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Dave225

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I read that the Taliban have announced they are going to target British troops in revenge for the killing of the civilians this weekend.

 

Whoa! Wait a minute. The killings were very tragic but were done by a US soldier who politely totally lost his marbles, not Brits, so why are British troops being targeted? Is that because the Americans will probably spend most of the time in their bases? Also the Taliban wiped out 6 of our young soldiers last week in a cowardly act. Was that not enough or do they think we enjoy seeing our young men being blown to bits.

 

When will Cameron get real and just pull all our troops out right now. We will never ever win anything there and history has shown that it is an impossible country to control. Even the Russians, who are much less squeamish than us, failed miserably. Of course Cameron has been promised a hurl in Air Force One by Obama and gets to take home some of the plastic cutlery, so will no doubt agree to anything he asks. As an aside I wonder if he will discuss extradition?, thought not. Anyway, to my mind having our troops killed in a war directly affecting the UK is one thing, but just having them being knocked off for absolutely nothing is very distressing. At the current rate we can probably look forward to about another 50-100 deaths, not counting the injured before they finally pull the troops in 2014., and all for nothing. Within 6 months after that the Taliban will be back where they started with even more heroin production than they ever had. This is just another Vietnam.

 

Or is it just me that is getting so angry about our wimpy politicians. Even I can remember when they were very cautious about sending troops into battle, unless it was absolutely necessary, almost to the point where they had to be dragged into action. Now they seem to jump at every and any opportunity to get involved regardless of how remote.

 

Sorry, now back to motorhomes and caravans.

 

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Dave225 - 2012-03-12 3:50 PM Of course Cameron has been promised a hurl in Air Force One by Obama and gets to take home some of the plastic cutlery, so will no doubt agree to anything he asks.

Whether or not one agrees with the main points of your post, don't you think that comments such as that simply devalue any sensible debate on this subject?

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Guest pelmetman

That's the trouble with being the dear old US of A's poodle ;-)................they say jump and we say how high? *-)

 

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Dave225 - 2012-03-12 3:50 PM

 

I read that the Taliban have announced they are going to target British troops in revenge for the killing of the civilians this weekend.

Very probable. They are religious zealots with a view that infidels are sub-human, so infidel lives are of no spiritual value.

 

Whoa! Wait a minute. The killings were very tragic but were done by a US soldier who politely totally lost his marbles, not Brits, so why are British troops being targeted? Is that because the Americans will probably spend most of the time in their bases? Also the Taliban wiped out 6 of our young soldiers last week in a cowardly act. Was that not enough or do they think we enjoy seeing our young men being blown to bits.

To them, we are infidel invaders. They have no interest in US/UK nationality. I think you fundamentally misunderstand the mind-set of your enemy.

 

When will Cameron get real and just pull all our troops out right now. ............................ Anyway, to my mind having our troops killed in a war directly affecting the UK is one thing, but just having them being knocked off for absolutely nothing is very distressing. At the current rate we can probably look forward to about another 50-100 deaths, not counting the injured before they finally pull the troops in 2014., and all for nothing. Within 6 months after that the Taliban will be back where they started with even more heroin production than they ever had. This is just another Vietnam.

Pull out now is what everyone, I suspect, truly wants. It would be a humiliation we should all have to suffer. It would, IMO, have a significant impact on our international standing. Cut and run? I don't know, but I dislike the implications about as much as I dislike the alternative, but for totally different reasons. As to how many more deaths, and what will have been achieved by the time we leave, I rather suspect you will be proved right. As to Vietnam, I disagree. It seems both north and south Vietnam, although radically different, are doing OK. I doubt that will be true of Afghanistan for at least two generations, if ever.

 

Or is it just me that is getting so angry about our wimpy politicians. Even I can remember when they were very cautious about sending troops into battle, unless it was absolutely necessary, almost to the point where they had to be dragged into action. Now they seem to jump at every and any opportunity to get involved regardless of how remote.

 

Sorry, now back to motorhomes and caravans.

Wimpy politicians? Surely not wimps, but reckless as to the consequences of their actions. Sheer vanity, was I'm afraid IMO, the driving force behind this monstrous misadventure. Not bravery or cowardice. Blair, and a good chunk of his cabinet, should be arraigned for reckless deployment of an army. But, you seem to be damning them if they do (jump at every opportunity to get involved) and damning them if they don't (wimps). You can't have it both ways!

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Brian Kirby - 2012-03-12 7:50 PM

Pull out now is what everyone, I suspect, truly wants. It would be a humiliation we should all have to suffer. It would, IMO, have a significant impact on our international standing. Cut and run? I don't know, but I dislike the implications about as much as I dislike the alternative, but for totally different reasons. As to how many more deaths, and what will have been achieved by the time we leave, I rather suspect you will be proved right. As to Vietnam, I disagree. It seems both north and south Vietnam, although radically different, are doing OK. I doubt that will be true of Afghanistan for at least two generations, if ever.

