Ashdown Tells The Truth About Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Diamond Lil's' started by Bergen, Oct 25, 2007.

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  1. Stormy weather indeed mate and Im glad Lord Ashdown has came out and admitted this.

    Ive been hearing more and more lately, that British Forces are looking to dramatically increase troop numbers in Afghanistan come spring. I know we have the usual banter about The Paras and 16AAB here, but it looks like they alone will deploy all 4 Battalions (SFSG, 2, 3 & 4 Para reserve) to Helmland. That plus the usual 6 month shift change and the extra contingent thats been withdrawn from Iraq.............. Perhaps the begining of a huge offensive against AQT?

    On a side note, didnt Lord Ashdown once serve with the SBS?
     
  2. It could work if we had a larger and supported deployed force and there weren't others in the background breaking things and p**sing off the natives. The idiocy of putting our toes in the Iraq mangle before we had removed our fingers from this one clearly shines through.

    When it was proposed that the Lord Ashdown replicate in the 'Stan his former role in the Balkans, I believe his response involved sex and travel; http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/ram/today4_nato_20071025.ram
     
  3. [/quote]On a side note, didnt Lord Ashdown once serve with the SBS?[/quote]

    Yes.
    I understand 3 Cdo Bde have already been tasked to take over from the paras when they return from the Stan. Just like the last tour, then.
     
  4.  
  5. On a side note, didnt Lord Ashdown once serve with the SBS?[/quote]

    Yes.
    I understand 3 Cdo Bde have already been tasked to take over from the paras when they return from the Stan. Just like the last tour, then.[/quote]

    Some things never change mate, although with 40 Cdo in theatre at the moment, wont the Paras take over from them in the spring? Possibly a different TAOR?
     
  6. On a side note, didnt Lord Ashdown once serve with the SBS?[/quote]

    Yes.
    I understand 3 Cdo Bde have already been tasked to take over from the paras when they return from the Stan. Just like the last tour, then.[/quote
    ]


    Paddy was SB, did a Chinese language course [Mandarin I think] and then moved over to the secret-squirrels before becoming a politician [sort of a downward spiral] :thumright:

    I have just re-read "Imperial Hubris" and the author makes a very compelling case for what has gone wrong with the USA vis-a-vis Iraqnam and Afghanistan and without boring everyone to death with the details he makes some very good points about the situation on the ground.

    Basically he contends that there were never de facto terrorist training camps in Afghanistan but there were insurgent training camps there. This may seem like splitting hairs but there is an important difference between the two. There are literally thousands of Al Qaida cadre who have been very well trained as soldiers and who melted away during the US invasion of Afghanistan into the surrounding safe havens [not just Pakistan] where they have re-armed and re-grouped.

    They are a formidable foe and they will bleed the West just as they bled the Soviets. It's a lose-lose situation and if Usama bin Laden thought that all his Christmas's had come together when the illegal [and stupid] invasion of Iraq occurred then he must be just as happy at the thought of having Western troops deployed into Afghanistan ad infinitum.

    The only thing better for Al Qaida has been the fact that for the past 8 years they have faced the most intellectually challenged US President in history.

    RM
     


  7. Yes.
    I understand 3 Cdo Bde have already been tasked to take over from the paras when they return from the Stan. Just like the last tour, then.[/quote
    ]


    Paddy was SB, did a Chinese language course [Mandarin I think] and then moved over to the secret-squirrels before becoming a politician [sort of a downward spiral] :thumright:

    I have just re-read "Imperial Hubris" and the author makes a very compelling case for what has gone wrong with the USA vis-a-vis Iraqnam and Afghanistan and without boring everyone to death with the details he makes some very good points about the situation on the ground.

    Basically he contends that there were never de facto terrorist training camps in Afghanistan but there were insurgent training camps there. This may seem like splitting hairs but there is an important difference between the two. There are literally thousands of Al Qaida cadre who have been very well trained as soldiers and who melted away during the US invasion of Afghanistan into the surrounding safe havens [not just Pakistan] where they have re-armed and re-grouped.

    They are a formidable foe and they will bleed the West just as they bled the Soviets. It's a lose-lose situation and if Usama bin Laden thought that all his Christmas's had come together when the illegal [and stupid] invasion of Iraq occurred then he must be just as happy at the thought of having Western troops deployed into Afghanistan ad infinitum.

    The only thing better for Al Qaida has been the fact that for the past 8 years they have faced the most intellectually challenged US President in history.

    RM[/quote]

    My bold: Thanks for that Bergs. I now have an item for the top of my "Dear Santa" list!!

    Sounds like a good read.
     
