Afghanistan

#1
I supported the deployment of our Troops in Afghanistan but now I am having serious doubts. How long is the steady drip drip of fatalities and very serious injuries to go on for, 10 years 20 years as there appears to be no end game in sight. Some of our so-called allies troops within NATO sit in comparative safety in the much quieter north of the country while the Brits and a few other countries bare the full brunt the violence in the south. Unless our allies step up to the plate why should we continue to risk the lives of our lads and lassies? We have been there for 6 years and I would like to know when will the ANA be able to take control of their own affairs a date should be set. When I was a young serviceman many politicians had served during wartime, the career politicians of today have no insight into the horrors of war and as far as I know none of their loved ones are on the front line. If they were they might think twice before committing our troops. There is also the disturbing fact that the majority of the public who have no family involved do not care about what goes on in Afghanistan, there are of course shining exceptions such as the good people of Wooton Bassett.
 
#2
Finknottle, well said (God that hurt).

Candians and a few others aside most ISAF troops are not contributing enough, the Canadians however have been hit very hard also and do a superb job out there. The Americans however do wish to take Helmand from us and in my opinion, they can have it. But no doubt this will be portrayed in the media as a loss, much like the disgraceful reporting of the withdrawal from Basra palace.

It all went wrong early on, this was a situation that HAD TO start well, but it didn't. Not a shot will be fired? Really?

80% of the Afghan population live in Kabul, Herat, Lashkar Gah, Musa Qaleh and Kandahar. Had we provided security to these key places initially instead of fcuking around chasing terry around the countryside whilst tier 1 commanders increased their grip and influence on the cultural centres, we would have been in a much stronger position.

This is now an unwinnable operation. Our aims can no longer be achieved. It has gone on too long and the Taleban are garnering support from ever increasing circles of sympathisers. We are rarely fighting Afghans, mostly Chechens, Pakistanis, Saudis, Iranians and Uzbeks.

Our government should be standing up and questioning ISAFs whole gameplan and our priority now should be the protection and backing of our troops.

The legacy of this conflict will be the immense bravery and selflessness of the British Soldier, Sailor and Airman and the cowardice, indecision and and ignorance of the Labour government.


Edited to add: If like me, you knew the ROE for some of our allied nations you would question what the point of them even being there is.
 

buggerit84

Lantern Swinger
#3
It does all seem like another case of Lions lead by donkeys doesn't it? Although in this case it's the politicians who are the donkeys and the Taleban are highly unlikely to agree to an armistice. Unfortunately we can't just drop everything and come back not otherwise we'd just leave more chaos then when we arrived, and our allies in even more trouble.

So other than giving the V-boats something to do for a change, what can we actually do?
 
#5
Shipwreck

Some relevant points however, i can't see how this is the fault of our governments. I have been on various ops with serving mp,s who are also in the TA or RMR and they didnt show any cowardice, indecision or ignorance, quite the opposite. Now i have seen some High ranking officers who are ingnorant and indicisive. What would you suggest we do? Give it a stiff ingnoring, not my problem jack? Let the drugs flood Europe. Tallie was and are utter pricks who need to be stamped on asap. Yes other countries do need to put more effort in but, then again only if they are at a good standard. Maybe they could pour money in to the teams that are willing to make the effort.
 
#6
I thought drugs were a secondary issue and the primary task was to prevent the resurgence of the taliban? Regarding drugs, if people with cash in their pockets want them there will always be someone to provide them.
 
#7
RN_Commando said:
? Let the drugs flood Europe. .
Oh dear. Are you falling for that? It may have escaped your attention but opium production in Afghanistan has neither risen nor fallen recently. If we annihalate the crop, the farmers have no produce so other than a few token "burnings" It is left alone.

Whether capable or not other countries must mak an effort too match the UKs commitment, we are massively overstretched, more overstretched than any other NATO country. It is the governments fault for allowing htis is it not?

And dits, I couldn't care less that you've been on ops with MPs, I doubt they were front benchers in a fcuking big contact were they?
 
