Troops in Afghanistan face defeat at home

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Feb 28, 2010.

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  1. From The Sunday Times
    February 28, 2010
    Troops in Afghanistan face defeat at home
    Richard Kemp

    OUR troops are up for the fight in Helmand. They know their mission is vital. And they are beating the Taliban in engagement after engagement, which brings to a soldier’s morale a quality all of its own. We can be proud and grateful that there is no shortage of courageous young volunteers to take up this fight.

    But General Sir David Richards’s warning bell to the defence board could not be clearer: The Ministry of Defence’s spending priorities risk damaging the morale of our soldiers in a way that could undermine the long-term sustainability of the campaign. And his concerns could not be more serious: Morale is by far the most important factor in war.

    This is no hypothetical argument: The chief of the defence staff has declared that our forces will be in Afghanistan at least for the next five years. Battalions are sustaining casualties at a rate of one in five on a six-month tour of duty. Teenage soldiers are fighting and dying in the most horrendous conditions and witnessing violence and depredations that most of us will be forever spared.

    These brave men and women need to know that they are properly supported in battle, of course; but also that the government values them and their families enough to provide funds for a decent quality of life between tours.
  2. This point has been made repeatedly,and unfortunatly the answer remains the same,and that is despite lip service being paid by Cyclops and others,the overriding proirity of the government when it comes to spending are the maintenance of the welfare state,expansion of public sector civilian employment.Next in line comes feathering their own nests.

    That's why spending on the armed forces is always way down the list of proirities.
  3. Agreed and this lack of meaningful concern regarding the proper provision of good accommodation for Forces personnel and their families coupled with a decent and proper contract of service will force out the 2 litre brains. The provision of good quality down time is an essential requirement for our troops and this despite the bleating of the MOD and Defence Select Committees will never occur. It can't, there are not enough troops for the tasks in hand never mind those which are smouldering in the foreground ready to erupt at any time. You can imagine the conversation between a young upcoming Sgt with a wife and two children about to go on his 3rd or maybe 4th operational tour with many more to look forward to. Seeing the self seeking antics of our political classes, is it worth it darling? If our leaders don't understand that they understand very little.
  4. when 2RRF paraded in Rochdale,Bury and Salford on their return from Afghanistan the crowds lined the streets. afterwards a few of the lads met up with their families in local pubs. i witnessed a spontaneous round of applause as these lads entered two of these pubs. They and theyre families didnt buy a drink for the rest of the afternoon. Ordinary people wanted to shake their hands and thank them.

    The general public DO support our troops and are very aware of the grudging support of our government
  5. And they are even on about cutting back (out??) the M.P.G.S in favour of that fantastic guard service, the M.G.S. (Or even employing contract security guards).

    The knock on effect of that will be guard duties. I know we have all done them, but having the M.P.G.S on the gate did help with that pressure of duties over work.

    All thanks to the lovely bloke Woolley (corrupt twat that he is) and his looking at the civil service for cost cutting, and deciding a whole section of the army should go instead. Talk about looking after your own.
  6. "All thanks to the lovely bloke Woolley (corrupt twat that he is) and his looking at the civil service for cost cutting, and deciding a whole section of the army should go instead. Talk about looking after your own. "

    Pretty off the mark there actually - the MOD CS is being cut all over the place, we've lost about 30,000 people in the last 5 years and are about to lose at least another 10,000. The MPGS are taking pain too because there is no money anywhere in the system - its just as bad for MGS - they've got a complete overtime ban on at the moment, with some fairly significant impacts across defence, from Main Building down to Reserve training units.

    The article was overly emotional BS IMHO - Kemp plays on the "nasty CS living it up" line, but much of what he quoted wasn't so much factually innacurate as a downright lie.

    I am all for the articles pointing out that Defence has funding problems, but this is going to be a reality of life for a generation thanks to the actions of Gordon Brown. We're broke as a department and broke as a nation. We will not get the money we need from politicians, merely the crocodile tears when our dead come home.
  7. Troops returning home from conflict and in need of future psychiatric treatment after service will feel defeated by what our country has to offer, based on veterans accounts of recent past conflicts.
    The fact is when one leaves the services, you are then the responsibility of the N.H.S! .... Who are NOT trained in military matters of this nature.
    The Government MUST address this important issue with some urgency!
  8. Ex-service personnel are the responsibility of the NHS, but service-related psych services for both Ex-regular and ex-TA are readily available to joint NHS/military units. If you've evidence that this system isn't working, I'd love to know (confidentiality permitting, by PM?). If it's broke,lets get it fixed, but IMHO saying that a (ok, newish) system doesn't exist, isn't a great way to secure improvements in the right places.
  9. If this government spent half as much effort on presenting the conduct of the war in Afghanistan, as they do on big-upping their political adventures in Westminster, then there would be no issue. Why is it that wank3rs like Evan Davis and Justin Webb deliver reports on the news about AFG as if we were involved in the Battle of Stalingrad and on the field-grey side not the red one?? Yet every one I talk to who has returned from a tour in AFG is upbeat but realistic and recognises there are the three phases, doing for, doing with and finally the ANA doing it for themselves. Moreover we are not in phase 3...yet.

    As a comms expert (ha!) I detect (coo!) this gobment is not doing a good job in presenting its plans, progress or achieving support and commitment to a political solution, for which military activity is merely and enabler.
  10. So, why did Woolley even look at an army unit when trying to consider cost cutting measures within the Civil service. MPGS have nothing to do with him. He tried to make out that MPGS cost millions more than the MDPGA. Hutchinson looked at this, saw it was a load of bull (as the figures didn't add up) and had to do his own report. At the end it worked out that MPGS are about £600 a year more expensive than MGS. Plus, they can be armed AND do the MGS role. MGS are pretty much shirking off every duty they have in favour of sitting on the desk and blaming the recruitment ban, overtime ban, relocation ban, etc.

    All 3 CinCs want MPGS as this takes their guys off the gate and puts them back into the role they are meant to do. RAF CinC wants MPGS at all the RAF sites so their mechanics, techies and other trades can get back to doing their job.

    I am all for the lads and lasses getting of the front gate and being able to train for the bloody rough future ahead of them. Last thing they want is to come back from a 6 monther in Afghan to stag on a gate.
  11. The war in Afghanistan will be lost on the streeta of Wooten Bassett
  12. Eh?
  13. we really do need to define "win" properley first so that every single person in the UK understands the criteria by which "win" is met. That way we can report progress against the desired enstate and make sensible progress comparisions.

    At the moment, "we will win" "we will be defeated" are intangibles. UK forces will NOT lose any engagements, or be defeated tactically, no matter how long we stay there. But NATO will not remove every single taliban from the planet either, and if that is the "win" the media are referring to then its going to be difficult to talk to them about progress.
  14. Its public opinion that going to loose this war, Just how long, untill the people of the UK get fed up seeing their bravest and brightest being carried through Wooten in a Funeral cortage
  15. Which could be addressed in 5 seconds. Up until the Falklands, British casualties were buried where they fell. This could be reintroduced, with the result- No more Wooten Bassett.

    If all the casualties rested in a Commonwealth War Grave cemetery in Afghanistan, the war would truly be out of sight, and out of mind.
    I expect someone could even work out the carbon savings of not burning the jet fuel to get them home.