  8. I find your input input on RR very interesting and enlightning Bergen.
    Out of curiosity; what do you feel the solution in Afghanistan is?
    It seems to me on a basic level that terrorists seem able to recruit far more numbers than our own armed forces, putting us at an obvious disadvantage.
     
  9. It's still on my wish list, it must be out in paperback by now, but I just haven't seen it. A friend in an OGD recommended it to me as well.
     
  10. Maybe we should just completely fire bomb the cunts in their caves on an hourly basis :lol:
     
  11. Because that'll really help in engaging the local population... :(
     
  12. [/quote]Some things never change mate, although with 40 Cdo in theatre at the moment, wont the Paras take over from them in the spring? Possibly a different TAOR?[/quote]

    Not quite because 40 are under the command of 52 Infantry Bde. I'll lay bets that 1 Rifles go out with 3 Cdo Bde for the tour.
     
  13. Some things never change mate, although with 40 Cdo in theatre at the moment, wont the Paras take over from them in the spring? Possibly a different TAOR?[/quote]

    Not quite because 40 are under the command of 52 Infantry Bde. I'll lay bets that 1 Rifles go out with 3 Cdo Bde for the tour.[/quote]

    Roger that mate, sounds about right. Watch this space...............
     
  14. Karma

    Hearts and minds mate - just trying to keep them warm during the winter months :violent3:
     

  15. I don't consider them to be terrorists and as long as the West has a mind-set that they are terrorists then we are at a disadvantage. We are in the middle of a world-wide Muslim insurgency [technically a defensive Jihad] and until we stop looking at the situation through western eyes and with such a rigid mind-set then we will make little progress.

    For years the West [led by the USA] has been propping up a collection of tyrants in the Middle East [ Al-Sabahs, Maktoums, Al-Thanis. Al-Sauds et al] and at the same time preaching Western style democracy. Simply put we want compliant regional governments who will hold the price of oil at an artificially low price and in return these 'Kingdoms' get western support against their own people. The West also want Islam to become secular...... that will never happen and just reflects the ignorance of Western decision makers.

    In Afghanistan we have placed a nonentity [as viewed by the Pashtun] in power [and really Karzai is little more than the Mayor of Kabul] and propped him up on western bayonets. What to do? Well start by addressing the bigger problems that lie at the root of Muslim anger [including the subject that can never be named - Israel] and accept it as fact that most of our present problems stem from our own cack-handed interference in the region.


    RM
     
  16. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the book that are relevant to Afghanistan and to bin Laden..........my bolding.

    I believe the war in Afghanistan was necessary, but is being lost because of our hubris. Those who failed to bring peace to Afghanistan after 1992 are now repeating their failure by scripting government affairs and constitution-making in Kabul to portray the birth of Western-style democracy, religious tolerance, and women's rights -- all anathema to Afghan political and tribal culture and none of which has more than a small, unarmed constituency. We are succeeding only in fooling ourselves. Certain the Afghans want to be like us, and abstaining from effective military action against growing numbers of anti-U.S. insurgents, we have allowed the Taliban and al Qaeda to regroup and refit. They are now waging an insurgency that gradually will increase in intensity, lethality, and popular support, and ultimately force Washington to massively escalate its military presence or evacuate. In reality, neither we nor our Karzai-led surrogates have built anything political or economic that will long outlast the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces. Due to our hubris, what we today identify and promote as a nascent Afghan democracy is a self-made illusion on life-support; it is a Western-imposed regime that will be swept away if America and its allies stop propping it up with their bayonets.

    On Iraq, I must candidly say that I abhor aggressive wars like the one we waged there; it is out of character for America in terms of our history, sense of morality, and basic decency. This is not to argue that preemption is unneeded against immediate threats. Never in our history was preemptive action more needed than in the past decade against the lethal, imminent threat of bin Laden, al Qaeda, and their allies. But the U.S. invasion of Iraq was not preemption; it was -- like our war on Mexico in 1846 -- an avaricious, premeditated, unprovoked war against a foe who posed no immediate threat but whose defeat did offer economic advantages. "Disclaimers issued by the White House notwithstanding, this war has not been thrust upon us. We have chosen it," Boston University's Andrew J. Bacevich wrote in the Los Angeles Times. "The United States no longer views force as something to be used as a last resort. There is a word for this. It's called militarism."

