The Aimless War: Why Are We in Afghanistan?

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

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  1. The Aimless War: Why Are We in Afghanistan?

    By JOE KLEIN Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008

    "Things have gotten a bit hairy," admitted British Lieut. Colonel Graeme Armour as we sat in a dusty, bunkered NATO fortress just outside the city of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, a deadly piece of turf along Afghanistan's southern border with Pakistan. A day earlier, two Danish soldiers had been killed and two Brits seriously wounded by roadside bombs. The casualties were coming almost daily now.

    And then there were the daily frustrations of Armour's job: training Afghan police officers. Almost all the recruits were illiterate. "They've had no experience at learning," Armour said. "You sit them in a room and try to teach them about police procedures — they start gabbing and knocking about. You talk to them about the rights of women, and they just laugh." A week earlier, five Afghan police officers trained by Armour were murdered in their beds while defending a nearby checkpoint — possibly by other police officers. Their weapons and ammunition were stolen. "We're not sure of the motivation," Armour said. "They may have gone to join the Taliban or sold the guns in the market." (See pictures of Afghanistan's police force in training.)

    The war in Afghanistan — the war that President-elect Barack Obama pledged to fight and win — has become an aimless absurdity. It began with a specific target. Afghanistan was where Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda lived, harbored by the Islamic extremist Taliban government. But the enemy escaped into Pakistan, and for the past seven years, Afghanistan has been a slow bleed against an array of mostly indigenous narco-jihadi-tribal guerrilla forces that we continue to call the "Taliban." These ragtag bands are funded by opium profits and led by assorted religious extremists and druglords, many of whom have safe havens in Pakistan.
    More on the link,8599,1865730,00.html?xid=rss-klein
  2. To misquote an old soldier, "We're there because we're there".
  3. GAS! GAS!GAS! 8)
  4. The awful truth is that if we leave now, we'll be back within ten years because something else will have happened sourced from there.
  5. And the even more worrying truth, is that if we stay, we'll still be there in 10 years time doing exactly the same thing - except the butcher's bill will be so much higher - and "something else will have happened sourced from there" or somewhere else closer to home.

    Remember, other than the original Op Jacana and offshoots, we did NOT deploy troops to Afghanistan in a counter-terrorist operation; we sent troops on a reconstruction and development mission.
  6. I don't give it nearly that long. It will be as long as it takes Taleban to get established and AQ to get their training camps back up and running.
  7. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    I tried explaining this to a colleague at work last week. Don't think I could have got the concept through her skull if I had used 10Kg rotary hammer...
  8. Where? In Skipton? They could start tomorrow.
  9. They started a while ago. The fact is that there is a far greater chance of another terrorist attack on the UK mainland being perpetrated by British citizens, which is planned and organised in this country, than there will be of an attack on the UK planned and organised by AQ in Afghanistan - even if we left that theatre today, and the TB took over tomorrow (which they wouldn't).

    Now, Pakistan - that would be a different matter. That country is far more important than Afghanistan in the CT context.
  10. We've seen the difference between professionally trained terrorists (7/7) and the domestic idiots who use like bulbs and gas cans. The latter lot had several PhD's between them and they still fluffed it - what chance does an angry semi-literate muppet have unless he's been on an extended 'holiday'.
  11. That 'holiday' would be in Pakistan, not Afghanistan. Whether we are in Afghanistan or not.

    And I wouldn't dismiss the idea that someone might mount an effective attack without the benefit of said 'holiday'. It was 'domestic idiots' who mounted the 7 Jul and 21 Jul attacks, and we won't speculate on exactly how much 'training' they received in Pakistan v. what they received in the UK.
  12. And who says that extended holiday will be in Afghanistan? There are 190 other recognised states in the world where this "extended holiday" could take place - and then there is the homefront too.
  13. To quote Zulu:

    Pte Cole: "Why? Why us?"

    CSgt Bourne: "Because we're here, and nobody else." :wink:
  15. Deny them Afghanistan and keep the pressure up through UAV strikes in N.W. Pakistan and you've vastly reduced there room for maneuver. Withdraw and you've multiplied the area your have to corden off and control via death from above by ten. One of the reasons I supported the Iraq war is because it isn't fair to do that to 20 million people for years or decades on end just because it isn't politically convenient to deal with the problem once and for all.