To many getting killed

  egapup 09:08 11 Jul 2009
Locked

My son must be due to go to Afganistan again soon, I dont want him become a casualty, I dont want any more youngsters killed over there, who does???
8 killed in the last 24 hours...what a waste.

  Marko797 09:42 11 Jul 2009

would wish there to be any further losses over there, or in Iraq. Sadly though, casualties are inevitable in any military conflict, as we know too well.

As for it being a 'waste', well that depends on your outlook. If those unfortunate deaths result in no resolution, then sadly, yes, maybe. If peace & stability are achieved, then they did not die in vain.

Regardless, their country & families should be proud of them.

  Armchair 09:58 11 Jul 2009

What are the objectives of our campaign in Afghanistan? Have I got this right?

1) Establish a stable government.

2) Defeat the Taliban on their home ground.

3) Something about stopping illegal drug production/trading.


It seems as if our soldiers are outclassed, for all their rigid training and modern equipment. They're often trying to take on an enemy that can blend in with the local population, and enemies who have been raised from an early age to fight.

  Marko797 10:27 11 Jul 2009

it crossed my mind last night that, despite the location, the conflict has *some* similarity to the Northern Ireland situation (& look how long that took to resolve, & how many losses there were), especially when considering Armchair's last line.

  Armchair 10:35 11 Jul 2009

I have zero miltary background. I really would like to get a clear picture in my head of what this ongoing campaign is all about. Apart from anything else, it's costing us a fortune.

  Marko797 10:50 11 Jul 2009

well, you're probably not too wide of the mark in your post, as far as identifying the overarching objectives of the campaign.

Fact of the matter is, it will be a long campaign resulting in probably, but unfortunately, many more casualties.

IIRC, the Russians spent many years in Afghanistan, with their tanks, soldiers, technology, etc, & in the end could not defeat the local enemy. Terrain was a major issue, as it still is today.

  laurie53 19:02 11 Jul 2009

Despite press stories about US policy etc., this remains a UN operation and while that is so the Government's options are limited.

Opting out of UN operations is not really a viable proposition.

One of the main reasons leading to the build up to WW II was major powers opting out of the League of Nations.

It is a very slippery slope.

Whether the UN should have gone in the first place is another matter. However, having done so they (we) cannot now abandon the Afghans to anarchy.

Having said all that, I do believe that many more helicopters are needed, particularly Chinooks.

The reason we are losing so many to roadside IEDs is because troops have to travel by road rather than be airlifted in.

The lessons of Ulster have already been forgotten.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 19:10 11 Jul 2009

No one needs to be an armchair general to see the year one, patently obvious flaws in this unwinnable, seemingly unpopular excuse for a war ......
The Taliban have no uniforms and consequently blend in with the indigenous population which makes them a bit tricky to identify; they are formed into small, easily manoeuvrable groups, using mopeds and 4x4 vehicles for quick and easy access to all areas; they are comprised of many races, so ‘defeat’ in one area means that they move to another area; the tiny Taliban groups need massive amounts of troops to contain or engage them - totally disproportionate to the Taliban numbers which consequently puts a strain on the supply chain; the Taliban are mostly self contained and need little in the way of obvious supply chains; they have no fear of death - in fact, they positively relish it; people in this country seem to have short memories, not realising that you cannot defeat or alter a faith; the Taliban know the land and are used to its harshness and extremes, using both to their advantage – something that we cannot do as we are fighting against it all the time; Afghanistan is a biiiiiig country and maintaining any gained land is next to impossible as it stretches the supply chain too much; the Afghans are tribal and do not want a central Government, moreover they are not terribly keen on foreign involvement which historically, they are well placed to be suspicious of; the UK troops are woefully under-equipped although that revolting specimen Ainsworth, gleefully shakes his fat face when he rabbits on about money being poured into Euro-fighters and new battleships in weasley words that are designed to mollify the masses who are blindly prepared to accept that bankers and MPs have been ‘a bit naughty’-this only underlines the total ignorance that the top brass have of modern warfare when they do not realise that helicopters are of much more use to safely solidify and maintain a supply chain (forgotten Viet-Nam chaps?) ; the top brass seem to have forgotten that nearly 2-300,000 Afghan and Soviet troops got nowhere in trying to defeat the Taliban and worst of all – we seem to have collectively forgotten that it took 30+ years to try to sort out Northern Ireland (400 years if you want to be pedantic) which is somewhat nearer than Afghanistan and anyone who thinks that NI really is stable needs an urgent reality check, should read about the continuing sectarian violence which is rarely deemed serious enough to report and needs to mull over the facts that NI is a smaaaall country, compared to Afghanistan, has a ‘reasonable’ climate, does not have huge mountain ranges, speaks our language, is used to a centralised Government and has little tribal loyalty.
The UK troops in Afghanistan have been royally screwed by their startlingly ignorant commander-planners and bankrupt Government. Has no one ever wondered how our Government can pony up billions to save the lardy backsides of the inexcusably criminal bankers, at a moment’s notice, enabling them to sweep up huge bonuses this year, how the Government can pour money into planes and aircraft carriers which appear to have little use in this age etc., yet the same Government seem to be bereft of money when UK troops are short of resources, in this apparently deeply unpopular and unsupported war?
The UK troops will suffer more fatalities for no sustainable gain and much more pain. ‘Winning hearts and minds’ is one of the most stupid statements that the Army has ever trotted out to the gullible public; these Afghans have 2000 years of history behind them (even Alexander the Great gave up there and legged it double quick), have been scrapping since at least 522BC and there is no way that their hearts and minds are going to be altered by a load of foreign soldiers poncing around and trotting out UKGovtspeak. If I was in the Army I would be so feel so taken for an unpleasant ride that I would be aiming my gun in the opposite direction to the Taliban. These soldiers are not heroes but are mugs and cannon fodder to have been dragged into this interminable mess.
The saddest thing to come out of this sorry, hugely expensive state of affairs is that the only people that will continue to support this farce are the inhabitants of Wootton Bassett who are guaranteed to be up and down like fiddler’s elbows in the next few weeks.

G

  Bingalau 19:26 11 Jul 2009

Gandalf<|:-)> You would have made a brilliant lower deck lawyer.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 19:41 11 Jul 2009

Is that a euphemism? ;-)

G

  Woolwell 20:13 11 Jul 2009

Ah - "lower deck lawyer" is "jack speak" and its interpretation can depend on the person and the time when it is said but is rather apt in this case.
I have to agree with GANDALF <|:-)>'s views on the politicians' ignorance of warfare (not just modern).

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