Ship me East of Suez Kipling's words "When you speak of gin and beer quartered safe back here" could well have applied to the desolate sin pit that Nee Soon the former British Army transit camp in Singapore comprised of in the mid nineteen sixties. Perhaps not the gin and beer bit which was quite abundant but definitely accommodation wise where the nearest thing to a barrack room was a ragged tattered line of Indian army pattern tents on concrete bases. It must have been the most dismal camp site in the British army run by an equally transient permanent staff culled from every regiment that had misfits to farm out on extra regimental employ. The ablutions were corrugated iron shelters which appeared to have been retrieved from former Japanese Prisoner of War camps and identical to the Malaysian Other Ranks facilities which they abutted in a truly egalitarian expression of mans equality, so much for white supremacy. Mind you the indigenous had a point having seen the cream of the British army marched off to lingering death by the troops from the Empire of the Sun a couple of decades previously. Much like the French and Dutch military excursions to re-occupy their former colonies the British attempt to regaining esteem in the inscrutable east after WW2 was a lost cause. France's effort to expunge the shame of Vichy France by its military adventure in the Far East ended in disaster even after pouring close to one million troops, mostly colonial soldiers, into what was then termed Indo China which all came to a complete standstill at Dien Bein Fu. Encircled, outwitted and outgunned by General Giap. The wily North Vietnamese General agreed to a partition of the country knowing well that the puppet government in the South had a finite existence. The Dutch and British had barely returned to Indonesia when Bung Sukarno raised his ugly head and told them in no uncertain terms to sling their respective hooks as he had seen at first hand what short work the Japanese had made of their previous colonial administration. The British faired better in Malaya eventually to become Malaysia incorporating North Borneo and Sarawak which thankfully mitigated the SEATO commitment to Vietnam as we were ostensibly defending the southern flank of South East Asia against the spread of communism in the region. A confrontation situation between Indonesia and the nascent state of Malaysia committed around 50 000 British and Commonwealth troops at the height of that conflict, culminating in the deposing of Sukarno after the miserable failure of a token invasion effort by Indonesian paratroops at Labis on the Malaysian mainland. American Cold War foreign policy dictated that after the Korean debacle the other countries of South East Asia would fall one by one to communist domination leading to a loss of western influence in the region. A theory fuelled by the reds under the bed panic which had caused domestic mayhem in the USA and was then successfully transferred to their military by way of the need to curtail the global expansion of communism in the far east as portrayed by Dean Aitcheson and known as the Domino Policy. Undoubtedly Great Britain, a nation coming to the terms with the loss of Empire had little to offer by way of men or material and equally a distinct reluctance on the political scene after the shambles of the Suez campaign. The Foreign Office still smarting from Eisenhower's rug pulling act which de facto gave the Egyptian's under Colonel Nasser control of one of the world's major strategic waterways and remains a conundrum to this day. Britain had in fact embarked on a policy of retreating from East of Suez and was busily divesting itself of a vast colonial empire in Africa with ungainly haste. Once the Americans had assumed the mantle of global policeman in Vietnam they successfully duplicated every mistake the French had made. Even to the level of troops committed to a lost cause albeit they had sufficient manpower in the form of a black underclass and did not need to rely on colonial troops like the French. In hindsight the French had been far better served during their sojourn in Indo China by reliance on elite Algerian colonial units than the Americans would be by a policy of conscription. President Kennedy threw American forces into Vietnam on a sacred crusade that over a decade of mindless body counts and increasingly voluble wave of public opinion at home put paid to any desire on the part of the Black cannon fodder to achieve the much sought after victory. A victory that would have salved the monumental disaster and stench of purification that hung over American foreign policy following the Bay of Pigs disastrous attempt at invading Cuba. Far from being the great leader JFK comes across in many eyes as the Ivy League playboy that very nearly plunged the world into a nuclear Armageddon. He implemented a military commitment to South Vietnam that maintained a despotic regime in power under the guise of democracy ensuring that a barefoot army of guerillas backed by the Army of North Vietnam achieved an astounding victory over the combined forces of the most powerful military nation history has ever seen. The American defeat was in part fuelled by a massive internal drug problem which eroded command and control of the field army by its unit commanders. The situation had become far worse that its armchair generals would admit and had reached a point towards the end of the war that NCOs could not give orders through fear of fragging. Parallels with Vietnam can and are being drawn with the current situation in Afghanistan. The British public has been told by a series of governments of every shade and colour that we are in Afghanistan to prevent terrorism post 9/11. All the threats to the United Kingdom to date have come from second generation immigrants educated in British universities. There is absolutely no need for our own jihadists to travel to Afghanistan or Pakistan to learn the chemistry required to make liquid or shoe bombs, this information is available in every UK university laboratory or can be culled from the internet. Even the procedure required to manufacture a dirty bomb can be obtained without leaving these shores. Therefore for successive governments to reiterate that sending our young men and women to Afghanistan to defend our Island thousands of miles away from Kabul is patently untrue. A bunch of local tribesmen riding around on scooters with RPG's strapped to their back hardly pose a threat to an island with a regular standing Army that has nuclear submarines sailing around it. However the sons and daughters they have sent and which our bleeding heart liberal do gooders allow in by the boat load without let or hindrance do constitute a very real threat to the British public. Any potential Muslim Jihadist who has been convicted of a petty crime is wide open to radicalization in our prison system which does not have a coherent de-radicalization program for convicted inmates and under the current political correctness regime such a program is not likely to be introduced. Most recently Mr. Gorbochev has advised that Afghanistan is un-winnable and he speaks with some considerable experience of the topic. The Wikileaks revelations of the last few days starkly illuminate the contempt that Karzia the Prince of Darkness, drug baron extraordinaire, holds our forces in. Put quite simply our troops do not die quickly enough for him and not in sufficient numbers. This despot finds nothing unusual in having a cock related foreign minister turning up in one of the Gulf States carrying millions of US dollars in cash. If the Americans duplicated the French mistakes in Vietnam there is nothing more certain than history repeating itself by employing the same tactics that led to the downfall of the former USSR's effort in subjugating Afghanistan. This is the fourth British attempt at ensuring the road to Kabul is littered with British dead when will someone in out leadership stand up and be counted. Ring fence that medieval sink hole of a country and allow the rabid inhabitants to bite themselves to death.