I've missed the point .....

#1
OK, I've not paid much attention to Afghanistan to be honest, much to my shame, but the other day it dawned on me I have no fecking idea at all why we are out there.

Can anyone enlighten me on the mission statement, aims, ambitions etc ?
 
#5
Status quo then
 
#7
No not at all. Especially if you were in the former government who patently had even less idea than you do......

Curiously, now we have a government that has set an objective and a timescale to achieve it, everybody want to criticise them for doing so.
Not at all, old chap. According to the Metro (quality loo-roll) it's Karzai's idea to get everyone out.

Karzai wants foreign troops out by 2014 | Metro.co.uk

'Ok, peoples, party's over. Me and Mrs Karzai have long day ahead trying for make peace with political renegades and aggressive savages. Thanks for the dip made of 314 Brits' blood, but now we need for go to bed!'

Am I mistaken about who's idea it was to withdraw troops?

(Thanks for your patience here legs_, we will get 'round to discussing your actual question at some point)
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#8
The Official Line, as taken from the Government website:
UK and Afghanistan

Why we are in Afghanistan
Afghanistan is this government's highest foreign policy and national security priority. It is essential that we contribute to the international campaign there.

When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, they let al Qaeda use it as a base for terrorist attacks - including 9/11. The Taliban were driven out of power by international forces and many al Qaeda leaders - including Usama Bin Laden - fled to the border areas of Pakistan. Al Qaeda is under great pressure from international forces and from the Government of Pakistan.

Though reduced, al Qaeda still poses a significant and real terrorist threat from this region. And if international forces left Afghanistan now, the threat to us and the region would rise; the Taliban could again wrest control of parts of the country from the Afghan Government and al Qaeda would return. So the reason our troops and civilians are working with the Government of Afghanistan is simple – to stop that from happening – for our national security.

What is the strategy?
Working with the Government of Afghanistan, an international coalition of over 60 countries is pursuing a combined civilian-military strategy. We want the Afghan Government to be in control of their own country so they can protect their people from the violent insurgency and stop al Qaeda from returning.

International and Afghan forces are working together to protect the most populated areas from the Taliban. International forces are training up the Afghan army and police so that they grow strong enough to gradually take charge of security for themselves.

Security is vital because it means the Afghan Government can be more effective, can improve the economy, healthcare and education for its people. The Government’s ability to deliver these improvements undermines the Taliban – which in turn prevents al Qaeda from returning.

Our strategy has seen progress. Al Qaeda’s capability has been reduced by the international pressure in Afghanistan and Pakistan. President Karzai has made improvements to his government, Afghan security forces are growing and the majority of Afghans expect their lives to improve over the next year.


Yes, yes, I know it's boring and official (officious?) sounding - but it's the best I could find. In short, we're there to stop Alky Ada getting back, and if and when the Talibs ever said that they would not allow AQ back in (and we believed them), we'd be set to go.

Where a continuous round of fighting a load of anti locals, Pakistani Jihadists, and corrupt Afghans comes in, God only knows. Anyway, that's the official story, for what it's worth.
 
#9
No not at all. Especially if you were in the former government who patently had even less idea than you do......

Curiously, now we have a government that has set an objective and a timescale to achieve it, everybody want to criticise them for doing so.
Not at all, old chap. According to the Metro (quality loo-roll) it's Karzai's idea to get everyone out.

Karzai wants foreign troops out by 2014 | Metro.co.uk

'Ok, peoples, party's over. Me and Mrs Karzai have long day ahead trying for make peace with political renegades and aggressive savages. Thanks for the dip made of 314 Brits' blood, but now we need for go to bed!'

Am I mistaken about who's idea it was to withdraw troops?

(Thanks for your patience here legs_, we will get 'round to discussing your actual question at some point)
I'm probably being a bit dense but I couldn't see a date for Karzai's comments? resumably made before Camerons statement of intent?
Regardless of that, Cameron has stated the UK governments intentions and has been criticised for doing so, that was the point I was making.
Personally I have no problem with Cameron saying he wants the UK to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014/15
 
#10
America's fig leaf
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#11
Personally I have no problem with Cameron saying he wants the UK to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014/15
Except that in a COIN Op it always gives succour to your enemies if you announce your intention to leave as they assume you have given up and this only encourages them to redouble their efforts to make their victory all the more glorious/bloody.

