Our soldiers want to kill taliban not build schools

#1
Every reporter will have experienced it and every one of us fails to actually tell the real truth when we are asked this recurring and obvious question: “Stuart, another soldier dead in terrible circumstances. Opinion polls show the public is against the war. Surely it must affect morale?”
The real answer “Does it chuff, they love it.”
They do and that is the difference between civilians and military; it is why you and I and everyone wringing their hands about the poor soldiers facing horrendous conditions and danger totally don’t get it.
It is why they can kill people without question.
It is why they joined up in the first place.
If you think about it logically do soldiers, first and foremost, really want to build schools for poor Afghan kids? No, they want to kill Taliban.
I am not saying this lightly, I am not saying they are bloodthirsty or in any way unprofessional. It is a simple fact: they are soldiers and soldiers fight wars and they are in one. They are mightily upset when one of their mates gets killed or injured, but the way they deal with it is to clean their weapon, make sure their kit is squared away and get ready to go outside the wire and kill the bastards trying to kill them.
A couple of months ago I met up with a mentoring team of 10 British soldiers who had been held up in their base for months. Firefights every day; supplied by helicopter drops for weeks on end. They controlled no more than a few hundred yards of dusty road outside their front door.
They were attacked night after night. It was like a movie of explosions and shooting and camaraderie – trust me I have seen the pictures they filmed.
They were led by a very nice posh officer lad and a classic gruff sergeant. They were the happiest blokes I have ever met.
“It was f****** great mate. The lads f****** loved it. Thank f*** we didn’t lose anyone but we f****** twatted them – every time we went out. We knew where it would start, we knew what they would do and we just went out and tried to f*** them up. F****** brilliant.” That was the sergeant.
The officer: “Stuart, the lads did a great professional job. I think they relished the opportunity to engage with the enemy and implement the changes we and the ISAF forces have been tasked with achieving. The goals are difficult and achievements will sometimes be difficult to quantify but we feel we achieved a fair, if modest, degree of success.” I think that translates as “We f***ed them up.”
I have met many, many soldiers over the years and this example is absolutely in keeping with the general view of the military.
After spending another long night on the floor of a dusty tent, with no air conditioning in the day and freezing cold at night, eating awful MRE’s (meals ready to eat) when it was clear there could be a cook, I took it upon myself to ask the commanding officer why his men lived in such terrible conditions when it was pointless.
“Stuart I don’t ask much of my men,” the colonel told me.
“But I may ask them this: ‘Men, we will take that town tomorrow and we will prevail whatever the cost to you or your comrades.’ I am telling them to roll out of bed and kill people and risk being killed. That is why they live like animals, because I want them to behave like animals. It is war.”
He was American and as you might gather - a bit scary - but he had a point I suppose, even if we might find it totally alien.
Few of us ever wanted to be in the army and few have ever experienced what war is like. I have experienced it. It is strange and frightening and frankly exhilarating when it's over and you have survived.
But it is what soldiers have trained for and crave. The current deployed men and women see themselves as the “chosen generation”. Not for them tours of Northern Ireland to experience battle – but full-on conflicts, and they are at the centre of it.
We may debate the rights and wrongs of Afghanistan and Iraq and we may hate the dreadfulness of war and the effect that it has on civilians - something I have focused on in the many conflicts I have covered.
But please do not think that another soldier killed in an incident in Afghanistan ever affects the soldiers’ commitment – quite the opposite, it makes them more determined.


Good to see a real news article for a change and another reason, not that I needed it, to watch Sky news over BBC :)
 
#2
I wouldn't say all soldiers like being in contact day in day out. Many who say they do like it are usually liars or like to big themselves up. Combat on a regular basis is tiring both for the mind and the body. Too much is a lickout though (unless you're Rambo or being interviewed by a reporter) :)
 
