Afghanistan campaign a success?

  bremner 10:39 21 Dec 2012

David Cameron in his visit to the troops in Afghanistan has said their sacrifice had resulted in a successful operation.

Whilst fully accepting he was there to boost moral and could not be expected to say anything else, only history will truly be able to judge his comments

What do you think the view of our Afghan campaign will be in say 20 years time?

Personally I would think that by 2020 Afghanistan will be indistinguishable from Afghanistan in 2000 and the soldiers efforts will have been in vain.

  Forum Editor 11:04 21 Dec 2012

"What do you think the view of our Afghan campaign will be in say 20 years time?"

That's impossible to predict. It will depend on events in the interim, and in 20 years an awful lot can happen. twenty years ago Bill Clinton had just been elected, the Channel tunnel was opened, apartheid came to an end in South Africa, and the first text message was sent.

The next twenty years will no doubt see other big world events, and the current Afghan situation will be viewed from a totally different perspective.

  Quickbeam 11:12 21 Dec 2012

Wait 'n see, time will tell, you don't know what's around the corner, I don't have a crystal ball, the fat lady hasn't sung yet, etc, etc...

In short, I don't know anymore than anyone else does.

  rickf 11:14 21 Dec 2012

I think it is too costly and humiliating for any administration in power to say anything else. Perhaps we should recognise our limitations and that we cannot act in such an omnipotent way. I am not saytng the West should'nt do anything where and when it can but to approach with caution. The world has changed and a shift of power and balance is fast approaching.

It seems to me with the problems in this part of the world that the West's limited understanding of culture has totally underestimated the strength of tribalism. In short it is trying to impose a eurocentric set of beliefs on totally different cultures akin to that of a colonialistic viewpoint.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:23 21 Dec 2012

Made me smile when he said that.

If the Russians couldn't do it what makes him think that he Allies have?

I agree he couldn't say we have wasted time money and lives but he may regret that comment later.

  al's left peg 12:27 21 Dec 2012

Well said Rickf, I totally agree.

I don't think it has been a success in the way they intended. I believe they thought they would go in and within 5 years have a KFC and Pizza Hut on main street in Kabul and the like.

The Afghan tribal way will never change, and they will draw strength from their campaign against the allied forces. As was the case with the British against the IRA, you can't fight a conventional campaign against a terrorist organisation, the only way is playing them at their own game. I don't mean paying people of that country to do the dirty work of the CIA, like Bin Laden did in years gone by. I mean more drone strikes, and more intelligence led operations to arrest the growth of these organisations.

I believe that the Middle East and the Asian region in general will degenerate into a more terrorist led way in the coming years. As Pakistan is a nuclear power, that will be the tipping point.

  john bunyan 16:12 21 Dec 2012

I think rickf has a good point. I recently spoke to a number of "on the ground" top SF guys. Up to about 18 months ago steady progress was being made. With the announcement of our withdrawal, loyalties in their military, SF and police are beginning to shift towards tribalism, and it is uncertain if the Afghan "government" forces will cope. The President and his henchmen are quite corrupt and the idea of Western democracy cannot be imposed. It is a pity that, from the start, the West did not go down the route of encouraging the tribal leaders to "elect" a first among equals as the country is simply unlikely to remain a western style democracy. It seems to suit us in Saudi, why not in other tribal societies?

  woodchip 18:43 21 Dec 2012

I will only Post once, but I think that all it as done is get people killed on both sides and a lot of innocent ones, and its created lots of hatred for English and Americans, the outcome of the above may be worse that if they had left it be.

  flycatcher1 19:25 21 Dec 2012

I think that it was about 1892 when Churchill said that it was impossible to conquer Afghanistan, it is a Tribal Country and our ideas of Democracy are completely alien to them.

I wish our politicians would think a bit more before committing our country to war. Harold Wilson may not have been the Prime Minister of the Century but he kept our country out of the Vietnam War in spite of extreme pressure from you know who.

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