of Durand line may be unwise.

    We should perhaps consider what our wiser forefathers learned the hard way on the Northwest Frontier: a policy of tribal diplomacy backed by the occasional punitive raid may be appropriate.
  9. Imagine how Osama's laughing. All that high-tech weaponry, all those post-doc pointy-heads crunching algorithms, all those tax-dollars, for what? To put a smile on Osama's face.
  10. I support the troops who do a great job but I recognise that strategically the whole mission is a fiasco. We will not win in any sense. And I fear it may get a lot worse. Those Taliban guys are tough.
  11. Jenkins' point in the Sunday Times is that the Pakistanis were doing a pretty decent job of managing the problem until the US paid Musharaff $1bn a year to turn on the warlords (who had previously kept a lid on things), and now we have the chaos.

    We have to be cynical, pragmatic, realistic.................and where necessary, dishonest, vicious and cunning. The US learned that in Iraq - employ the Sunni militiamen to kill "Al and the gang". We'll learn the same thing in Afghanistan eventually.
  12. Amongst the rest of your drivel I spotted this little gem. Care to try and back that one up with a fact or two?
  13. Yes, with the approx 1m Afghan fatalities, 1.2 million disabled and 5 million refugees in Pak and Iran. Much safer.
  14. Actually, women had a much better time of it under the soviets. Communism doesn't do religion and they had more rights then, for example education, than they do under a western imposed democracy now.

    Funny that??
  15. Sure. I was informed of its truth a week ago last Saturday by an Afghan relative by marriage. I believe him. He's level headed, rational, clever, and speaks from direct experience. I was holding his baby daughter on my knee at the time.

    OK, he's not Matthew Parris but, on the whole, I’d trust his opinion more. It carries more weight and he doesn't keep changing his mind.

    Care to try and back that one up with a fact or two? Or an argument? Or anything level headed or rational? Take a leaf from my Afghan relative's book perhaps? They’re clever people.

    p.s. he's a good bloke but none too keen on Bush bombing wedding parties. Or enraging British Muslims. Or threatening security on the London tube. Or putting a grin on Osama's face. So he’s a better British patriot than many.