Paddy Ashdown: What we must do to win this war in Afghanista

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jul 21, 2009.

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  1. Paddy Ashdown: What we must do to win this war in Afghanistan

    In this important and timely essay, Lord Ashdown argues that the history of the Afghan war is one of continuous mistakes, and outlines the key factors which can transform defeat into success

    Wednesday, 22 July 2009
    On 18 December 2001 Tony Blair, speaking to me in Downing Street about the West's imminent invasion of Afghanistan, promised "We will have a very limited operation... It will be confined to Kabul, and then we will get out early. I don't mind... going in early, providing we can leave early." I said that seemed wise – it was very easy to get bogged down in Afghanistan.

    I start from the proposition that the war in Afghanistan is one we have to fight and must win. The cost of failure there is just too great. It includes the certain fall of Pakistan and the possible emergence of the world's first Jihadist Government with a nuclear weapon; the re-creation in Afghanistan of a lawless space open for the preparation and export of international terror; the consequent deepening of what is already the most potent immediate threat to the internal security of countries like ours; a possibly mortal blow to NATO, especially in Washington's eyes. And, some even say, the possibility of a widening Sunni/Shia conflict in the Middle East, with potentially baleful geo-political consequences for all.
    More on the link
  2. He seems to have just about summed it up.
  3. PantsDown speaking before Malloch-Brown's observations were released. Afg might be right battle in the wrong place
  4. Paddy need's to get himself back into mainstream politics again
  5. He'd have to leave the Lib Dems to do that.

    A very good article, not much to argue against.
  6. I do hope not.
    His last effort was to suggest the the defence of the UK should be shared with the EU nations.
    He stated that defence should be a EU wide endeavour with our own capabliies reduced and responsiblity for the slack taken up by the EU (yes, those same French and Germans we have fought for centuries)
  7. We can all see how unenthusiastic they are in Af, I doubt if they would help us much in a war - better to defend ourselves.
  8. Is that not why we have allies? - to share the load.
  9. Works in theory... :roll:
  10. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Totally different in practice.
  11. Exactly! :wink:
  12. Quite frankly any Briton who thinks it sensible or acceptable to reduce our own own forces and then expect other countries to defend us is in my opinion deranged, not to mention defeatist, especially when one of those countries has shown precious little interest in or stomach for, serious combat operations in Afghanistan. I wouldn't expect or trust the French or Germans to defend us, end of story. A pity he came out with this because his summary of the rationale for our presence in Afg. and the importance of success is excellent:

    I suggest that all ARRSER's save this so that the the next time you see some fool posting that he (still) doesn't know why we're there and that we should "bring the troops home" you can simply post it in reply. I think it sums it up beautifully myself.
  13. Really? So we fought the Cold War on our own did we? We didn't get any help in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and there are no EU nations in Afghanistan eh?

  14. Can you show me where Paddy or the LIb Dems suggest this. All I have seen is that we form an allience with our neighbours - somewhat similar to NATO. I haven't seen any policy document, think tank paper or suggestion that voices the idea of anything else but a treaty of mutual defence.
  15. do realise that were no(official)combat operations during the Cold "War", don't you? :roll:

    A bitter pill to swallow, but the Serbs, Croats etc would probably still be torturing and killing each other today if the Septics had'nt got in the game.

    Of course there are other European nations with troops in Afghanistan, some of them have taken casualties. But no matter what EU fantasy people like you and Lord Fudge-Packer of Rio try and push, the fact remains that the heavy lifting in Afghanistan is done by the UK and US. Other nations have token forces or impose highly restricive ROE on their troops.