The warriors tale - Richard Holmes

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by msr, Mar 30, 2006.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

  2. A lot of respect for these guys out there in the sandpit. I personally am humbled at the dedication and devotion to duty that they display.

    Maybe the anti-war pundits might like to know who is keeping them safe in their beds at night.

    Hat duly doffed gentlemen.

  3. Yes, because of course lots of assorted ragtag Iraqi militias will be storming up Oxford Street if we pulled out of Iraq tomorrow.

    Have a lot of respect for the soldiers out there but lets not kid ourself about who's protecting who.
  4. Safe from saddams WMD?

    Good read, be better if blokes weren't dieing in a sh!t Country, with a war started by a sh!thead.
  5. Forget the politics - I'm proud of these guys and humbled to see how they carried out their jobs.
  6. I know, really, I know, that it was all about securing WMD/E and nothing whatsoever to do with Energy Security, or even the ocean of crude on which Southern Iraq floats.

    Let's just pretend for a moment that the Coalition could secure access to that oil via a stable and pro (or at least not rabidly anti-) -Western power. In that case, there might be a reasonable chance that we would have some semblance of energy security. In that case, the troops in Iraq would be materially adding to the safety of fastmedic's 'anti-war pundits'. UK resilience to energy crises is appalling - look at the upshot of the fuel strikes - key personnel can no longer be thought of as simply ' police/emergency services and the military', in the epoch of just in time log., everybody who drives anything anywhere is an essential worker, [the doctor cannot function without the chappy who delivers latex gloves to hospitals, for example, or the chappy who delivers the latex to the latex glove factory, or the spare parts for the injection machines, because the manufacturers also use JITL... consider the logistic strain on the production (let alone delivery) of vaccines], and they in turn all need fuel. At the moment lots of it comes via the ( part of the...) Arabian Peninsula and you'd never guess who has spent the last four decades pandering to the Wahabist/Salafist clerics in an effort to maintain a grip on power, with the consequence that most of the 9/11 hijackers were of one nationality - not necessarily the formula for long term pro-Western stability[!].

    Okay, it would have meant some degree of prior planning for the aftermath of the Ba'athist collapse; some attempt to stabilise the country/economy/government; a rapid and transparent process to facilitate re-construction; an attempt to leave the structures of the state as intact as possible rather than gutting the thing so that all which remained was an essentially pre-Islamic Bedouin tribalism (and which might also have allowed the Ba'athist armed forces not to be sent home, un-paid but with their personal weapons...) all of which might have been easier if the stated reason for the invasion had been 'regime change for the sake of international energy security' in the first place.

    One might also like to ask questions about UK/Coalition strategic doctrine: why in an advance do we require the destruction of such quantities of non-military-specific depth infrastructure, unless it is to provide post-facto justification for the political procurement of depth strike assets at the behest of Airforces who perceive strike as sexy but see transport helicopters, strategic lift and CAS as grubbing about doing favours for the ground troops? If we hadn't crippled the infrastructure, we wouldn't still be trying to rebuild it, there would have been fewer martyrs and fewer reasons to take up arms (the foreign invader who kills my family, blacks out my city and destroys all the bridges in my country might be accepted as liberator, but will more likely they'll be hunting me down as an 'insurgent', I reckon, and then we'd be seeing if my 2RO was right last year in that my soldiers would only follow me 'out of a sense of morbid curiosity!).
  7. F_e_G

    You make an excellent point convincingly presented.

    Had there been a real, cogent and effective post-warfighting plan by The Coalition (i.e. The USA) rather than Mr Rumsfeld's "well they'll all come out throwing garlands of flowers and everything will be fine" policy then I would whole-heartedly agree with you.

    Unfortunately it is clear that the policy, such as it was, was back-of-a-fag-packet stuff and people like me who fully supported the war on a totally Neo-Con regime change level alone feel especially cheated.

    Sorry to derail the thread on Mr. Holmes' excellent article on the (equally excellent) PWRR, but that's the way a thread goes sometimes.
  8. Damn me Fas , that must be your most grown-up post to date , a fine contribution.

    V , I think I'll let this one continue off/on topic , to encourage development before splitting the topic , so contributions about the most excellent Brigadier Holmes and Geo-politics in the Middle East - Cause , effect and consequences can be expanded on. I dare say if Brig. Holmes was here, he'd be expanding on Fas's points too.

    Thanks for the contributions thus far guys , keep them coming.

  9. The best part of the article is in the hard-copy Times2. This is the story about Sgt Llewellyn who was hit in his Challenger by a petrol bomb thrown by a boy of 8 to 10 years old.

    "We had been stoned by kids before, seen the gunmen using women and children as human shields and as carriers to take weapons across the street...but this was the first time that someone had sent a child to physically attack us.

    The young boy that threw the petrol bomb was responsible for the deaths of many of his countrymen, as the company are no longer reticent to make full use of their weapons whenever they feel it necessary to protect themselves within the ROE."

    How would the armchair generals like to place themselves in the position of having a child advance on them, petrol bomb in hand? I wonder what decision they would take, considering that the child has no intention at all of being deflected from his task. Perhaps they could understand the problems that face the guys out there just a little bit more and would not be quite so quick to judge and condemn.
  10. msr

    msr LE

    I believe that the state of the infrastructure has a lot less to do with military strikes and a lot more to do with the chronic under-investment by the former regime in the South of Iraq.

    Iraq isn't producing a lot of oil and they don't actually know where a lot of it is. The policy of pumping water in to get the oil out may work in the short term, but at what cost to long term sustainability?

    Given that no-one actually pays for electricity over there and the reluctance of people to fit any sort of water monitoring devices mean that consumption cannot accurately measured - and more importantly inefficiencies (water leaks, electricity etc) cannot be pin pointed and addressed.

    The amounts of money being spent on the infrastructure itself are, at best, a sticking plaster, not future-proof investment.

  11. I have just bought the book from which this article is an excerpt and I can only hope it's message reaches the anti-war pundits. Brig Holmes visited 1 PWRR during Telic 4 in his capacity as Colonel of the Regiment and decided to write an account of their tour on his return, inspired by the pig-ignorant reporting in the British press.

    This book goes some way to re-dressing the balance as it is a truthful and hard hitting account of one of the toughest operational tours in recent memory. As to the rights and wrongs of the campaign, that is all beside the point. The message is about what life is like for the troops at the sharp end. About why the press and general public should be proud of them and back them to the hilt instead of spouting uninformed claptrap.
  12. Loads of respect to our lads. I'm with Veg on this one.
  13. Not much I suspect and imagine the cost in counselling and the efforts in mawkish sentimentality that would accompany their decision? A twelve year old boy can commit unspeakable atrocities in West Africa today, a nine year old girl can grenade a USMC RAP in Vietnam in 1967 and as Kurt Vonnegut would say "so it goes". Sadly those who are up the sharp end know this, understand this and have to accept this but the liberal intelligentsia can't see how these things could possibly come about.
  14. On a more practical note, perhaps we should reduce the size of the APWT(CI) targets to Fig: Aged 8?