#3
Karl_uk said:
Every reporter will have experienced it and every one of us fails to actually tell the real truth when we are asked this recurring and obvious question: “Stuart, another soldier dead in terrible circumstances. Opinion polls show the public is against the war. Surely it must affect morale?”
The real answer “Does it chuff, they love it.”
They do and that is the difference between civilians and military; it is why you and I and everyone wringing their hands about the poor soldiers facing horrendous conditions and danger totally don’t get it.
It is why they can kill people without question.
It is why they joined up in the first place.
If you think about it logically do soldiers, first and foremost, really want to build schools for poor Afghan kids? No, they want to kill Taliban.
I am not saying this lightly, I am not saying they are bloodthirsty or in any way unprofessional. It is a simple fact: they are soldiers and soldiers fight wars and they are in one. They are mightily upset when one of their mates gets killed or injured, but the way they deal with it is to clean their weapon, make sure their kit is squared away and get ready to go outside the wire and kill the bastards trying to kill them.
A couple of months ago I met up with a mentoring team of 10 British soldiers who had been held up in their base for months. Firefights every day; supplied by helicopter drops for weeks on end. They controlled no more than a few hundred yards of dusty road outside their front door.
They were attacked night after night. It was like a movie of explosions and shooting and camaraderie – trust me I have seen the pictures they filmed.
They were led by a very nice posh officer lad and a classic gruff sergeant. They were the happiest blokes I have ever met.
“It was f****** great mate. The lads f****** loved it. Thank f*** we didn’t lose anyone but we f****** twatted them – every time we went out. We knew where it would start, we knew what they would do and we just went out and tried to f*** them up. F****** brilliant.” That was the sergeant.
The officer: “Stuart, the lads did a great professional job. I think they relished the opportunity to engage with the enemy and implement the changes we and the ISAF forces have been tasked with achieving. The goals are difficult and achievements will sometimes be difficult to quantify but we feel we achieved a fair, if modest, degree of success.” I think that translates as “We f***ed them up.”
I have met many, many soldiers over the years and this example is absolutely in keeping with the general view of the military.
After spending another long night on the floor of a dusty tent, with no air conditioning in the day and freezing cold at night, eating awful MRE’s (meals ready to eat) when it was clear there could be a cook, I took it upon myself to ask the commanding officer why his men lived in such terrible conditions when it was pointless.
“Stuart I don’t ask much of my men,” the colonel told me.
“But I may ask them this: ‘Men, we will take that town tomorrow and we will prevail whatever the cost to you or your comrades.’ I am telling them to roll out of bed and kill people and risk being killed. That is why they live like animals, because I want them to behave like animals. It is war.”
He was American and as you might gather - a bit scary - but he had a point I suppose, even if we might find it totally alien.
Few of us ever wanted to be in the army and few have ever experienced what war is like. I have experienced it. It is strange and frightening and frankly exhilarating when it's over and you have survived.
But it is what soldiers have trained for and crave. The current deployed men and women see themselves as the “chosen generation”. Not for them tours of Northern Ireland to experience battle – but full-on conflicts, and they are at the centre of it.
We may debate the rights and wrongs of Afghanistan and Iraq and we may hate the dreadfulness of war and the effect that it has on civilians - something I have focused on in the many conflicts I have covered.
But please do not think that another soldier killed in an incident in Afghanistan ever affects the soldiers’ commitment – quite the opposite, it makes them more determined.


Good to see a real news article for a change and another reason, not that I needed it, to watch Sky news over BBC :)

I am guessing you are a veggie journo, so to those odds, fook off.


Or a clerk/storeman.
 
#4
Still utter garbage.

He wants the lads to live like animals, because they have to behave like animals?

Have a word.
 
#5
chocolate_frog said:
Still utter garbage.

He wants the lads to live like animals, because they have to behave like animals?

Have a word.
I picked up on that dazzling display of leadership too. To be fair, it seems the man who made that statement was American, and they do have some proper moon units in their ranks. You know the type, the ones that think their job is loosely based on a war film rather than vice-versa.

The article as a whole though does seem to read as though the guys were 'bigging up' to the reporter though. Nevertheless, not a bad read.
 
#6
Gren said:
I am guessing you are a veggie journo, so to those odds, fook off.


Or a clerk/storeman.
No.. A student actually, not that that's a massive improvement :) My point was it was interesting to read an article on Afghan that's a bit different.
 
#7
****ing students - do you still write a cheque for a bag of chips?
 
#8
Karl_uk said:
Gren said:
I am guessing you are a veggie journo, so to those odds, fook off.


Or a clerk/storeman.
No.. A student actually, not that that's a massive improvement :) My point was it was interesting to read an article on Afghan that's a bit different.
In that case, may I suggest you study reality above bollo-cks then
 
#9
Fallschirmjager said:
I wouldn't say all soldiers like being in contact day in day out. Many who say they do like it are usually liars or like to big themselves up. Combat on a regular basis is tiring both for the mind and the body. Too much is a lickout though (unless you're Rambo or being interviewed by a reporter) :)
Don’t let us be twee about soldiering.

