Serious and positive opinions only

#43
The Chinese seem to be the ones trying to get the most benefit from the place. Copper, tantalum, etc. So they should've committed a serious amount of manpower and resources.

Seems only fair.
 
#45
So, what has happened to those massive hydro generators that the British army were tasked to deliver to the Kajaki Dam project? Were they installled, or are they quietly rusting away under the Afhan sun like everything else, or have foreign companies been tasked to complete this project so the Afghans have a goodly supply of hydro power?
 
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#46
So, what has happened to those massive hydro generators that the British army were tasked to deliver to the Kajaki Dam project? Were they installled, or are they quietly rusting away under the Afhan sun like everything else, or have foreign companies been tasked to complete this project so the Afghans have a goodly supply of hydro power?
Just "rusting away" with no follow up and costs escalating.

British engineers evacuated from key Afghan dam as Taliban approach
 
#48
no-one has mentioned stopping the opium production. Was it even possible?
Our education and development of agricultural techniques e.g. well drilling / irrigation has massively increased the opium production even within areas previously found to be unsuitable. Genetic engineering was the only solution to eradicate opium crops, which would have bordered on CBRN techniques being employed in asymmetric warfare. However, this would likely have transferred opium production demands to other parts of the world e.g. Myanmar.
 
#49
Our education and development of agricultural techniques e.g. well drilling / irrigation has massively increased the opium production even within areas previously found to be unsuitable. Genetic engineering was the only solution to eradicate opium crops, which would have bordered on CBRN techniques being employed in asymmetric warfare. However, this would likely have transferred opium production demands to other parts of the world e.g. Myanmar.
Eradication is like pushing water up hill. Legislation and regulation is the only way forward
 
#50
Eradication is like pushing water up hill. Legislation and regulation is the only way forward
Perfectly possible, it just requires the geopolitical will
'Scientists in a former Soviet biological warfare plant in Uzbekistan are trying to perfect the Pleospora fungus that kills the opium poppy - source of the world's illegal heroin supply. Although the UNDCP is fronting the fungus project, it is the Americans who are the real sponsors with the British making a £100,000 contribution. No other country has been persuaded to contribute to the programme.'
The UNDP were pussies!
United Nations Pulls Out of Plans to Use Anti-Drug Biological Weapons in South America
Legislation and regulation is a busted flush across the planet and just not viable in Afghanistan, given the culture. This is the future that will overtake those poppy fields, which will be more attractive to the criminal fraternity, as it reduces their overheads -
Drugs: Regulate 'home-brew' opiates
Genetically Modified Yeast Will Make It Possible to Home-Brew Opiates
 
#51
Our presence in Afghanistan over the past 15 years has produced progress in the public health arena, although not without problems. Infant mortality has reduced, education has improved in some, not all areas. Unfortunately this has two key effects, which are not assisted by the appalling governance and endemic corruption. More children survive to adulthood, many more gain a rudimentary education, but unemplyment especially amongst young people remains a critical issue.

The interaction between Afghans and Western country representaives and institutions assists in the creation of higher aspirations amongst the Afgh younger generation. They know those expectations are unlikely to be met in country, so they migrate to those Western societies where they perceive their aspirations can be met. Why would anyone be surprised by events in the EU.
 
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#52
Eradication is like pushing water up hill. Legislation and regulation is the only way forward
Legislation and regulation (which eradication is a part of) have proved to be totally ineffective anywhere they have been tried, from South America to the Golden Triangle to Afghanistan.

In societies where cultivation thrives, eradication alone is simply a waste of effort.

The only solutions are biological, as above, and replacement - replacing the opium crop with an alternative which provides the same income for the growers, which is either financially viable or which others are willing to subsidise.

Alternatives which generate the same income for the same work / investment simply don't exist, and despite the enormous amounts 'invested' in Afghanistan and the even larger amounts spent on treating and attempting to deal with heroin in the West, the West seems unwilling to subsidise the cultivation of alternative crops. While the Afghans can be blamed for many things, the solution to what is a Western problem seems up to the West.
 
#53
My 10c.