 

If it save's one our troop's lives then I'm more than happy to be humiliated ;-)...........International standing Brian?................It's pretty obvious from Wikileaks just how we are viewed by our allies *-)............

 

Perhaps if we kept our noses out of other peoples business then we might not be a target........but that wouldn't suit our egotistical politicians would it?............... who seem intent on foisting our version of a dictocracy on the rest of the world *-)

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Whilst I understand the logic of what Brian is saying there can be little doubt that whether we stay ten more weeks or ten more years the result is unlikely to be any different. It was folly to be there in the first place and however long we stay is unlikely to change that fact. Once we have gone the country will revert to a shambles. You only have to look next door at Pakistan a supposedly democratic country. The real shame of it is that we will lose more brave young men in vane.

 

David

 

 

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Brian Kirby - 2012-03-12 7:50 PM

 

Dave225 - 2012-03-12 3:50 PM

 

I read that the Taliban have announced they are going to target British troops in revenge for the killing of the civilians this weekend.

Very probable. They are religious zealots with a view that infidels are sub-human, so infidel lives are of no spiritual value.

 

Whoa! Wait a minute. The killings were very tragic but were done by a US soldier who politely totally lost his marbles, not Brits, so why are British troops being targeted? Is that because the Americans will probably spend most of the time in their bases? Also the Taliban wiped out 6 of our young soldiers last week in a cowardly act. Was that not enough or do they think we enjoy seeing our young men being blown to bits.

To them, we are infidel invaders. They have no interest in US/UK nationality. I think you fundamentally misunderstand the mind-set of your enemy.

 

When will Cameron get real and just pull all our troops out right now. ............................ Anyway, to my mind having our troops killed in a war directly affecting the UK is one thing, but just having them being knocked off for absolutely nothing is very distressing. At the current rate we can probably look forward to about another 50-100 deaths, not counting the injured before they finally pull the troops in 2014., and all for nothing. Within 6 months after that the Taliban will be back where they started with even more heroin production than they ever had. This is just another Vietnam.

Pull out now is what everyone, I suspect, truly wants. It would be a humiliation we should all have to suffer. It would, IMO, have a significant impact on our international standing. Cut and run? I don't know, but I dislike the implications about as much as I dislike the alternative, but for totally different reasons. As to how many more deaths, and what will have been achieved by the time we leave, I rather suspect you will be proved right. As to Vietnam, I disagree. It seems both north and south Vietnam, although radically different, are doing OK. I doubt that will be true of Afghanistan for at least two generations, if ever.

 

Or is it just me that is getting so angry about our wimpy politicians. Even I can remember when they were very cautious about sending troops into battle, unless it was absolutely necessary, almost to the point where they had to be dragged into action. Now they seem to jump at every and any opportunity to get involved regardless of how remote.

 

Sorry, now back to motorhomes and caravans.

Wimpy politicians? Surely not wimps, but reckless as to the consequences of their actions. Sheer vanity, was I'm afraid IMO, the driving force behind this monstrous misadventure. Not bravery or cowardice. Blair, and a good chunk of his cabinet, should be arraigned for reckless deployment of an army. But, you seem to be damning them if they do (jump at every opportunity to get involved) and damning them if they don't (wimps). You can't have it both ways!

 

Your points have vaildity but could of course be expanded, possibly not the way you intended.

 

If the Taliban consider us as sub human, and I agree with the point which seems to be prevalent among many Islamic groups, then why are we fighting a 'human' war. Under these circumstances one would assume anything goes until annihilation is achieved. Obliterate the poppy fields and of course there will be civilan casualties but then again the population seems to be unwilling to kick the Taliban out themselves so up to a point have to accept any consequences. I also accept that virtually all countries become changed from within, not due to outside forces, so again, why are we staying there? Please do not suggest we do this because we are civilised or humanitarian etc. In war there are no rules, and if the opponents play dirty, you play even dirtier. Which kinda leads to me the comment regarding Vietnam where dirty tricks prevailed on both sides and the eventual outcome for the US was......retreat. So my point was that like Vietnam there is no logical conclusion where a solution is achievable so why continue a lost cause. As for our international standing I regret that is tosh. We have none and if by coming home now we save some of our troops lives, then i personally could not care less whether anyone thinks it is right or otherwise. Again the Americans withdrew from Vietnam but still had international standing as did the Russians from Afghanistan. After retreating from enumerable colonies round the world I doubt whether our international standing really matters any more. In Vietnam the same arguments were presented that 'we need to stay to finish the job etc' and 'just abit more and it will all come right'. Well, we know the answers to that.

