Micheal Yon may have opened a can of worms

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by petergriffen, Aug 25, 2009.

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  1. This should be interesting.
  2. Yon got crossways in Iraq with BG Brooks who tried to kick him out of the country. Brooks was eventually overruled. When you allow reporters like Yon in country you have to take the good press along with the bad. British commanders probably dont want stories about poorly equiped British troops.
  3. The man is unfailingly supportive of the soldiers. Not only that, but he is FINALLY widening peoples views in the US as to what we, Britain, are doing in Afghanistan which is IMHO a very very important aspect of his reporting. He also tells it how it is for those in the public here in the UK who cannot get out there. The MoD is being so short sighted it is untrue, and although I despise those who jump on the 'Labour/Civil Servants are shite blah blah blah' bandwagom for no reason, this is a truly stupid decision. I mean, biblically stupid. He isn't even being critical over equipment (beyond Helicopters, and that can of worms isn't exactly secret now is it?) - and if they ARE underreporting casualties then frankly it needs to be bought to the public eye.
  4. He was in the middle of putting together his election day dispatch. He mentioned that one of the soldiers beside him had his antenna shot off. So I'm presuming he might off witnessed casualties of some sort, and that being the main point he was bringing across in the dispatch.

    If his next dispatch about the elections in Sagin does come out, I'm presuming it will be heavily edited.

    However, I believe he is to join the US marines down Lashkar Gah in September anyway, so his time with us was going to be over soon enough anyway.
  5. I suspect the problem may be that he has exposed the utter futility of the war in Afghanistan and the complete waste of British lives trying to open a poxy road in a sh*tty town in a god-forsaken country and the total lack of relevance this has to the Prime Minister's stated mission of protecting the UK.
  6. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    As are Yon's despatches. You only go there if your interested and nobody seems to be interested enough to bring the casualty issue out into the public gaze.
  7. msr

    msr LE

    Apart from The Spectator: http://www.arrse.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic/t=131731.html
  8. Micheal Yon for my money is one of the best War Correspondents the world has ever seen. What ever the issues the MOD need to realise the scale of his achievements and insights, and get him back onboard asap.
  9. For some reason I can't let go of this, probably because his duplicity after such excellent work is breath taking.

    He is having a strop because theatre can only take so many journalists at a time. He was originally staying for 2 weeks. He was extended because he was low maintianence, the Battle Group liked him and he was putting out stories. Later he was extended again for the same reasons.

    5 weeks (an extra 3 weeks!) is a good innings. Now he hasn’t gotten his way, “the MoD canceled my embed after today's dispatch” err, really Mr Yon? And “British MoD playing games after shutting me down. Perhaps they sensed I am preparing to report that they are underreporting casualties.” Are you sure?

    The respect he built up with his reports (and I have been an avid reader) is now gone because I have heard both sides of the story and am frankly shocked.

    I queried MoD not liking the type of reporting, embeds can write what they like as long as it does not breach OPSEC (endangers troops lives, exposes TTPs etc) or is factually incorrect (220kg of Heroin seized, err, no. It was 10kg. The rest were chemicals). Everything else is fair game.
  10. Go back a coupla summers - furore erupts in press A-Adjt at RHQ RRF posts on the MoD/RRF webpage an e-mail from Maj Jon Swift (OC A Coy, att'd to the 3 Para BG) saying exactly the same thing: UK Plc is underreporting casualties. This ain't exactly new news.

    I did some rough calculations about that time, and have revisited them occasionally: by my estimate the rule of thumb (for UK and US) is that you can expect approx 9.5 wounded for every death. I can't give you an estimate of how that would break down into SI/VSI etc. We've had (I think I heard on the news this a.m.) 22 killed in the last month. Now do the sum.

    If you can find online the documentary "The Fallen" (I think I watched it first on Youtube), it features a the mum of a dead para, showing a photo of him with all of his section.

    She points her finger at each one in turn and says "He's dead, he's wounded, he's wounded, he's dead . . . "

    Probably more killed in that Company in one tour than in my battalion over the entire 30(+) years of the NI Troubles

    Keeping it quiet? You betcha they are.
  11. Read the article linked to in this thread:

    Ratio of injured to fatal casualties quoted as - for UK and US troops - between 30 and 40 to one. For context WW2 quoted as 4 to 1, Vietnam 15 to 1. Advances in protective gear, the quality of immediate medical aid and medevac times are no doubt the reason for the increase.

    And of those wounded the article quotes 7 ish out of 30 will be tier 4, that is very, very badly hurt with no chance of a return to what they were before.

    Do we see those numbers quoted in official sources ? We do not. What we do get every time these numbers are mentioned a flurry of spin merchants / useful idiots / retirees who still think the Army is like BAOR (*) turn up to insist that it can't possibly be so.

    The one thing we do not see are authoritative statistics showing what is actually happening.

    Make your own mind up, it's not like the Government has a vested interest in hiding the results of their underfunding of Defence from the electorate is it ? What's that Skippy, there's a General Election next year and the average voter dislikes parties that cripple soldiers for no reason then try and stiff them on their pensions ? Oh.

    (*) Take your pick.
  12. Just back from the States, US Generals stating in the clear that Taliban control 1/3rd of the country. The cry has gone out for the politicians to urgently ARTICULATE the aims of the Afghan conflict. This from a country far more articulate than our own in expressing the war aims.

    I give Obama 2 years before he gets cold feet. No politician is brave enough to talk "pull-out" because so many have died or been injured already and because of the effect it would have on morale.

    Personally, I think we are headed for failure/containment only. Seeing who Karzai now keeps company with I'd rather see a military/coalition govt forcing through reforms and aid. NATO countries should be dealt with unsparingly if they refuse to pull their weight then throw them out of the alliance.

    Appears from my armchair as though the Afghan Op is running out of time, forget fancy talk of 30 or 40 years. The most alarming report I have seen recently, was the possible inaccurate report of 18 year old British soldiers being sent to war with insufficient training. If we are resorting to policies akin to the Great War to make the numbers up, then the Generals have lost my support. I don't want to see young men used as cannon fodder.
  13. Try as I might I can't get upset by the fact that most of NATO doesn't want to risk their troops in AFG. I do get upset that we are doing so for no adequately explained reason.

    I agree that the US will be out sooner rather than later. Personally I'd see the driver as being the need to create a viable strategic reserve to allow them to restart exerting influence in areas that actually matter to US geopolitical interests.