Whither the War on Terror

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by MrPVRd, Apr 14, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Sorry, drunk and angry. :x

    I saw (on TV) the coffins returned this week from Iraq and heard of the latest fatality in Afghanistan. These losses are deeply mourned.

    The UK seems to be in some sort of hiatus, or perhaps an interregnum. Blair is apparently handing over to Brown but those of us north of the border may be in revolt, destroying the traditional Labour base. Meanwhile, Dubya is extending the tour length of troops and fighting off Democrat challenges on a variety of fronts as well as defending his miscreant former colleagues such as Scooter Libby and Paul Wolfowitz.

    So what is the strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    The status quo in Iraq is not working. As pointed out from the start by many observers, the "surge" may work but only if it is sustained for a prolonged period. This is beyond the resources of the US, and the current temporary "surge" seems to be failing.

    Afghanistan is probably a war that could be won with appropriate resources and reconstruction, and with a realistic view on the agricultrural production of the poppy crop. However, the current effort of fighting two counter-insurgencies and insisiting on the eradication of the poppy crop makes this highly unlikely.

    The current operations in Iraq seem to have the sole purpose of perpetuating the political lives of two discredited leaders. I can see no other "benefit" from the continued effort. Any leaders without the baggage of "legacy" or past decisions would be making different decisions, accepting the failure in Iraq and managing an exit strategy which would enable the focusing of resources on Afghanistan.

    Us Brits will probably witness an about-turn in a couple of months and the US will probably undergo a similar experience once Dubya goes. My question is - why not recognise the reality now? The reality is staring us in the face and has been for some time. I believe it is only the vanity of political leadership that is sustaining the course we are on. This has cost lives and will continue to do so. :x

    So, what should be done and what are the prospects once this political hiatus is over?
  2. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Your first question - I'd love to know too. All I hear is the same rubbish we had some four years ago about the need to establish democracy in these God forsaken lands.

    Not sure that it is a war that could be won - you are dealing with extremists (the ones we made by our rather ham fisted approach in both countries) in a COIN environment. Whilst I would accept the ability to restructure the country eventually, the resource necessary is beyond the UK continents from both theatres being put in the same place.

    We need a strategy and goals that are far more limited than we currently have and the sooner the better, we need to get out of Iraq.
  3. Agreed, "won" is the wrong term to use. We could reach a satisfactory outcome in Afghanistan, as we have done historically, through supporting the "right" tribal leaders with cash (poppy cultivation and infrastructure projects) and a credible military presence.

    We also know how we have failed in Afghanistan previously, particulary in the 1840s, by not having enough troops and by forgetting the need to keep the locals onside.
  4. Afghanistan can, should and must be won, the problem is mainly one of development and the p1ss poor management of the same.

    Meantime keep fighting for The Dear Leaders Legacy!
  5. I think Iraq is going to be a case of hanging around until the politicions can figure out a way to spin the withdrawl in such a way that doesn't leave them looking like the incompetent morons that most of them are.In the meantime it will most likely be a case of hangin around to get shot at in the vain hope that the Iraqi forces will suddenly discover an ability to look after their own security.
    As for Afghanistan,it's a possibility that things could be concluded in a satisfactory way but with ISAF in charge that's not likely.Dutch way of employing counter-insurgency is to Not undertake combat patrols.Riiiight that'll work :?
  6. The trouble is these basket cases are run by corrupt self-serving cliques. They unify themselves by blaming Johnny Foreigner for everything but do zilch themselves except suck up to their tribal cousins.

    Iraq is like Yugoslavia, it was glued together by the British out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire and the Ottoman Turks could not organise a bus queue....every problem we have - in The Balkans or in the Middle East is where the Ottomans left chaos and never created structure. The only way to run Iraq was to find another Tito - a man with the Army behind him, after all that's how Kemal Ataturk made Turkey function - without the Army standing guard over The Constitution it would collapse into chaos with Islamic parties bombing their way into people's hearts

    Afghanistan is a leftover bit of creation where each neighbouring country dabbles but esssentially it is tribal warfare with primitives backed by Iran and parts of Pakistan's miitary/ISI groupings. They hate each other but hate foreigners more.

    It is a pity we don't have the Indian Army - it is a pity we created Pakistan in 1947 and India lost its border with Afghanistan or it would be their problem. Why is it 60 years after disengaging from India we are stuck like the tar baby to the whole cauldron of seething resentment at home and abroad ?
  7. The Dear Leaders Legacy, and the shaved chimp being the puppet of the NeoCon profit through Halliburton retirment scheme? or am i just being a tin foil cynic?

    They never thought that they would need a disengament or long term plan because they are "incompetent morons" too quote "AbusesToilets".

    As with "MrPVRd" I find myself just angry with this all the time, perhaps it is feeling impotant as i see our young soldiers being returned dead and wounded, perhaps its guilt becuse i am safe in 1CivDiv at home?

    I always questioned the mission in Iraqi when we clearly hadnt established what we where doing or realy hoping too acheive in Afghanistan, Although i understood and supported that America needed too strike back after 911!

    We in or history rightly or wrongly created these situations by meddling with the area at the end of the Ottoman Empire.

    The answer unpalatble as it is "withdraw". "Not one more live to be lost", how can we WIN when the people themself are intent on killing themselve with their religous zeal and for those that want a cold dispassionate view "not one more penny is too be wasted" There is no real long term profit for this country!

    edited for spelling