We knew how to do this back in the Transvaal on 1900 and the Malaysian jungles of the 1960s.

Concentrate the people into controlled areas and provide them with a better life and positive propaganda in those controlled areas.

Achieve the concentration by denial of the key requirements for life outside those areas, food and water. Blocked roads, poisoned wells, spoiled crops, slaughtered livestock. The British stripped the Transvaal bare, and starved the Boers into submission.

We wouldn't be allowed to do it today. But it would have worked.

Unfortunately we live in a different world now full of ambulance chasing lawyers and open society.

The forebears of the British Army in the guides and those who fought on the Northwest Frontier like Churchill and Auchinleck would have provided invaluable experience, tho we'd probably have our hands tied for much of it. Back in the good old days we could shoot first and ask questions later.
 
#54
My 10c.

We knew how to do this back in the Transvaal on 1900 and the Malaysian jungles of the 1960s.

Concentrate the people into controlled areas and provide them with a better life and positive propaganda in those controlled areas.

Achieve the concentration by denial of the key requirements for life outside those areas, food and water. Blocked roads, poisoned wells, spoiled crops, slaughtered livestock. The British stripped the Transvaal bare, and starved the Boers into submission.

We wouldn't be allowed to do it today. But it would have worked.
Unfortunately we live in a different world now full of ambulance chasing lawyers and open society.
We may arguably have known how to do it, but it didn't work then in the long term and was never possible in Afghanistan even in the the short term.

In Afghanistan, there were no areas where the population could have been concentrated and controlled and sustained themselves , let alone have a "better life". Unlike the Transvaal and Malaysia there were no areas that were sufficiently fertile to support the population, which had to be spread out over a large area simply to be able to support itself.

A comparison with "the Transvaal in 1900" is wrong in that the Boers were a very small part of the population so the concentration camps only involved 100,000 Boers (hardly comparable to the population of Afghanistan) of whom a quarter died, plus some 50,000 black Africans, while the vast majority of the population (the black Africans - Zuluz, Swazis, etc) were not involved and easy to tell apart from the Boers (for obvious reasons). The scorched earth / concentration camp policy was also rejected as soon as the Fawcett Commission / Hobhouse report made it known.

A comparison with "the Malaysian jungles of the 1960s" is wrong as this was primarily a cross-border conflict with Indonesia and there was no such scorched earth policy and concentration camps. What you probably mean is the very different post-war Malayan Emergency that ended in 1960, where some 470,000 (who were only 10% of the population) were interned, of whom the majority (some 400,000) were readily identifiable as ethnic Chinese who were resented by the ethnically very different remaining 90% of the population who were ethnic Malay. As there was also a very effective local police force who led the intelligence work there are really no effective similarities with the situation in Afghanistan.

...The forebears of the British Army in the guides and those who fought on the Northwest Frontier like Churchill and Auchinleck would have provided invaluable experience, ...
Auchinleck possibly in terms of being vaguely in the right area, but beyond the Mohmand campaign he had virtually no involvement in COIN operations.

Churchill's military experience in the area lasted six weeks as an attached subaltern, and he later questioned whether any British involvement was effective.

Edit: it may be worth noting that Churchill's 'invaluable experience' of the Afghans over a century beforehand seems to echo that of those who have been there more recently. In addition to wondering if there had been much point and whether it had been 'worth it' he noted that the Afghans were as brave 'as tigers', readily adapted their tactics to exploit our weaknesses, and were lacking in personal hygiene. ... plus ca change, etc ...
 
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#55
anyone know where Karzai is ? Im betting switzerland with all his hard earned personal fortune (western aid and development monies)
 
#56
anyone know where Karzai is ? Im betting switzerland with all his hard earned personal fortune (western aid and development monies)
Dubai is the country of choice for most "expat Afghans" and their money just as it was for Benazir Bhutto from Pakistan and is for Thaksin Shinawatra from Thailand. I believe he has a house on Palm Jumeirah, which is at least a quarter Afghani owned (with a lot of the rest owned by British footballers).

Switzerland went out of fashion quite a long time ago!
 

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