"Why the Brits are losing Basra"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Bravo_Bravo, Aug 17, 2007.

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  1. Or another Maggie will do!

    That article is so true it's scary. The money spent on the shitty typhoon which is already outdated could have bought us all the equipment 10 times over we need for Afghan and Iraq.
  2. A very insightfull view.

    If you pop on over on Pprune they are waffeling about having two operational squadrons but they aren't able to deply. Well what the hell are they there for then?

    Not enough air trooping capacity. Not enough helicopters. Lots of shiney new useless jets though. RAF, a waste of funds.
  3. We'd have been much better off procuring the A10 warthog or more Apaches. The A10 is amazing and always lifted my spirits when they turned up in contact.
  4. I have no doubt that you have a very valid point jager but the SCO is fast becoming a reality that we should not ignore. DT Article SCO

    Sorry to go off thread
  5. It’s sad but true, the closet experience our Government has for military understanding is watching re runs of Dads Army.

    It’s sad to see many threads pointing out to the whole world that the only thing that keeps the armed forces operational and together is tradition and pride.

    The way this Government is working it won’t belong before we are overrun from within.

    It wont belong before the motto sinks in “look after number 1” every other f*cker is
  6. IMO, the problem in Iraq is not that the British are losing; rather that they have not won (which is absolutely not the same thing).

    Bear with me whilst I explain a theory:

    Unlike in the simpler wars of our grandfathers, where the principle protagonists seemed to enjoy relatively equal standing in terms of physical military power, strategic/political empowerment, liability and commitment; in contemporary Iraq we can witness a fundamental imbalance. We (the US and its Allies) are limited in our commitment (this connects well with the well-founded complaints of poor equipment (above)) but are totally liable for not only our own action but also the wider environment/situation that we find ourselves in. On the contrary, our adversaries (of which there is a growing list) appear to be totally committed (eg, I doubt that we’d get much luck recruiting suicide bombers for our cause) whilst seeming to have relatively little liability. This affords them almost total freedom of action in philosophical terms (ie all activity less the conventional military) and leaves us in a corner that we must fight and win from. Now watch as they fight over who will fire the departing shot as we eventually depart and claim to have been the ones to rout the British from Basrah.

    The bottom line is really that, whilst we have to ‘win’ absolutely and outright in order to ‘succeed’, our ‘adversaries’ only have to survive to be victorious. Indeed, much of the problem is in understanding what any of that means as I fear there is a fundamental disconnect between the practical implications of reality on the ground and the various agendas that support strategic policy. Part of the solution is to better educate our Officers so that they in turn can better brief our politicians in future. Read this article for what OIC Iraq, General David Petraeus, feels about how best to deal with that particular issue:

  7. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Just covered a couple of the points mentioned in another thread regarding the vehicle requirement and perhaps some upcoming solutions.

    As for grand EU projects simply to pretend there is a cold war on, Putin is in the process of threatening the west once again, as well as spending BILLIONS and BILLIONS on ramping up his armed forces, including new fighter aircraft, carriers and subs. China is doing the same, and so is the US. I'm getting the sh!ts thinking about this new arms race and the attendant threats that go with it. The cold war might yet be re-starting.

    What the septic article fails to point out is that the UK should be developing its very own defensive and offensive products, and not relying on either the US OR the EU to assist in the process. If the Aussies, Septics, Germans AND Frogs can do it, then why the fcuk can't we, as a nation do the same?

    Edited to add: Yeah, yeah, just shut the hell up about 'Snatch Landrovers' and the SA80 will ya!
  8. Not too sure about this bit though..

    Or should I put it down as 'Americanaism'???
  9. agreed Dragstrip its a tough battle but we defianatley arn't losing has anyone seen the taliban casualty list lately we are mowing them down.
  10. The Taliban are in Basra? :twisted:

    I'm glad everyone's aware of who the enemy is and what their aims are.
  11. "agreed Dragstrip its a tough battle but we defianatley arn't losing has anyone seen the taliban casualty list lately we are mowing them down."

    No, no, no, no, no. That is NOT the point! What we seem to have in Helmand ( and I don't know for sure - I'm not there ) is a certain stalemate.

    Remember the "complete approach" we expounded when we went in - the "rope" idea?

    Three strands - aid (short and long term - DfiD), security (thats us) and developing governance (FCO guys) in the rope. Without all of them we will fail.

    What seems to have happened to Helmand is that it has turned into a straight out fight. We've got enough firepower to pound them again and again. They have the man power to come back again and again. But what's the point, what are we fighting for? To improve the lot of the everyday Afghan - peasant and middle class. Why?

    a) So they can get their country back on its feet and make it a reasonably free and prosperous place to live - as we believe everyone has a right to
    b) No longer export huge amounts of opium
    c) No longer support, and act as a haven for, terrorism

    We can only achieve these through development and aid. The Army's role is to provide a safe enough environment for them. At the moment we are killing Taliban (of very varying motivations) and being killed (much less) in return.

    That is neither winning not losing. In fact long term its probably losing - unless we turn things around relatively soon and move on from killing achieving some kind of victory will become progressively harder and more expensive.

    We should take no pride in the body count - morally or practically.

    Edited to add - Crabtastic, you're right. The point, though, is true of Basra. We seem to be providing security (of a sort) but not the other two strands. In my opinion, if we confine ourselves to defining success by security we have admitted defeat.

    We may be able to hand over Security to the Iraqi Police & Army. But have we set the conditions for political development and economic aid?

  12. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    As long as can do the same in Afghan of course. All those Quds guys and the Shias are a real pain! 8O
  13. I agree with drag
  14. Actually TC, you help to illustrate my point nicely. This is not a war of attrition where all that is required is to physically defeat the enemy. If it was we'd have 'won' a long time ago. Rather, it is very much a war where we can only hope to succeed by comprehensive means. Nothing new in this of course, Van Crefeld (The Transformation of War) has been saying it for years, as has Rupert Smith more lately in his Utility of Force. Furthermore, this forms the basis of the Britsh Military Doctrine, the Manoeuvrist Approach and, conversely, asymmetric methodology (which is pretty much the same thing as 'being manoeuvrist' in any case).