#8
RN_Commando said:
Shipwreck

Some relevant points however, i can't see how this is the fault of our governments. I have been on various ops with serving mp,s who are also in the TA or RMR and they didnt show any cowardice, indecision or ignorance, quite the opposite. Now i have seen some High ranking officers who are ingnorant and indicisive. What would you suggest we do? Give it a stiff ingnoring, not my problem jack? Let the drugs flood Europe. Tallie was and are utter pricks who need to be stamped on asap. Yes other countries do need to put more effort in but, then again only if they are at a good standard. Maybe they could pour money in to the teams that are willing to make the effort.
We don't need to let the drugs flood Europe. What we need is efficient border controls to stop the trafficking. If drugs don't get through then they are not worth growing.
With modern surveillance techniques tracking the shipments should not be impossible. Use the troops to enforce border security, plus chemical spraying of any fields identified (from satellite) to be growing illegal substances.
Enough brave men and women have forfeited their lives, it is time to stop the carnage.
 
#9
If you really want to alienate the subsistence Afghan farmer you cannot burn is poppy crop without putting another source of income in place first. As an example I did read somewhere that they used to grow highly prized apples.
 

FlagWagger

GCM
Book Reviewer
#11
Montigny_La_Palisse said:
Finknottle, well said (God that hurt).
Seconded

Montigny_La_Palisse said:
Candians and a few others aside most ISAF troops are not contributing enough, the Canadians however have been hit very hard also and do a superb job out there.
I live in the town of Petawawa which is the home base for a large proportion of the current in-theatre Canadian contingent. As a consequence I am very aware of the price being paid by Canada. Petawawa is a town of 15000 people - the majority of these have a connection, either directly or indirectly, with the military so every time a flag is half-masted there's a palpable sense of dread in the town. The impact of this conflict spreads far wider than just the deployed forces - the emotional impact on the families left behind can be just as devastating.
 
#12
NATO mission statement:

ISAF's role is to assist the Government of Afghanistan and the International Community in maintaining security within its area of operation. ISAF supports the Government of Afghanistan in expanding its authority to the rest of the country, and in providing a safe and secure environment conducive to free and fair elections, the spread of the rule of law, and the reconstruction of the country

Troop Contributing Nations (TCN)
Personnel
TOTAL ~ 55,100
NATO Members
Belgium 410
Bulgaria 465
Canada 2830
Czech Republic 415
Denmark 700
Estonia 130
France 2890
Germany 3405
Greece 140
Hungary 240
Iceland 8
Italy 2350
Latvia 70
Lithuania 200
Luxemburg 9
Netherlands 1770
Norway 490
Poland 1590
Portugal 40
Romania 770
Slovakia 120
Slovenia 70
Spain 780
Turkey 800
UK 8910
United States 23220
Non-NATO Members
Albania 140
Australia 1090
Austria 1
Azerbaijan 45
Croatia 280
Finland 110
Georgia 1
Ireland 7
Jordan 0
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 140
New Zealand 150
Sweden 290
Singapore 20
Ukraine 10

Now, as a percentile just who is making the biggest contribution and sacrifice here?
 

ctfairway

Lantern Swinger
#14
finknottle said:
I supported the deployment of our Troops in Afghanistan but now I am having serious doubts. How long is the steady drip drip of fatalities and very serious injuries to go on for, 10 years 20 years as there appears to be no end game in sight. Some of our so-called allies troops within NATO sit in comparative safety in the much quieter north of the country while the Brits and a few other countries bare the full brunt the violence in the south. Unless our allies step up to the plate why should we continue to risk the lives of our lads and lassies? We have been there for 6 years and I would like to know when will the ANA be able to take control of their own affairs a date should be set. When I was a young serviceman many politicians had served during wartime, the career politicians of today have no insight into the horrors of war and as far as I know none of their loved ones are on the front line. If they were they might think twice before committing our troops. There is also the disturbing fact that the majority of the public who have no family involved do not care about what goes on in Afghanistan, there are of course shining exceptions such as the good people of Wooton Bassett.
Although I understand your sentiments completely, we should always remember that nothing is guaranteed to undermine the morale of our own personnel serving on the front line quicker, than the thought that the mission they are risking their lives to complete, is not supported by those back home. I for one know this better than most as I have a son out there at the moment. I therefore submit that we as a military community, should try and keep any negative thoughts to ourselves until all our troops are back home.
 
#15
Pfft!


