What Browns Afghanistan speech didnt say

#1
What Brown's Afghanistan speech didn't say
Gordon Brown put his case well – but he must now decide whether to please his generals and send more troops

Martin Kettle
guardian.co.uk,

Whether you agree with him and his views or not, Gordon Brown's speech on Afghanistan was a speech which needed to be made – and made by him, with the full authority of his office – if the British presence in Afghanistan is to command public support and understanding as the losses mount. It was a good speech too. Someone had put a lot of effort into ensuring that the prime minister addressed many of the public's – and the military's – worries head-on and in clear language. Brown's speeches don't always do that – his own default use of English can often be maddeningly opaque, as some of his post-speech answers to a very distinguished top brass audience at the IISS today illustrated. But the speech itself was a good clear text. It is also a good basis for a serious debate.
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/04/gordon-brown-afghanistan-speech
 
#2
Listened to browns speech and it was really well written clear and precise, yet as many news companies have stated brown said nothing on deploying more troops or what will be done too those extra troops which were sent too guard the elections. so although good was pointless for any new information to be passed on
 
#3
Welburn75 said:
Listened to browns speech and it was really well written clear and precise, yet as many news companies have stated brown said nothing on deploying more troops or what will be done too those extra troops which were sent too guard the elections. so although good was pointless for any new information to be passed on
Even the US have said a significant increase in troops would pretty much mean that we're occupying Afghanistan.

Alas we have reached the same stage Russia did right before they pulled out.

A significant increase would mean we basically are outright occupying Afghanistan but with the troops we've got we're at a complete stalemate with no end in sight

But yeah I can see why he didn't come out with

"We f'ucked up. We f'ucked up the beginning, the middle and now we're f'ucking up the end. If you want anything that needs money thrown at it but absolutely no gain then give us the job. We're absolutely brilliant at f'ucking up, not as good as our special friend, but in our own humble-humble way, just as determined and just as stupid.
 
#4
"we f'ucked up. We f'ucked up the, beginning, the middle and now we're f'ucking up the end. If you want anything that needs money thrown at it but absolutely no gain then give us the job. We're absolutely brilliant at f'ucking up, not as good as our special friend, but in our own humble-humble way, just as determined and just as stupid.[/quote]

When were politician known for been honest LOL !!!!!

:D :D
 
#5
A good speech you say - well, in that it was highly political, full of patriotic rhetoric but without actually committing the Government to any actual action, yes - a great success.

As always with Brown, it is the small print and what he doesn't say that you have to study. This was a speech designed to calm the Party faithful. He has implied that once they win the next election, the stage will be set for a major handover to the Afghan Army and then withdrawel to swiftly follow. Once that is achieved there would be huge scope for swingeing cuts in Defence. This will be music to the ears of the die-hard socialists and pacifists throughout the Labour Party. (Winning the next election may seem fanciful but there seems to be plenty of evidence of Brown's delusions and if/when they lose power they will spend their time in opposition claiming troops would have come home if they were in power )

The war in Afghanistan is not a lost cause because we cannot afford to let it be lost. If NATO is not fighting and winning the war in Afghanistan then it will be impossible for Pakistan and other countries to wage their war. If Afghanistan falls back into the dark ages of Taliban rule, Pakistan, Iraq and others will soon follow and then we face a region in turmoil and nuclear weapons in the hands of religious fanatics. Can we let that happen, would India or China allow it? To argue that the threat of Al-Quaida has moved elsewhere and we should give up on Afghanistan is disingenous - it's like saying don't fight crime in certain areas because it will only force the criminals to go elsewhere.

We are faced with a long and probably bloody war with the Taliban but setting a deadline for withdrawel, being over-optimistic about ANA's capabilities or not being prepared to fund the war properly will be playing right into the enemy's hands.
 
#6
Skynet said:
Gordon Brown put his case well – but he must now decide whether to please his generals ...
Any chance of doing your job (Gordon) instead of trying to do that of the Generals'?
 
#7
Herrumph said:
A good speech you say - well, in that it was highly political, full of patriotic rhetoric but without actually committing the Government to any actual action, yes - a great success.

