Former para on why he quit the Army after Afg

#2
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.

Better than me
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.
 
#3
Can't argue with his comment:

Looking back, Tootal is angry at what he describes as “wishful thinking” about the Afghan mission by senior military and politicians. “They weren’t really thinking it through,” he said. “If 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 . . . there’s this pattern of tenacious resistance. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be there, but we should have thought more about what we were getting into.

“We confused ourselves – and the public – 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.”


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.
 
#4
Welcome, Proximo.

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.
 
#5
He should have asked on the TA grapevine. There was probably someone who installs washing machines for a living mobilised with him.

msr
 
#7
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 £250 well, the partners at ACTIS (DFiD fund managers) are also spending the tens of millions they're syphoning out very well.
 
#11
Last November after long discussions with his girlfriend and with no job to go to, he decided to put his concerns in a letter to the army chief and resign. “I had been promoted and told if I stayed I had every chance of making general and commanding a division and going further. But I felt being a good soldier was not just about rank but about how you treat people and look after them.”
Good man.

Just wonder why it took him so long to figure out where the whole rotten shebang was heading.
 
#13
A good article!
 
#15
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.

Dirty laundry

“My biggest regret about Afghanistan is over a washing machine,” says Stuart Tootal. The machine in question was in a hospital in Gereshk in the south of Helmand and was discovered by Tootal’s men on their first patrol in May 2006.

“The hospital sheets were filthy and the doctor said they couldn’t wash them,” he explained. “But we said, ‘You have an industrial washing machine sitting there in cellophane.’”

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 “quick impact” projects.

“They didn’t want the military going into hospitals and they said we would tread on the toes of an aid agency even though it wasn’t doing anything,” said Tootal. “I said, ‘It doesn’t 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.’”

The government officials refused, so for the whole of 3 Para’s six months in Helmand, the machine sat there in its plastic wrapping.

Tootal believes failure to carry out such “hearts and minds” operations has cost Britain in the long run. “It would have made us stand apart from the usual Afghan experience of foreigners constantly promising and not delivering,” he said.
 
#16
Should hae just plumbed in the washing machine and told the DfID where to go.

20/20 and all that.

A sad loss to the Armed Forces in general, Let´s hope he can do some good on the outside. Sad to lose such a Officer, but worse are the lads he said he was losing from the Bn!
 
#17
msr said:
He should have asked on the TA grapevine. There was probably someone who installs washing machines for a living mobilised with him.

msr
From the article.

“The hospital sheets were filthy and the doctor said they couldn’t wash them,” he explained. “But we said, ‘You have an industrial washing machine sitting there in cellophane.’”

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 “quick impact” projects.

“They didn’t want the military going into hospitals and they said we would tread on the toes of an aid agency even though it wasn’t doing anything,” said Tootal.
They had the ability to install it but got blocked by bureaucracy from an "aid" agency. Sad. :x

Good luck to Colonel Tootal, I wish him all the best for the future.

EDIT to add: Bah, beaten to it.
 
#18
Perturbed said:
From the article.
“The hospital sheets were filthy and the doctor said they couldn’t wash them,” he explained. “But we said, ‘You have an industrial washing machine sitting there in cellophane.’”

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 “quick impact” projects.
Top of this page (well, it was there this morning, anyway) is a banner ad for James Fergusson's book about Afghanistan in the time of Tootal (although in fairness, it is focussed on the other capbdges, and Tootal was the only Pra he was allowed to interview). Shines a light on the 'mysterious' behaviour of DfID, the kit and other shortages experienced by troops in the 'Ghan and a range of other things rarely examined in the UK mainstream press.

It is the best book on the Afghanistan fighting you'll currently find on sale anywhere.
------------------
Why he titled it A Billion Mullets I'm not sure :wink: , but don't let that stop you spending a tenner on it at Tesco.
 
#19
A very sad loss and with the extension in post of the present CDS I don't think we are going to get much in the way of looking after the boys and girls. The two litre brains and those who care seem to be all going.
 
#20
chocolate_frog said:
Should hae just plumbed in the washing machine and told the DfID where to go.

20/20 and all that.

A sad loss to the Armed Forces in general, Let´s hope he can do some good on the outside. Sad to lose such a Officer, but worse are the lads he said he was losing from the Bn!
Had he done that (and I think he should) there would have been a complaint made at political levels and an end to his career/credibility eventually. The whole thing is a joke. Complete wasters are in charge of huge budgets yet just waste it (or maybe squirrel it away into their own accounts).

I worked for the UN over there. A few things that I saw which disgusted me.

1-We where supposed to give money and supplies to returning refugees (amongst other things). That budget got low and so returning refugees where given less.

2-At the same time we threw away perfectly good furniture and bought new so as to keep that budget.

3-School kids living in a tented village near us had no sanitation. This was not dealt with until the wind blew the smell our way at meal time. After that it was sorted in 24 hours because UN permanent staff complained (about the inconvenience to us).

The lefty bleeding heart swine where the worst people in theatre. Those gits that moaned away about womens rights and equality tended to be the ones that expected someone else to carry their bags. FFS I even saw a Nepalese guy do that. It would have shamed every Gurkha I ever knew.

Some people see a problem and rather than solve it want to set up an inquiry and block anyone else's efforts to solve it as it would make them look bad. I think Colonel Tootal saw this at first hand. It is depressing.
 

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