 

I assert our polticians are 'wimps' because they cannot seem to decide anything unless someone else tells them what to do. My point about them being 'shy' in the past was attributable to the late 30's when many had experienced the horrors of WW1 and would have done almost anything to avoid it again, and in respect who could really blame them. However, eventually they recognised that it had to be done. and even Chamberlain admitted that he had been duped and therefore it was appropriate for him to resign. Seen any politician lately doing that for integrity?

 

Now it is more c ase of personal ego and I do agree wholeheartedly that messrs Blair etc should be facing a Court in Holland rather than ponsing around making millions. If Cameron would accept that this is a lost cause and tell the Americans that enough is enough, then at least the country would recognise his decision. I do however accept that the families of those already killed would be entitled to ask 'why?' but I am sure they would at least be happier to know others would not follow their own unnecessary sacrifices.

 

As for the Air Force One comment, well Cameron is evidently the only non American leader to be given the trip and one does have to ask why, or does election year in the US not come into it. I am also sure that he will be given the 'treatment' and whether that will make him do what is best for the UK, or the US remains to be seen. To also be really 'catty' I am sure Blair was not invited because his wife may have removed more than the napkins plus she may have tried to have carnal relations as she did at Balmoral. What a horrible thought.

 

I am not trying to politicise the Forum in any way, but sometimes there are things that are important enough to be raised. I also feel possibly with others, that I am sitting here thinking about summer and my trips away while others are laying down their lives and are entitled to ask 'for what?' Is the UK any more at risk than from say Iran, or any other crack pot country, of which there are a few. Possibly we are more at risk from those within our borders who have similar feelings. Yes, i feel guilty although there is nothing I can do to change any of it, except maybe joining others in saying 'no more'.

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Dave225 - 2012-03-12 3:50 PM

 

I read that the Taliban have announced they are going to target British troops in revenge for the killing of the civilians this weekend.

 

 

 

 

I doubt if they will specifically target British troops, they don't like any of the coalition troops to be in their country.

 

As a result of your posting I had a look at casualties in Afghanistan and was quite surprised to find that troops from more than 40 countries have been involved there, and lads from over 25 different countries have been killed.

 

So it will be a multi-national disaster if it was all for nothing.

 

:-(

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Yes there is a tendancy for people to confuse issues with the Iraq campain and think that it is an American/ UK campain, In fact the Afghan situation is under the banner of the United Nations. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations not as some seem to think an American/UK expedition.

Also, whilst the loss of UK lives, or Afghany civilians, is terrible comparibly the losses have been very small compared to the losses in previous wars.

One must remember that whilst these very brave guys loss is a tragedy, they know before they join up, in most cases, that there is the possibility that they will go to Afghanistan and further that they may be killed or maimed. They do this fully aware and they know it could be part of the job they have signed up and get paid for.

I for one don't think that those that make their efforts appear fruitless and a waste are doing anyone of them any favours and are demeening their role and in some cases their deaths or disabilities.

 

Bas

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Basil - 2012-03-12 10:02 PM

 

Yes there is a tendancy for people to confuse issues with the Iraq campain and think that it is an American/ UK campain, In fact the Afghan situation is under the banner of the United Nations. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations not as some seem to think an American/UK expedition.

 

Bas

 

But who pulls NATO's strings?............. ;-)

 

We have ended up the Khyber Pass without a paddle again *-)

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Not bull at all, Nato is only a PART of the United Nations force (from 38 countries) and as you should know from recent meetings Russia and China can and have stopped the UN resolutions. So sorry it is you who missunderstands what is happening along with the majority of the 'pull out of Afghanistan' brigade.

 

Bas

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Guest pelmetman

Correct me if I'm wrong Basil ;-).......................I thought the reason we got sent into Afghanistan was due to 9/11..............and the US beat the drum telling everyone it was the homeland of al-Qaeda........ *-)

 

From Wiki P

 

The War in Afghanistan, also called the Afghan war, began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Afghan United Front (Northern Alliance) launched Operation Enduring Freedom........... The primary driver of the invasion was the September 11 attacks on the United States,.......... with the stated goal of dismantling the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and ending its use of Afghanistan as a base. The United States also said that it would remove the Taliban regime from power and create a viable democratic state. A decade into the war, the U.S. continues to battle a widespread Taliban insurgency

 

I wonder if they will be so keen to help us if the Argies kick off again ;-)

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No you are not wrong as to why the Americans and Afghanies went to the UN, but they made the case and were unanimously supported by the member countries, as any resolution has to be. The outcome being 38 nations agreed to send in their military under the UN banner.

The US and UK may be the largest forces in there but there are also the Poles, Czechs, Romanians, Italians, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Danes, Italians, French, Turks, Swedes, even the Germans who are not allowed to fight in the front line but have supplied weaponary and the personnel to back it up, these are just some of the countries whose personnel are involved.

