Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by higthepig, Sep 13, 2006.

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  1. Well done the United States of Europe, NATO says ,send more troops to Afghanistan, the silence has been deafening, and no doubt sihthead Bliar will find more, roll on the revolution,the only people left to vote for are?
  2. How about conscripting 10% of the Parliamentary Labour Party and all journos?
  3. The problem is that although there has been a deafening silence from NATO members, NATO cannot afford to fail in Afghanistan. The repercussions are just too great for NATO’s future existence as a credible force. If it fails, then you can kiss NATO goodbye in less than 5 yrs.

    So what's to be done? - wait and see. This silence may well be the result of political manoeuvring. There will be reinforcements, but from where? Certainly not from the UK. Certainly not from the US.

    It also brings another important question up - Where should our military/political allegiance lay? US or EU? Is this an indication of what would happen when deploying an EU Defence force?
  4. Heard Poland are now going to send 1000 troops into Afghanistan, but not to the South where they're really needed.

    Probably only sending them so they can make a few extra quid for being away from home (thanks to NATO) but will probably not help much with the real work.


  5. UK's primary interests should remain with what is best for the UK, that should be our first allegience. Sometimes that will mean supporting the US and sometimes EU....and sometimes both.

    As far as NATO is concerned, it has always really only been US and UK, with some input from Germany...and when they could drag themselves away from the brothel/bistro, the part time French.

    Sadly despite the high ideals at their creation NATO, UN and Non Alligned Countries etc. function as political bodies that suck in billions in cash, but really produce very little, and the dinkey work is left up tio individual states...this is when they serve their own interests....and why not.

    Sorry to sound cynical, but it will always be down to a few like minded allies to solve global problems...not large political bodies who can spend for ever talking. UN Successes......Mid East, Ruwanda, Cambodia, Balkans etc...
  6. Dinkey = Donkey


    Minkey = Monkey!
  7. Going back to Clouseau's point about NATO not being able to afford failure in Afghanistan - the question is whether they can realistically afford to be seen to not be getting involved either. To do nothing is as bad, if not worse, than failure.

    Where I am N.A.T.O. is taken to read as No Action Talk Only. Too much time and effort on talking and planning and not enough on the actual doing.

  8. I agree with you in the first instance; the UK has always engaged in a balancing act with respect to it's allies - trying to achieve what is best for the UK with limited rescources.

    I also agree that the larger, resource rich and economically powerful countries dominate any organisation. They have to.

    I do believe, however, that Cold War NATO achieved it's goal; it acted as a block to the USSR. The UN too, while never publicised, often criticised and increadibly underfunded, achieves massive amounts on the ground with ordinary people. The reason it fails at a strategic level is that it tries to be a form of government in an essentially anarchic International System.

    There is a greater danger here: that the US will turn inwards and leave the EU and the rest of the world to itself.
  9. During the Cold War NATO was basically the UK and US, I worked in NATO Headquarters in Northwood during the 80's and yes, NATO was the block that held back the Warsaw Pact. Predominantly with the US flexing its huge might to assuage communist expansion.

    My point is that NATO has had it's day when even with a UN mandate and retained almost as the UN police force, it cannot deliver fit for purpose force (not by talent, but by numbers). The nation states don't have the political will.....This is the same in the UN...The UN has existed since the late 40's, and yes it has done some good things....but when it was called on to act to prevent genocides, it misssed the boat somewhat....!
  10. Sorry. Forgot to mention Canada and Holland...two of our best allies in NATO and who actually do commit troops when needed.
  11. Guess who is the biggest contributor to UN peace keeping/enforcement missions?
  12. What exactly is NATO trying to achieve in Afganistan? Killing one Taleban militant only creates 10 more. So what are they trying to achieve and what makes them think it can be done with a battalion of Paras & a few land rovers?
  13. Campaign Endstate: A secure, Stable and economically self sufficient Afgahinstan.

    There are many lines of operation required to achieve this; political, social, societal, economic and security. (The Security line also has many meanings; Military, social, environmental, economic and political).

    For all of these lines to happen it requires a secure environment. So we are there to ensure there is an environment for the other lines of operation to go about their business. Apart from killing Taliban, it means Security Sector Reform (Police / army training/ credible judiciary /etc).

    The real problem here is that the military campaign is only the enabler.. It is the social, economic and political development that is lacking, and for that you can blame the lack of cross government support for the campaign (Internationally and Nationally).
  14. IIRC it is Pakistan and India.
  15. Whats wrong with agent Orange or Naplam? make a mess of their poppy fields, problem solved as far as drugs are concerned.
  16. I'd choose the US/Canada/Australia as our allies everytime over the EU, they're a wet blanket to be honest. Germany can easily afford to send more troops to help out as can a few other nations in NATO but they won't because they are scared of the effects any casualties would have on the voting preferences of their populace.

    I think France has a right to not send any more troops, they have commitments in Africa, Europe and now Lebanon.

    There is a list of contributing nations here:

    And a lot of those only have troop numbers in double figures, with some in single figures - what's the point?

    The threat doesn't come from the soviet union anymore, the threat is from muslim extremists and it affects us all whether it's from direct terrorist attacks/people attending training camps or drugs pouring into our streets.

    The problems in finding some additional soldiers is exactly the reason why a European Army is a laughable idea, the Afghanistan war was for a good reason, it didnt have questionable legality or moral issues like Iraq did and still other countries won't back us up.
  17. No problem at all at the tactical level. The only problem is that you end up with an indiginous population with no means to make a living.

    Expected reply: Get them to grow something else!

    Problem: Nothing makes as much money and DFID are incapable!
  18. That would probably generate more recruits for the Taliban than anything else. Yes we need to resolve the propblem of the poppy fields, but just destroying their only source of income without some replacement willnot help.

    One of the vvery few good things the Taliban did was to control and reduce the opium trade, they realised that what ever the Koran said that to end it overnight would result on an awfull lot of Talibani dead in ditches overnight.

  19. I read somewhere that we could harness the opium trade for use in our medicines, why is this route not being explored more?
  20. Most of the UKs opium derived drugs are made about a mile or so from where I sit from 'offially' grown poppy somewhere in the world. The vast ammounts grown by the Afgans are not needed for this.

    I tend to folow the suggestion that one of the best ways to deal with the drug trade is to legalise the drugs and supply them to addicts through the NHS, this would seriously damage the illegal trade in this country anyway, cut crime significantly, cut down prostitution and it's associated evils, and also both lead to a reduction in the number of addicts through both rehabilitation and the reduction in the creation of new addicts through the drug dealers who will effectively be put out of business having been undercut by the state. This would give the Afgans a smaller but legal market and time to adjust their farming to more acceptable crops.


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