The fact is that soldiers are there to fight and as with every occupation they want to put their training into practice and I am sure that when done well, they rightly get great satisfaction out of it.

Any soldier who thinks otherwise should not have joined up in the first place.
 
#10
Balleh said:
The fact is that soldiers are there to fight and as with every occupation they want to put their training into practice and I am sure that when done well, they rightly get great satisfaction out of it.
The fact is most soldiers in Afghanistan AREN'T there to fight but to support the fighting troops. Being in a few contacts is one thing. Being in contact day in day out for weeks on end is a lickout. Unless you're Rambo or dead dead hard of course. And yes, there is great satisfaction to be had. Satisfaction that you're all still alive and got the job done.
 
#11
Karl_uk said:
Gren said:
I am guessing you are a veggie journo, so to those odds, fook off.


Or a clerk/storeman.
No.. A student actually, not that that's a massive improvement :) My point was it was interesting to read an article on Afghan that's a bit different.
Now a ribbing from the Teef Arms I would expect, they have earned the right, but you my little idle lay-about friend can go fuck yourself. Who the fuck are you to come on here and proclaim that being a student is better than being a clerk or a storeman? Did you see 'Wounded'? That young lad from the Paras is now a storeman so go and tell him you are better than him. I am not a storeman or a clerk, but I do know plenty of them and whatever the Inf think of them that's fine by me but you can go fucking spin - I believe it was a student who recetly pissed on a war memorial wasn't it? I couldn't give two little flying shits if you think it's nice to read a different perspective on the situation in Afghan. Your opinion is worth fuck all in here. Please feel free to come back and slate CSS when you have got some in you cunt!
 
#12
BPS666 said:
Karl_uk said:
Gren said:
I am guessing you are a veggie journo, so to those odds, fook off.


Or a clerk/storeman.
No.. A student actually, not that that's a massive improvement :) My point was it was interesting to read an article on Afghan that's a bit different.
Now a ribbing from the Teef Arms I would expect, they have earned the right, but you my little idle lay-about friend can go fuck yourself. Who the fuck are you to come on here and proclaim that being a student is better than being a clerk or a storeman? Did you see 'Wounded'? That young lad from the Paras is now a storeman so go and tell him you are better than him. I am not a storeman or a clerk, but I do know plenty of them and whatever the Inf think of them that's fine by me but you can go fucking spin - I believe it was a student who recetly pissed on a war memorial wasn't it? I couldn't give two little flying shits if you think it's nice to read a different perspective on the situation in Afghan. Your opinion is worth fuck all in here. Please feel free to come back and slate CSS when you have got some in you cunt!
Ok, fair one, should have really said being a student is better than a veggin journo, and I did see Wounded and don't have a bad thing to say about storemann etc.
And yes it was a student who pissed on a war memorial. So what? Does that mean because one person in a group of society does something they all do? I support myself through Uni with having two jobs and I work damn hard to get good grades so your opinion of me being a lazy waster watching countdown every day doesn't really interest me.
 
#13
Karl_uk said:
BPS666 said:
Karl_uk said:
Gren said:
I am guessing you are a veggie journo, so to those odds, fook off.


Or a clerk/storeman.
No.. A student actually, not that that's a massive improvement :) My point was it was interesting to read an article on Afghan that's a bit different.
Now a ribbing from the Teef Arms I would expect, they have earned the right, but you my little idle lay-about friend can go fuck yourself. Who the fuck are you to come on here and proclaim that being a student is better than being a clerk or a storeman? Did you see 'Wounded'? That young lad from the Paras is now a storeman so go and tell him you are better than him. I am not a storeman or a clerk, but I do know plenty of them and whatever the Inf think of them that's fine by me but you can go fucking spin - I believe it was a student who recetly pissed on a war memorial wasn't it? I couldn't give two little flying shits if you think it's nice to read a different perspective on the situation in Afghan. Your opinion is worth fuck all in here. Please feel free to come back and slate CSS when you have got some in you cunt!
Ok, fair one, should have really said being a student is better than a veggin journo, and I did see Wounded and don't have a bad thing to say about storemann etc.
And yes it was a student who pissed on a war memorial. So what? Does that mean because one person in a group of society does something they all do? I support myself through Uni with having two jobs and I work damn hard to get good grades so your opinion of me being a lazy waster watching countdown every day doesn't really interest me.
It should do you lazy Countdown watching waster!
 
