Guardian: "Political Support For Afghan Campaign Has 'Departed Stage Left'"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by soleil, Jan 13, 2013.

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  1. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    "His views are not shared by the Royal Navy, the First Sea Lord or the MoD."

    Well perhaps they should think about it a little harder because there are a lot of plain truths here, or do they really mean his views are not publicly shared by the Royal Navy etc?

  2. This is a disaster for the RN. And I mean that genuinely. 1SL(Desig) has a lot of work to do to repair the damage done in releasing a letter that was written in the strictest confidence to a small group of people.
  3. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    i don't think so, a letter containing some obvious statements of fact - expressed only as opinion - is in the public domain, they are the same conclusions that anyone with the slightest interest in the topic would have drawn, hardly state secrets!

    It may be disappointing that the letter was leaked but the example set by our political masters of pre-shaping public opinion by leaking supposedly 'confidential' information to the overly influential media is one that was always going to come back and haunt them again and again........... When it comes to influencing and lobbying nobody understands the value of keeping their powder dry anymore they want it wet and public, the long game is a thing of the past.
  4. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    The Sea Lords may well give Captain Aspden something of a shoeing but " .. political will for the campaign has clearly departed stage left. The issue for the military of course is legacy, residual footprint, getting out with good grace and not being seen to have cut and run, to have sacrificed such blood and treasure to no avail .. " seems to me to be a plain statement of obvious fact.

    Indeed the army is going to have to grub around for a justification once we are out of Afghanistan and that, I suppose, is why General Richards appears to be trying to poach some of the hearts and minds stuff from DfID, and trying to persuade the suits that, post-Af, his Army will not be sitting on its arse twiddling its thumbs.
  5. There's a difference between 'everyone knowing something' and then leaking a highly confidential letter that not only embarrasses the Capt (who didnt leak it) but damages relations with the SoS and the other Services.

    It's a bit like pointing out your oppo's missus is a crocadilapig - everyone knows but it still gives offence when you point it out.....
  6. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Hardly a genuine disaster then, like say reducing fleet capability to a point at which it is unable to effectively comply with its tasking and having no strategic plan in place to address the capability defecit?

    More like a minor inconvenience for those who are embarrassed by it, it's politics in the truest sense.
  7. Strikes me as political point scoring, Afghan is very much the Army's show with us on the sidelines (not least since the crabs conspired to get rid of the Harriers). Post Afghan the services might be on more of a level playing field again
  8. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Not sure Royal and the Junglies see themselves as 'on the sidelines'.
  9. No offence intended but compared to the Army's commitment we're not in the same league (just as the Falklands was our show with the RAF tagging along). When people see helicopters and marines in desert colours they don't think 'Navy'
  10. Jaggers - When you are in a hole it is usually a good idea to stop digging.

    The RM/RN contribution to Afghanistan is most certainly in "the same league" as Percy just as Percy was heavily involved in the Flaklands - RAF comment wrt FI accepted.
  11. It's a question of public perception, it's difficult to try to justify money for new ships and subs when Army guys are dying on the ground from lack of essential kit in a war a thousand miles from the sea. When we had the Harriers it was different (part of the beauty of naval airpower was that if necessary it could operate from land bases) but the crabs screwed us on that, what's the point of having carriers when there are no planes that could operate from them? With Afghan winding down Calesh/Kippon (what are we calling it now?) is the UKs big operational commitment which may be to our benefit

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