Max Hastings on Unreliable Allies in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by gobbyidiot, Jul 31, 2009.

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  1. Dont worry, there are loads of them going out in the next few months!!!
     
  2. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Good point with regards to language skills. During our Imperial Age it was compulsory for Colonial Officers and Army Officers to learn the local language, major efforts were made to converse with the indigenous populace. Your job and chances of promotion were directly related to this.

    Mind you tours in those days lasted 2 years.

    Is it time to resuurect some of the aspects of the Old Colonial Office Training Programme at Oxford?
     
  3. I am inclined to think that the people who deal with the locals should do much longer tours. Fly them home for leave frequently, but keep them in post for years. This will not only enable them to learn the language but more importantly it will enable them to build relationships with the locals.
     

  4. We tried that once it worked eally well, we called it an Empire. Unfortunatley we had to give it up as part of the deal for the "assistance" we got from over the pond in that little 1939-1990 shindig.
     
  5. Fair one on longer tours, but why not go the whole hog and just incorporate Afghanistan back into the Empire?

    That way we could quickly (say in about two or three generations) develop a proper Afghan middle-class to do all the talking to the undesirables for us.

    Hang on though, do we really want another bunch of feelthy foreigners beating us at cricket? Eh? Hadn't thought that through. Dammit. Harrumph.

    Edit to add: borrocks, Transformer beat me to it sorta-kinda.
     
  6. Errrr, what if we didn't volunteer for the post of working with locals. Bit harsh.

    "Off on tour again T_B_B."
    "6 months? Poo!"
    "Nope your working with the ANA/ANP/SSR/Media/R and D/CIMIC etc, you get 36. So you can bond and all that."
    "Cheers, boss."
     
  7. Which is why I was saying “Fly them home for leave frequently.” Say 6 weeks work then 2 weeks leave; thus you are doing, say 20, 6 week deployments rather than a 36 month deployment. You can juggle the exact deal to find something that enough people are happy to do.

    Yes it would cost us a lot in air transport, but if it wins the conflict it is worth it.
     
  8. In the days of the Belgian Congo it was not apparently regarded as being a prime posting. To overcome this every year a Belgian serviceman served in the Congo counted as 2 years for pension purposes. If an officer spent his whole service in the Congo he could retire on full pension after 10 years. Do you think this could work?
     
  9. Service in the cibil service in Hong Kong reduced the years required for a pension IIRC. Probably applied to other FE stations. Poor PBI just served where and for how long was required.
     
  10. And just for interests sake, these people who do you think they should be? Sect Cdrs who deal with the locals on patrol, sappers on cimic projects, commanders who deal with local governors, int specialists, ANA trainers.

    This would be after 13wks-6mths language training, (no leave) OPTAG and pre deployment trg so about 8mths before you go. If you want no home life it's a great idea. Not a barbed question, would you sign up for it?

    If this was to work I agree the leave would have to be increased substantially but the pay as well. Rough average for civvi contractor in KAF doing my job 60-80kpa, 6wks on 2 off. If this was the case I may, possibly, consider it