Kit isn’t our biggest problem in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jul 16, 2009.

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  1. From The Times
    July 17, 2009
    Kit isn’t our biggest problem in Afghanistan
    We are now too wise to buy into propaganda. That’s why it’s harder for our soldiers to fight
    Frank Skinner
    It’s not just about helicopters and the right kind of armoured car, is it? The problem is that we, as a nation, can’t really do war any more.

    Our view of it has become too nuanced and complicated. The reasons for war always required a good edit to be persuasive — the dark motivations snipped out to give the public a focused image of a just and winnable conflict. A war relies on a certain naivety back home to be acceptable. I hate to say it, but nowadays we know too much. The golden wall behind which the powerful have always hidden their little secrets — their MPs’ expenses, their celebrity phone taps and their waterboarding — has been breached so often of late it’s beyond repair.

    I watched this week that video of Iraqi prisoners, hooded and forced to squat in the agonising “stress position”, a British soldier screaming at them and calling them apes. I’m glad I saw it and I wished I hadn’t. It wasn’t the image of war I grew up with. It wasn’t fearless Tommy Atkins battling the evil Hun with a wink, a whistle and a self-rolled cigarette. It was more like one of those sickening slices of city centre violence when testosterone’s heavy in the air and you just look straight ahead and keep walking. It seemed like yob culture had been institutionalised and put to practical use.

    But what do I know? What would I do if I was out there — that mysterious “there” that we don’t want to even think about? Maybe when you’ve been shot at a few times your opinions change. Maybe those people who spent their gap year “doing” the Middle East, soaking up its fabulous customs and culture, developed a slightly more affectionate view of the locals than someone who’s there to fight the Taleban.
    More on the link
  2. We cant do war anymore? we still the best at it, what a chopper. Journo ******.
  3. Written by a civvy for civvys, that's why it doesn't make sense.
  4. Kit isn't the biggest problem, Taliban are.
  5. I have never been to Afghanistan, - well not since 1979 - and I cannot comment on the 'kit'.

    That said, 'the biggest problem in Afghanistan' will be the lack of clear political direction.

    Additionally, there is the perception in the civilian population, and the military, that the government has not a single clue about: what it is doing; has done; or can do.

    In days of yore (great phrase that) Bliar and the hapless, hopeless Brown would have been arraigned, tried and executed for stupidity.
  6. o.0 the "hun" era had much worse things than the stress position. what planet is this twerp on?
  7. Ken Livingstone dropped his avuncular manner for a moment to point out that the other plinths and, indeed, the central column, were occupied by “war criminals and people involved in the invasion of India”.

    Livingstone really is a vile human being isn't he?

    As for Frank Skinner, what the **** does he know, about anything?
  8. Beasting prisoners has always happened in all conflicts. Some soldiers do it because it makes them feel powerful, some because the enemy has really pissed them off, and others because they are natural bullies. It's just that nowadays the press know a good scoop when they see one so jump all over it. I'd rather get put in a stress position for an hour and get a few slaps around the face then have my head cut off with a knife!
  9. Maybe if the government had a decent Opposition Party, which could hold them to account, and raise the standard of debate, then maybe Our Troops might have more of everything.
    More helicopters, no problem, just remember

    Didn't the MOD spunk millions away on a failed UAV progamme. If only we had a functioning one, they could provide an overview of the MSR's.
    In The 2nd WW, there used to be the evocative sounds of Merlin engines, operating overhead, providing overwatch on the Troops on the ground.
    Nowadays The Troops have to rely on Fast Air, costing a fortune,for a minute or so of overhead protection, we are not fighting a high tech enemy. Just an observant one.
    I don't have any answers, but it seems to me nothing is debated anymore. Do we actually need Hi -Tech weapons, costing a fortune, to defeat the local tribesmen. Does The Britsh Army revert to basic insurgencey skills, or does it get priced out of the job?
    Just asking.
  10. If the Uighurs keep stirring up Beijing you may not have to worry about Afghanistan anymore. Three hundred thousand Chinese infantrymen will emerge suddenly out of the hills, just as they did in Korea, and you'll receive a cordial invitation to fcuk off and leave the militants for a real army to deal with.
  11. Haven't the Chinese already aquired mineral rights in Afghanistan? Specifically copper and huge quantities thereof.
    It would suggest that China is watching its interests closely anyway, at th emoment they have a win/win situation, they have the mineral rights but don't have to fund the fighting.

    Perhaps the Chinese have a slightly wiser outlook on these things?
  12. I read the whole article and thought it raised some interesting points.

    - It just isn't done for so-called "intellectuals" to be patriotic any more. It's often seen as racist.
    - The Iraq war has badly damaged the reputation of the Armed Forces. No longer are we seen as defenders of our country, but agents of the 'corporate' Government.

    However, I just watched the 'ape' video he mentions and can't see the issue. It was unprofessional and embarassing to watch, but a sandbag on the head and a bit of shouting never killed anybody. Christ, we go through it ourselves in training!
  13. It is a very complex issue, but don't forget that this escalated to GBH and Murder of a prisoner in British Army custody (General Dannats words).

    Treatment like this was banned in 1971 and the MOD was required to go back to Parliament to seek permission to use them again. The wonderful CoC decided to ignore this or was totally incompetant. The Baha Mousa Enquiry, currently sitting is as one of its aims trying to establish just how far up the chain of command this failure went, a long way I would suggest.

    Read on
  14. His comments, particularly that "yob culture has been institutionalised" fits in with the way the Army has always been viewed by the certain sections of the 'chattering classes'and all other left leaning media types - which seems to include most 'alternative' comedians...remember 'Spitting Image'in the 80's doing a sketch on " hooligans in uniform..."
    They just don't seem to be able to comprehend how any one would want to join up and serve and often seem to want soldiers to fit there preconceived stereotype....and occasionally the Army feeds them the ammo that confirms there prejudices, despite the best efforts of people in the media like Ross Kemp.
    We can still do war- IF we have to - ( and the question 'DO we have to in Afghanistan' is a different discussion) and the servicemen - and women in theatre are doing us proud....without the proper kit, again as discussed elsewhere.
    Its just that the so called liberal elite that seems to hold power in this country don't want to and can't.
    Frank should stick to comedy and football.