Cameron has been quite clear to say we are leaving 'IF' the security situation allows it. Unfortunately the press have missed that bit in their enthusiasm to see us thrown out a la Vietnam - which they, the press, see as their finest hour..
 
#13
I think this is probably one of the best posts on ARRSE for a long time because it asks the simple question everyone is avoiding:

Why are we there and how will we know when we have won.

Personally, I don't think we can 'win'. Personally I don't think the shithole is worth the life of a single one of our servicemen.
 
#14
the simple question everyone is avoiding
The question has been studiously avoided because the truthful answer is politically inadmissible, especially now that the Chinese have let themselves in through the open back door, strengthening the multifarious status-quo under Karzai - but crucially not linking themselves to it.

Personally I would have considered all bets to be off so long as Karzai is around at the very least, but what do I know?
 
#15
The question has been studiously avoided because the truthful answer is politically inadmissible, especially now that the Chinese have let themselves in through the open back door, strengthening the multifarious status-quo under Karzai - but crucially not linking themselves to it.

Personally I would have considered all bets to be off so long as Karzai is around at the very least, but what do I know?
The problem is, most Afghans will agree with you
 
#16
I will say this again. Once we abandon Afghanistan again, and we are on a four-year timetable to do exactly that, (thanks Baz and Dave), there is no doubt whatsoever that the Talibs and Alkys will take over the country in pretty short order.

None.

What happens next is anyone's guess.

Tam
 
#17
abandoning afghan is a vexating idea - the taliban PR win would ignite the middle east into believing 'GOD' HAD LET THEM BEAT A SUPERPOWER' and thusly, causing us even more shit than we are already in.

so loose loose. not good game to play at all
 
#18
From fishfinger:

"abandoning afghan is a vexating idea - the taliban PR win would ignite the middle east into believing 'GOD' HAD LET THEM BEAT A SUPERPOWER' and thusly, causing us even more shit than we are already in."

Problem is, our politicos are too short-sighted to see this, have started a four-year countdown to withdrawal, (stand by for that to be drastically shortened, btw) and they will have left behind in Afghanistan a leader who will have a life expectancy of about, oh, two seconds before some Talib or Alky slots him. More likely though is a scenario that Karzai will be on the last helo or plane out of Kabul airport, on his way to count his millions in his various Swiss bank accounts.

Leaving behind him chaos, disorder, factional infighting and all that good stuff in Kabul, which will be used by Pakistan's ISI controlled Talibs to do what they did the last time there was all the above mentioned hilarity which was to take over and plunge Afghanistan back into a medieval hell. Which will be the cue for the Northern Alliance to take up arms again and try to boot them out. Which will lead (they hope) to Western intervention.

Thing is, I don't think that we will be that stupid again.
Something else occurred to me there. If, or when, the Talibs take over, will this encourage their bosses in the ISI to turn on the faction in that organisation who are involved in fighting the Pakistani Talibs that the folks in the capital do not want to back, and thus try to stage a coup?

If that happens, we will be facing a bunch of pre-industrial nutcases armed with nukes.

Tam
 

terroratthepicnic

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#19
I always thought the main reason we were there was to oust AQ/Taliban, before they could get a hold of Pakistan, who are a nuclear power. Can you imagine what the world would be like if these nutters were able to control Pakistans nuclear capabilities?
 
#20
Well, you know what the road to hell is paved with, don't you, terror?

Yep, good intentions.

If the aim was really to get rid of the Talibs and Alkys, that aim was blown right out of the water by Barry Osama and Call Me Dave when they started that whole "out by 2015" clock ticking. Everyone and their mammy who knew anything about counter-insurgency warfare and hearts and minds stuff could have told them it will take a hell of a lot longer than five years to sort out Afghanistan, if anything, it could take twenty or thirty more years. The trouble for Barry and CMD is that they cannot give that kind of a commitment as they have eyes on being re-elected in 2014 and 2015 respectively, and that kind of commitment is the same thing to a voter as green kryptonite is to Superman.

Tam
 

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