Nothing undermines the troops morale more than realizing that our 'plan' in Afghanistan seems to be to 'endure' and hope the Taliban get fed up killing us before we get fed up being killed.
 
#16
ctfairway said:
finknottle said:
I supported the deployment of our Troops in Afghanistan but now I am having serious doubts. How long is the steady drip drip of fatalities and very serious injuries to go on for, 10 years 20 years as there appears to be no end game in sight. Some of our so-called allies troops within NATO sit in comparative safety in the much quieter north of the country while the Brits and a few other countries bare the full brunt the violence in the south. Unless our allies step up to the plate why should we continue to risk the lives of our lads and lassies? We have been there for 6 years and I would like to know when will the ANA be able to take control of their own affairs a date should be set. When I was a young serviceman many politicians had served during wartime, the career politicians of today have no insight into the horrors of war and as far as I know none of their loved ones are on the front line. If they were they might think twice before committing our troops. There is also the disturbing fact that the majority of the public who have no family involved do not care about what goes on in Afghanistan, there are of course shining exceptions such as the good people of Wooton Bassett.
Although I understand your sentiments completely, we should always remember that nothing is guaranteed to undermine the morale of our own personnel serving on the front line quicker, than the thought that the mission they are risking their lives to complete, is not supported by those back home. I for one know this better than most as I have a son out there at the moment. I therefore submit that we as a military community, should try and keep any negative thoughts to ourselves until all our troops are back home.

No matter where our Armed Forces serve they will always have my fullest support. It is my view that not to speak about this particular deployment and its ramifications does them a disservice. I am sorry if you do not like my response but that is how I feel.
 
#17
ctfairway said:
Although I understand your sentiments completely, we should always remember that nothing is guaranteed to undermine the morale of our own personnel serving on the front line quicker, than the thought that the mission they are risking their lives to complete, is not supported by those back home. I for one know this better than most as I have a son out there at the moment. I therefore submit that we as a military community, should try and keep any negative thoughts to ourselves until all our troops are back home.
It's not exactly a surprise to any of us that public support for OP Herrick isn't great. We know that the nation is behind what we do, but not neccesarily the operation. Your Son is no more naive about that than I.

I assure you these thoughts are shared by servicemen and women on Herrick.
 
#18
I seem to have changed my mind,I was always Gung-ho and thought we could depose them after a while with help to us and the others who are participating.
I should have known better than expect our European "friends" to risk anything in the way of danger.
Although enemies in WW2 we all thought the German army was probably the most efficient and well trained of the lot,how can the German soldiers sit back[along with others] and let some others fight and die in this campaign? Have they no pride in their training and need to prove something to themselves?
I've lost all respect I had for the German soldiers ability to fight,as for the rest I expected it.
We can't win this with the influx of foreign fighters pouring in.
Time to up the stakes,to drop a 500lb bomb to kill one or two Tallies is a waste, perhaps,
Consensus in the local is to use Napalm and frighten the crap out of them so they never come near,but we won't and I'm not sure we should but we need a more assertive policy.I have no answer, neither had the Ruskies but I'm tired of this deadly drip of personnel.
I expect the special Forces are out at night watching for IED teams but I never hear of any being taken out but maybe it's kept quiet.I wish I knew the answer.
 
#19
seafarer1939 said:
Consensus in the local is to use Napalm and frighten the crap out of them so they never come near.
I do believe someone in another thread had the answer ... give one of the V boats a new target and something to play with for a change!
 
#20
We have to realise that Afghanistanis want to manage their own affairs. So far, the Brits of old, the Soviet Union / Russia the USA and today's coalition have failed, miserably, to effect any change. Does anyone believe that Terry would still be there if there was nobody to fight?

Leave aside the horrendous price being paid in forces personnel, it would make absolute financial sense for the West to buy the whole poppy crop every year, process what is required for the manufacture of medical opiates - morphine, diamorphine and the like then happily destroy the remainder. The farmers would get their wages, medicine would get its painkillers and it would make it very difficult for illicit drug providers to access any materiel. I accept that "where there's a will", but as not many seem to agree with me that all currently illicit drugs should be legalised, their supply made safe and monitored, illegal suppliers will continue in business until we try a different tack.
 

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