Is all lost in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Taffnp, Aug 20, 2008.

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  1. Recent figures state that the Taliban control up to 54% of the Country and many villages are welcoming them, seeing no improved security from coalition forces.

    New leadership in Pakistan may not be so co operative with the West, after many Pakistanis were opposed to Musharaffs war on terror, against fellow Muslims.

    On top of all this, the tragic deaths of ten French Paras will serve to strenghten the resolve of the French people to withdraw it's troops from what they see as another pointless conflict.

    To make matters worse the incident occurred not too far from the supposedly secure area of Kabul.

    What will happen if Pakistan fail to pursue Taliban within it's own borders ?

    If the French withdraw, will this set a precedent for other countries who are disillusioned ?

    Can we expect to see a Saigon style takeover of Kabul by the Taliban ?
  2. At least that would free up a few assets for Co Fermanagh and the Polish/Russian border.
  3. On the subject of the French:

    1. We've had a lot of troops killed and most of our population (the ones who give a shit) think the war a waste of time, lives and treasure - don't see us pulling out yet. Why would it be different for the French?
    2. Other countries have withdrawn their troops prior to this; why would the frogs leaving be a catalyst for the rest to go?

    As to the Saigon-scenario, I reckon you're on the money with that one. I don't imagine there's enough unified muscle behind Karzy to keep him on the throne. Coupled with my belief that not enough of the Afghan people have a critical interest in keeping the Taliban out at all costs, I don't see that there's the will to seriously oppose a concerted effort on their behalf to get in.
  4. So are you telling me it is pointless investing in property there?

    Bollox 8O
  5. Almost certainly.

    No fault of the military: simply of the pusilanimous politicians and their disgraceful lack of knowledge or understanding or even interest in history.

    'Bliar' didn't 'do history'.

    Why? He wasn't in it!

    He is now though! He is in our history as the most vacuous, clueless, inept, dissembling, deceitful, vain, and thoughtless prime minister of GB EVER.

    He is at present being challenged for this shameful and disgraceful description by the current incumbent of the position!
  6. I think the British have always been accustomed to accepting losses. It's the price we pay for light at the end of the tunnel. (Also a few usually due to incompetence)

    From the French side, I see support waning and any politician who offers to bring the troops home will be very popular - even though the troops would be quite happy to stay and fight and probably understand the overall picture better than the French Populace.

    We seem to lack a concerted determined effort, where countries who did not commit troops would benefit in any overall victory.

    It looks like a version of D day where we got ashore and just sat on the beaches.

    If we pull out, Afghanistan/Pakistan will become safe havens for terrorists who, jubilant at the withdrawal of the West will set out to wreak revenge.

    If we stay ?

    It seems we have stirred up a hornets nest and although we may get stung we must eradicate it. To leave would allow them to come and sting us where and when they want.
  7. If you do not empower the common Afghan people , you are not going to win this.

    No doubt for the average Afghan rural, who is in Kabul, makes not a jot of difference to his "same sh*t, different day" life.

    You have to show a difference, you have to reach out and show them how their life is going to change, why it's so much better than being riff-raff or Taleban.

    We haven't achieved this. So many of these "Taleban" are not idealogues driven by an need to eject the invader. They are just Afghans, fired up on rhetoric and PAID to fight us. Whether it be by Heroin, or Pakistani ISS. If you want more people on side, you are going to have to pay them more to be so.

    We have proven that to ourselves, over and over again since the 1st Afghan War. Keep them paid and fed and they are happy. Don't do it, and we are screwed.

    Start paying them, create Regiments of loyal tribes, while gradually phasing in self-sufficent programmes. Once again, get the sodding poppy working for us and the economy.

    If you don't win the Tribal leaders we might as well pack up and go home. America has absolutely NO experience of dealing with this sort of situation. You had to have been a Colonial superpower, and that's us and the French.