    My objective is not to argue the need or morality of the war against Iraq; it is too late for that. That die has been cast, in part because we saw Iraq through lenses tinted by hubris, not reality. My point is, rather, that in terms of America's national security interests -- using the old-fashioned and too-much-ignored definition of national interests as matters of life and death -- we simply chose the wrong time to wage the Iraq war. Our choice of timing, moreover, shows an abject, even willful failure to recognize the ideological power, lethality, and growth potential of the threat personified by Osama bin Laden, as well as the impetus that threat has been given by the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Muslim Iraq. I tend to think that in the face of an insurgency that was accelerating in Afghanistan in early 2003, we would have been well guided on Iraq by Mr. Lincoln's spring 1861 advice to his secretary of state, William Henry Seward. When Secretary Seward proposed starting a war against Britain and France as a means to unite North and South against a common enemy, Mr. Lincoln wisely said, "Mr. Seward, one war at a time." And because I am loath to believe -- with a few exceptions -- that America's current leaders are dunces, or that I am smarter than they, I can only conclude that for some reason they are unwilling or unable to take bin Laden's measure accurately. Believing that I have some hold on what bin Laden is about, I am herein taking a second shot -- the first was in a book called -- at explaining the dangers our country faces from the forces led and inspired by this truly remarkable man, as well as from the remarkable ineffectiveness of the war America is waging against them.

    My thesis is like the one that shaped Through Our Enemies' Eyes, namely, that ideas are the main drivers of human history and, in the words of Perry Miller, the American historian of Puritanism, are "coherent and powerful imperatives to human behavior." In short, my thesis is that the threat Osama bin Laden poses lies in the coherence and consistency of his ideas, their precise articulation, and the acts of war he takes to implement them. That threat is sharpened by the fact that bin Laden's ideas are grounded in and powered by the tenets of Islam, divine guidelines that are completely familiar to most of the world's billion-plus Muslims and lived by them on a daily basis. The commonality of religious ideas and the lifestyle they shape, I would argue, equip bin Laden and his coreligionists with a shared mechanism for perceiving and reacting to world events. "Islam is not only a matter of faith and practice," Professor Bernard Lewis has explained, "it is also an identity and a loyalty -- for many an identity and loyalty that transcends all others." Most important, for this book, the way in which bin Laden perceives the intent of U.S. policies and actions appears to be shared by much of the Islamic world, whether or not the same percentage of Muslims support bin Laden's martial response to those perceived U.S. intentions. "Arabs may deplore this [bin Laden's] violence, but few will not feel some pull of emotions," British journalist Robert Fisk noted in late 2002. "Amid Israel's brutality toward Palestinians and America's threats toward Iraq, at least one Arab is prepared to hit back."

    In the context of the ideas bin Laden shares with his brethren, the military actions of al Qaeda and its allies are acts of war, not terrorism; they are part of a defensive jihad sanctioned by the revealed word of God, as contained in the Koran, and the sayings and traditions of the Prophet Mohammed, the Sunnah. These attacks are meant to advance bin Laden's clear, focused, limited, and widely popular foreign policy goals: the end of U.S. aid to Israel and the ultimate elimination of that state; the removal of U.S. and Western forces from the Arabian Peninsula; the removal of U.S. and Western military forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Muslim lands; the end of U.S. support for the oppression of Muslims by Russia, China, and India; the end of U.S. protection for repressive, apostate Muslim regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, et cetera; and the conservation of the Muslim world's energy resources and their sale at higher prices. To secure these goals, bin Laden will make stronger attacks in the United States -- complemented elsewhere by attacks by al Qaeda and other Islamist groups allied with or unconnected to it -- to try to destroy America's resolve to maintain the policies that maintain Israel, apostate Muslim rulers, infidel garrisons in the Prophet's birthplace, and low oil prices for U.S. consumers. Bin Laden is out to drastically alter U.S. and Western policies toward the Islamic world, not necessarily to destroy America, much less its freedoms and liberties. He is a practical warrior, not an apocalyptic terrorist in search of Armageddon. Should U.S. policies not change, the war between America and the Islamists will go on for the foreseeable future. No one can predict how much damage will be caused by America's blind adherence to failed and counterproductive policies, or by the lack of moral courage now visible in the thirty-year-plus failure of U.S. politicians to review Middle East policy and move America to energy self-sufficiency and alternative fuels.



    RM
     
  17. This problem has a simple solution:
    1 flight
    16 missiles
    Ripple launch
    Sunshine in a bucket...

    You will find that this is my answer to a lot of the problems in the world. Vote for me for Prime Minister! :rambo:
     
  18. A check of history will show that no one has ever "won" in that area. But the problems of Afghanistan, as it is, will never be solved until Waziristan is also brought to heel - which will never happen. Separating Afghanistan and Pakistan into 2 separate problems will never succeed.

    What solution for Afghanistan? Depends on what success looks like. Defeat the radicals coming over the border? Won't happen.
     
  19. Afghanistan has always had the problem of Waziristan and it's fundamentalists.

    England has always had the problem of Jockistan and it's fundamentalists.

    Same answer to both problems....yawn :thumright:

    RM
     

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