As always with Brown, it is the small print and what he doesn't say that you have to study. This was a speech designed to calm the Party faithful. He has implied that once they win the next election, the stage will be set for a major handover to the Afghan Army and then withdrawel to swiftly follow. Once that is achieved there would be huge scope for swingeing cuts in Defence. This will be music to the ears of the die-hard socialists and pacifists throughout the Labour Party. (Winning the next election may seem fanciful but there seems to be plenty of evidence of Brown's delusions and if/when they lose power they will spend their time in opposition claiming troops would have come home if they were in power )

The war in Afghanistan is not a lost cause because we cannot afford to let it be lost. If NATO is not fighting and winning the war in Afghanistan then it will be impossible for Pakistan and other countries to wage their war. If Afghanistan falls back into the dark ages of Taliban rule, Pakistan, Iraq and others will soon follow and then we face a region in turmoil and nuclear weapons in the hands of religious fanatics. Can we let that happen, would India or China allow it? To argue that the threat of Al-Quaida has moved elsewhere and we should give up on Afghanistan is disingenous - it's like saying don't fight crime in certain areas because it will only force the criminals to go elsewhere.

We are faced with a long and probably bloody war with the Taliban but setting a deadline for withdrawel, being over-optimistic about ANA's capabilities or not being prepared to fund the war properly will be playing right into the enemy's hands.
You say it's a war NATO must by all accounts win.

Let's equate the unrest with IRA to the unrest in the EAST.

The IRA managed to wreak havoc with a sentiment of the population muttering under their breath their support for the IRA. This, in a first world country with a stable economy and an educated public but who still adhere to a draconian religion. Ireland is still divided with the catholic and protestant no go areas. I forget the name for the actual divides that people still do not want them pulled down for fear of more unrest.

Now let's take the knowledge we have of terrorism within the UK and put it into context with Afghanistan. Afghanistan is the 4th poorest country in the world with almost no trade except for the heroin and ailing wheat trade. A massive majority of the population are severely uneducated, illiterate and turn to both a draconian religion and village elders for important issues.

If we are to "win" in Afghanistan we should first make "winnable" objectives." Building schools for girls is a waste of time and trying to improve womens rights there you may as well pi's in the wind.

Our goal in Afghanistan should simply be to make sure Al Qaida cannot call Afghanistan their home. Heroin exports were lower under the Taliban and the country was more stable.
 
#8
Always remember that what Gordon says and what Gordon does are two different things.

What does surprise me is that someone on this thread actually listened to one of Gordon's speeches - now THAT'S courage!
 
#9
This should help put things in context http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.2529368.0.the_war_wounded.php

The war wounded

One of the casualties of the conflict in Afghanistan has been the relationship between Downing Street and the armed forces … a breakdown which is causing increasing problems for Gordon Brown. Opening a four-page special report, Westminster Editor James Cusick looks at the fall-out
IT IS one of the key relationships in Whitehall, expected to function better than anywhere else. If there is local difficulty, it's hushed up till fixed. And if everything is well, there is no celebration, because that is the unspoken covenant between Downing Street and the high command of Britain's armed forces.

But that key relationship is currently broken, and the resignation of Eric Joyce last week only accelerated the panic inside Number 10 that defence has become an issue Labour cannot fix before the next general election.

In July the full extent of Gordon Brown's broken and fragmented relationship with defence chiefs was hung out in public like ugly soiled linen. Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup, the chief of the defence staff, and General Sir Richard Dannatt, the chief of the general staff, broke ranks to openly complain that the resources being provided by the government to fight the war in Afghanistan were inadequate.

One experienced Ministry of Defence internal analyst described the public show of despair as "an overstuffed bag of sourness and resentment that was going to burst open anyway".

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Sources close to Dannatt said he lost no sleep in bringing his frustration with the Prime Minister out into public territory. The dismay shown by both Dannatt and Stirrup at the way Brown's administration was treating a rising tide of casualties and injuries was, according to key military aides "unprecedented".

Chancellor since 1997 and prime minister since 2007, Brown has had time to learn how Britain's military works and how the chain of command's demands are delivered. "He's had the time, but he's never wanted to understand, because he regards other areas of government as far more important." This is the view of a former parliamentary aide inside the MoD, who described Brown's lengthy relationships with defence secretaries and his ability to devote attention to defence issues as "limited".

Speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) last week, the prime minister attempted to give a major policy address that was couched in moral soul-searching. Military action, he said, was an issue he never took lightly, adding: "Each time, I have to ask myself if we can justify sending our young men and women out to fight for this cause Afghanistan. And my answer has always been yes. For when the security of our country is at stake, we cannot walk away."

Among the more politically aware ranks of military officials in London, Brown's comments were described as more "party political" and "electioneering" than from the heart.

The mistrust in Brown's suspect relationship with the military dates back some time. When Lord Guthrie was chief of the defence staff, and Brown was still in the Treasury, a group of the senior forces chiefs believed they had identified an opportunity to "bring the chancellor in" to their thinking. Diplomatic noises were made to the Treasury through some of the key Brownites in the chancellor's inner sanctum. There was a hesitation about the word "briefing" being used in the invitation to Brown. But that's how the Treasury saw the chiefs' request. The offer of the military seminar was officially refused. The undercurrent of the message? Brown didn't need to be told how the MoD worked and what the military needed. He knew already. Relationships between Brown and the forces were not good. But they had just got even worse.

From George Robertson, through Geoff Hoon, John Reid, Des Browne, John Hutton and now Bob Ainsworth, Brown's record shows a high degree of intentional detachment from what each defence secretary wanted. That same level of detachment has been experienced in other government departments as Brown sought and created his own fiefdom at the Treasury.

In his relationship with Tony Blair, through the early stages of the Iraq war and then Afghanistan, defence became an invisible issue for Brown. With Blair always centre-stage on such matters, Brown is said to have preferred silence rather than being seen as a number two backing decisions that had already been taken by Blair.

The strategy kept him at arm's length from defence issues - and with the appointment of Ainsworth as defence secretary after the shock resignation of Hutton, military chiefs merely had their worst fears confirmed.

Ainsworth is no political high-flier. At a time when Brown should have drafted in a cerebral cabinet star to the MoD he promoted a plodder, ranked so low inside the cabinet as to cause offence to people such as Stirrup and Dannatt.

Joyce worked as the parliamentary aide to Ainsworth, a post in government but not a paid one. In his resignation letter to Brown, the former army major said the next general election could not be won by Labour "unless we grip defence". Joyce said the excuse of troops being in Afghanistan to prevent terrorism was wearing thin.

For those with experience of Brown's detachment from military issues, other comments by Joyce were more than familiar: the wellbeing of service men and women was not being given the highest priority; the attacks on senior service personnel by Labour politicians were indistinguishable from attacks on the services themselves; the uncertainty over the mission in Afghanistan and the levels of future British deployment there could not continue.

Brown's speech to the IISS was intended to defuse some of the barbs in Joyce's letter. But his initial reaction was to deploy the attack dogs in his inner core of loyalists. That meant there would be - before the moral rhetoric - an attack on Joyce. Aides portrayed Joyce as looking out for himself by offering comments that would boost his chances of reselection. "Mad Dog" Damian McBride may have left Brown's inner circle, but this was evidence that his old ways are still being used.

Joyce's comments and resignation are said to have angered the PM, but what made him far more furious, according to insiders, is that he knew nothing about it until, as one aide put it, "the s**t hit the fan". Ainsworth was ordered to Number 10 and read the riot act.

Defence analysts inside the MoD are said this weekend to be "confused" about what Brown intends to do between now and the next general election. He signalled a rise in troop numbers from the current 9000, in order to train up Afghanistan personnel, and also tried to signal this could mean an accelerated exit strategy. But any timetable, any definition of what victory in Afghanistan would be like, was absent.

As Brown spoke, the bodies of two more soldiers killed in Afghanistan were being repatriated to RAF Lyneham. The total number of British troops killed there since 2001 is now steadily rising towards the 250 mark.

As chancellor and now as prime minister, Brown is politically part of the chain of responsibility supposed to decide if "we are doing the right thing" and if the sacrifice is justified. But Brown's ability to remain in Downing Street, and eventually take the decision to leave, is in doubt. The fall-out from that briefing he refused from Guthrie is still being felt.
 

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