#14
Karl_uk said:
BPS666 said:
Karl_uk said:
Gren said:
I am guessing you are a veggie journo, so to those odds, fook off.


Or a clerk/storeman.
No.. A student actually, not that that's a massive improvement :) My point was it was interesting to read an article on Afghan that's a bit different.
Now a ribbing from the Teef Arms I would expect, they have earned the right, but you my little idle lay-about friend can go fuck yourself. Who the fuck are you to come on here and proclaim that being a student is better than being a clerk or a storeman? Did you see 'Wounded'? That young lad from the Paras is now a storeman so go and tell him you are better than him. I am not a storeman or a clerk, but I do know plenty of them and whatever the Inf think of them that's fine by me but you can go fucking spin - I believe it was a student who recetly pissed on a war memorial wasn't it? I couldn't give two little flying shits if you think it's nice to read a different perspective on the situation in Afghan. Your opinion is worth fuck all in here. Please feel free to come back and slate CSS when you have got some in you cunt!
Ok, fair one, should have really said being a student is better than a veggin journo, and I did see Wounded and don't have a bad thing to say about storemen etc.

And yes it was a student who pissed on a war memorial. So what? Does that mean because one person in a group of society does something they all do? I support myself through Uni with having two jobs and I work damn hard to get good grades so your opinion of me being a lazy waster watching countdown every day doesn't really interest me.
Well done, you fight your corner and let the tossers go jump in a lake.
 
#15
Don't get taken in by the high of combat prevalent in this article. Ask soldiers back home about how they feel about going back if they have already survived one or two tours without life threatening injury. It gets harder and harder for them and that is human nature.

Warfighting is a blunt instrument that should be used sparingly. I don't see how you can ask people to do it time and time again without serious downsides.

Latest estimates are for another 5 years of fighting. With a relatively small pool of infantry that is one hell of a burden.
 
#16
Balleh said:
Karl_uk said:
BPS666 said:
Karl_uk said:
Gren said:
I am guessing you are a veggie journo, so to those odds, fook off.


Or a clerk/storeman.
No.. A student actually, not that that's a massive improvement :) My point was it was interesting to read an article on Afghan that's a bit different.
Now a ribbing from the Teef Arms I would expect, they have earned the right, but you my little idle lay-about friend can go fuck yourself. Who the fuck are you to come on here and proclaim that being a student is better than being a clerk or a storeman? Did you see 'Wounded'? That young lad from the Paras is now a storeman so go and tell him you are better than him. I am not a storeman or a clerk, but I do know plenty of them and whatever the Inf think of them that's fine by me but you can go fucking spin - I believe it was a student who recetly pissed on a war memorial wasn't it? I couldn't give two little flying shits if you think it's nice to read a different perspective on the situation in Afghan. Your opinion is worth fuck all in here. Please feel free to come back and slate CSS when you have got some in you cunt!
Ok, fair one, should have really said being a student is better than a veggin journo, and I did see Wounded and don't have a bad thing to say about storemen etc.

And yes it was a student who pissed on a war memorial. So what? Does that mean because one person in a group of society does something they all do? I support myself through Uni with having two jobs and I work damn hard to get good grades so your opinion of me being a lazy waster watching countdown every day doesn't really interest me.
Well done, you fight your corner and let the tossers go jump in a lake.

Do you not have blankets to count Balleh?
 
#17
Karl_uk said:
And yes it was a student who pissed on a war memorial. So what? Does that mean because one person in a group of society does something they all do? I support myself through Uni with having two jobs and I work damn hard to get good grades so your opinion of me being a lazy waster watching countdown every day doesn't really interest me.
Well said . I'm a part time student at Edinburgh Uni myself .
 
#18
nigegilb said:
Don't get taken in by the high of combat prevalent in this article. Ask soldiers back home about how they feel about going back if they have already survived one or two tours without life threatening injury. It gets harder and harder for them and that is human nature.

Warfighting is a blunt instrument that should be used sparingly. I don't see how you can ask people to do it time and time again without serious downsides.

Latest estimates are for another 5 years of fighting. With a relatively small pool of infantry that is one hell of a burden.

Have to agree with you, the sad thing is, the amount of time a regt will see a front line tour in this day and age, is only going to add to a list of short term soldiers, and less of the old school lifers, due to the high intensity of the job.