    Get our retired Colonial administrators back training the FCO in how to do this. They are not all bloody dead, not by a long shot. Get them in, and back to running things under a colonial blueprint.
  8. Taffnp

    Where do you see calls from the French population to get their troops out?Not a criticism, just wondered where you had seen this?
  9. Maybe misinterpreted it. Saw the news which covered the deaths of the 10 paras and the newsreader mentioned that it was already an unpopular war. Sarkozy will obviously want to show that the French do not run away and the Populace can see no end. I suppose unlike us they are not accustomed to taking casualties. They have a few failed ventures in the past and do not wish to repeat them
  10. Taffnp
    what do you mean What will happen if Pakistan fail to pursue Taliban within it's own borders ?
    thats what has been pissing everybody else off! the problem lies squarely with the goverment, a lack of funding from the offset, coupled with no intention of rebuilding the infrastructure I would imagine we will be there for the long haul, dont think the french provide a massive amount of man power, although I could be wrong!
  11. Just because they didn't appear in the UK press doesn't mean they didn't happen. The frogs have taken plenty of casualties over the years, just not on joint ventures with us and the yanks. Again, why would the war being unpopular with the French population make them pull out when it's not working that way here?

    And have you any idea of the scale of effort Pakistan have put into suppressing the Tribal Areas? Or of the casualties they've taken? Whatever else you can accuse them of. lack of willingness by the army isn't one that'll stand up to much scrutiny. They hate the Islamists as much as anyone in the west.
  12. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    The French population seem to have finally get over Verdun Syndrome. It was the truely horrible casualties casused at the battle of Verdun that caused the French to adopt the turtle strategy that they used in the battle of France. The majority of the French population realized that this was a mistake after WWII but the ruling politicoes still clung to the idea for no good reason. True they took casualites in their various colonial adventures afterward. But small numbers in dribs and drabsbarely get coverage in the popular press even now. FFS Jade Goody wasfront page news yesterday. How often do you hear about our wounded UNLESS they were wounded at the same time as one of ours gets killed?

    10 dead has been a shock to the French voters. A big one alright (not trying to cloud that). But ultimately will it be enough to really change things as long as some sensible generals and politicians are helping to shape policy.

    Building an alternative to the Taleban does not appear to have happened. It seems none of the realy policy makers have studied John Paul Vann. Pity he died in the Vietnam war. Had he survived his writings might well have been taken more seriously by the septics. Just a thought but why can't the western pharmaceuticals companies buy Afgan opium? It has to be a cheaper source of raw material for medical opiate derrivatives than the current high security type plantations. And the ammount of opiate based drugs in regular use is staggering. How many of you use co-codamol FFS?
  13. BBC quoting French Press


    Aslo we get TF1 and a host of French TV at home, I'd say the views were mixed. However the was has not been in the media as much as it has in the UK, I'd almost go so far as to say its kept quiet by the French Govt, at least up until the extra troops were sent. If Sarkozy wants more support he needs to show whats being done and how things xcan move forward. I think the French see it as a US war and don't realise that the casualties were in a french commanded area.
  14. Taliban probably think they could take Kabul tomorrow, but they would not be able to hold it. Their policy appears to be to take their time, maintain a war of attrition which is aimed at costing western powers billions to fight knowing that at some stage the will of NATO main players to succeed, will be sapped by the drip drip in casualties and adverse popular opinion at home.

    Looking at the state of the global economy and the UK/US in particular I would say the Talibs are achieving their aims. A freeze on UK military budget is only adding to the woes being suffered here in the UK, reports of dwindling retention figures and general morale issues proof that you can only ask a soldier to return to Afg/Iraq so many times before enough throw the towel in to make a painful difference to the guys left guarding the fort.

    Mission was accomplished in Afg in early 2002, not really sure what is happening there now, but as has been stated here, the real threat to regional security is Pakistan. We are running our Armed Forces into the sand to cover poor decision making by the Brass and UK Gov, respect to the people who stick it out and are giving their all. Alas, I feel ultimately UK Gov will bail out at the first opportunity, leaving a god awful mess behind.

    Remember we trained the Muj, they know how to inflict maximum damage to morale. If they get some decent missiles, this thing is going to get a whole lot worse.
  15. I have this image of a washing machine, sat in its box in the basement of an afghan hospital, unused because the dfid prohibited the army from installing it.

    repeat the situation many times, and its little wonder the locals cant see any benefit to us being there. Total political incompetanceand mismanagement from the labour party.