Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, Jul 19, 2008.
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Unfortunately, the rumour-mill and gossip mongerers will for ever tell you that he left because he didn't get the job he wanted.
I still chuckle at the OJAR he got from his 1RO post tour...just one sentence.
I wish him well in whatever he does, and look forward to him replacing 'Bonking Bob' as the voice of the soldier on TV programmes (various).
Thanks for the link, Hackle.
Can't argue with his comment:
Looking back, Tootal is angry at what he describes as âwishful thinkingâ about the Afghan mission by senior military and politicians. âThey werenât really thinking it through,â he said. âIf you read about the battles faced by the Russians in Helmand only 20 years ago, we should have been ready to face that level of opposition. Yes, they were different conflicts, different rationales, but . . . thereâs this pattern of tenacious resistance. It doesnât mean we shouldnât be there, but we should have thought more about what we were getting into.
âWe confused ourselves â and the public â that this was a peace support mission but that presupposes parties signing up to a peace deal. The Taliban had signed up to nothing. This was counterinsurgency.â
I hope that average civvy reader who reads the article will pick up on the sheer amount of ammo expended during the six month tour and do the math.
People leave for all sorts of reasons. Having known the guy some years ago, I would listen to what he has to say and like you, I wish him well.
He should have asked on the TA grapevine. There was probably someone who installs washing machines for a living mobilised with him.
a damning indictment of the UK government handling of the AFG war. (ALL aspects thereof.)
One of the interesting parts that will be missed is the Department for International Development, they didn't want to invest in Afghanistan, that's mainly because there was a sell off within the DFiD by some senior people and they've made tens of millions out of it and now they only seem to invest in projects that are profitable and in countries that allow them into other avenues. Still it's good to see that he spent his Â£250 well, the partners at ACTIS (DFiD fund managers) are also spending the tens of millions they're syphoning out very well.
Subtle MSR, subtle!
Ya can shoot the Taliban but it's your own civvy functionaries that are your main problem.
Just wonder why it took him so long to figure out where the whole rotten shebang was heading.
Nice to hear such an honest asessment coming from someone as highly placed as him. The man's a true hero!
A good article!
Foot note was very interesting. Can't help but think why didn't he just order his men to fix it anyway, what would DfID do, disconnect it again?
Good article though, seems our worst fears about Selly Oak were true.
âMy biggest regret about Afghanistan is over a washing machine,â says Stuart Tootal. The machine in question was in a hospital in Gereshk in the south of Helmand and was discovered by Tootalâs men on their first patrol in May 2006.
âThe hospital sheets were filthy and the doctor said they couldnât wash them,â he explained. âBut we said, âYou have an industrial washing machine sitting there in cellophane.ââ
The US aid agency that had donated it withdrew when the British arrived so it had never been installed.An engineer with Tootal said that could be rectified, but they had not reckoned with the Department for International Development. It saw aid as its area and disliked âquick impactâ projects.
âThey didnât want the military going into hospitals and they said we would tread on the toes of an aid agency even though it wasnât doing anything,â said Tootal. âI said, âIt doesnât have to be done under the cloak of 3 Para. We can dress ourselves up as Afghans, do it at night. We just need to fix it.ââ
The government officials refused, so for the whole of 3 Paraâs six months in Helmand, the machine sat there in its plastic wrapping.
Tootal believes failure to carry out such âhearts and mindsâ operations has cost Britain in the long run. âIt would have made us stand apart from the usual Afghan experience of foreigners constantly promising and not delivering,â he said.
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