PTSD is a relatively modern thing, (in terms of knowing it exists) but given the amount of action the modern infantry man sees in a relatively short time, is only going to add to the already hard pressed after care that doesnt fully exist anyway.

Sadly, those who join today, will not be what those who have gone before, on the above basis.
Who wants to make a career of being sent away for 6 months out of every 12?

Not as bad as that yet, but whose to say the way things are going?
 
#19
Gren said:
nigegilb said:
Don't get taken in by the high of combat prevalent in this article. Ask soldiers back home about how they feel about going back if they have already survived one or two tours without life threatening injury. It gets harder and harder for them and that is human nature.

Warfighting is a blunt instrument that should be used sparingly. I don't see how you can ask people to do it time and time again without serious downsides.

Latest estimates are for another 5 years of fighting. With a relatively small pool of infantry that is one hell of a burden.

Have to agree with you, the sad thing is, the amount of time a regt will see a front line tour in this day and age, is only going to add to a list of short term soldiers, and less of the old school lifers, due to the high intensity of the job.

PTSD is a relatively modern thing, (in terms of knowing it exists) but given the amount of action the modern infantry man sees in a relatively short time, is only going to add to the already hard pressed after care that doesnt fully exist anyway.

Sadly, those who join today, will not be what those who have gone before, on the above basis.
Who wants to make a career of being sent away for 6 months out of every 12?

Not as bad as that yet, but whose to say the way things are going?
Sadly, I became indirectly involved with a clear case of PTSD just the other day. Poor bloke is not receiving treatment, has not been offered treatment, but does not want to "volunteer" for treatment. Discovered there is now an organisation to help partners/wives to cope with the PTSD of a loved one.

I am shocked that these cases are still being missed. he was as front line as it gets (due to his "skill"). He got a few hours on the p**s in Cyprus and then sent back to his unit (after a spell of leave); not the one he was serving with in Afg.

I get very annoyed when I hear people like Stirrup blithely state the warfighting will last another five years. One wonders if he has a deep understanding of what it is actually like on the ground and the effects his policy statement will have on those pushed over the edge by heavy exposure to combat stress with inadequate recovery before going out again. It is not coping in Afg with its "high morale " that is the problem. The difficult bit appears to be the coming home, facing family, friends and strangers wracked with guilt because you survived but your mate didn't. And trying and failing to make sense of everything.
 
#20
nigegilb said:
Gren said:
nigegilb said:
Don't get taken in by the high of combat prevalent in this article. Ask soldiers back home about how they feel about going back if they have already survived one or two tours without life threatening injury. It gets harder and harder for them and that is human nature.

Warfighting is a blunt instrument that should be used sparingly. I don't see how you can ask people to do it time and time again without serious downsides.

Latest estimates are for another 5 years of fighting. With a relatively small pool of infantry that is one hell of a burden.

Have to agree with you, the sad thing is, the amount of time a regt will see a front line tour in this day and age, is only going to add to a list of short term soldiers, and less of the old school lifers, due to the high intensity of the job.

PTSD is a relatively modern thing, (in terms of knowing it exists) but given the amount of action the modern infantry man sees in a relatively short time, is only going to add to the already hard pressed after care that doesnt fully exist anyway.

Sadly, those who join today, will not be what those who have gone before, on the above basis.
Who wants to make a career of being sent away for 6 months out of every 12?

Not as bad as that yet, but whose to say the way things are going?
Sadly, I became indirectly involved with a clear case of PTSD just the other day. Poor bloke is not receiving treatment, has not been offered treatment, but does not want to "volunteer" for treatment. Discovered there is now an organisation to help partners/wives to cope with the PTSD of a loved one.

I am shocked that these cases are still being missed. he was as front line as it gets (due to his "skill"). He got a few hours on the p**s in Cyprus and then sent back to his unit (after a spell of leave); not the one he was serving with in Afg.

I get very annoyed when I hear people like Stirrup blithely state the warfighting will last another five years. One wonders if he has a deep understanding of what it is actually like on the ground and the effects his policy statement will have on those pushed over the edge by heavy exposure to combat stress with inadequate recovery before going out again. It is not coping in Afg with its "high morale " that is the problem. The difficult bit appears to be the coming home, facing family, friends and strangers wracked with guilt because you survived but your mate didn't. And trying and failing to make sense of everything.

And that sadly, is just scratching the surface.