We only hear about ours and US forces as that is how our media, for their own ends, like to portray it and as usual many of the public are taken in.

 

Bas

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Basil - 2012-03-12 10:02 PM.....................One must remember that whilst these very brave guys loss is a tragedy, they know before they join up, in most cases, that there is the possibility that they will go to Afghanistan and further that they may be killed or maimed. They do this fully aware and they know it could be part of the job they have signed up and get paid for.

You appear to be saying that it matters not where they are sent, or on whatever foolhardy venture, they signed up to die, so it doesn't matter if they do. If you are, I profoundly disagree.

 

We have a volunteer military, who (broadly) volunteer on the basis that they accept the risk of death or injury in defence of the UK. It is my view that any benefit to the security of the UK from our presence in Afghanistan is an illusion. Any (highly debatable) threat to the UK is generally held to have left Afghanistan with Al Quaeda, and that was about 8 years ago.

 

We are now trying to impose an alien form of government (democracy) on a population who don't understand it, and therefore don't want it, of whom a large but tribal proportion, loosely called the Taliban, present it far more effectively than we can - as the infidel's means of destroying their traditions. In a primitive society, which is what they appear to me to be, tradition is the more powerful argument. Within a decade of our departure they will have reverted to what they were before we invaded.

 

They will change only when, and if, they see democracy as offering them something they want. At present they (or at least insufficient of them) don't. So, under these circumstances, we are merely throwing good lives after bad, on a venture (democratisation) that a) is a non-military objective, and b) that none of those military forces volunteered to die for.

 

The greater danger is that if governments abuse the trust of their forces in this way, people will not volunteer to defend the UK, because they will not have confidence that their side of the bargain - that they will only be put in harm's way in defence of the UK - will be respected. That hardly serves the longer term interests of UK security. So, in its present form, Afghanistan is, IMO, a fool's errand, on which no more British lives should be wasted.

 

I for one don't think that those that make their efforts appear fruitless and a waste are doing anyone of them any favours and are demeening their role and in some cases their deaths or disabilities.

Bas

So, in the same way, I disagree with this statement. To conceal the truth that this venture is a fool's errand, is to condemn yet more to die, on the spurious basis that withdrawal demeans those who went before. So, it would become a self-perpetuating waste of life, that can never be terminated because the bigger the mound of bodies, the stronger the reason to remain and continue dying. That, I have to say, is a truly appalling argument!

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I shall try to keep this brief, because it threatens to expand ad infinitum!

 

Dave225 - 2012-03-12 8:50 PM

 

Your points have vaildity but could of course be expanded, possibly not the way you intended.

 

If the Taliban consider us as sub human, and I agree with the point which seems to be prevalent among many Islamic groups, then why are we fighting a 'human' war. Under these circumstances one would assume anything goes until annihilation is achieved. ..................................Please do not suggest we do this because we are civilised or humanitarian etc. In war there are no rules, and if the opponents play dirty, you play even dirtier.

But, we are not at war with Afghanistan, in the sense that we are fighting for our lives. We had an objective, which was to remove or eliminate Al Quaeda from Afghanistan. This was largely achieved 8 years ago. We are now embarked on a fool's errand of a venture to democratise Afghanistan by suppressing the Taliban - who we identified as sheltering Al Quaeda, and who are hostile to the idea of democracy - until we can get the others signed up. Eight years on, and with considerable change in the stated objectives, we haven't succeeded, largely because we failed to understand who, and what, the Taliban really are. Rather than war, what we have in Afghanistan is a military campaign, with objectives the military cannot attain, because they are political objectives. Those political objectives are not trusted or wanted by too great a proportion of the Afghanis, so they are not politically attainable either. Crude shorthand: it is a fool's errand.

 

One cannot conduct a military campaign, in pursuit of democratising a populace, by waging total war on them. Of course, we could just go on a killing spree, but with what end in mind? What would be our victory?

 

Apart from that, what you seem to argue is that we should descend to their levels. We should just chuck out 1,300 years of western civilisation, and regress to the medieval thinking of the Taliban - to achieve what? A demonstration that our way is superior, or that their way prevails? Should we then have won, or lost? That looks like total defeat to me, and far more than just a military defeat: but a complete defeat of our legal, moral and cultural systems. I really don't think the morals of a pub brawl offer any solution.

 

................So my point was that like Vietnam ...................why continue a lost cause. As for our international standing I regret that is tosh. We have none and if by coming home now we save some of our troops lives, then i personally could not care less whether anyone thinks it is right or otherwise. ............................

Why indeed? It would have been infinitely better had we never involved ourselves initially. But, we are where we are. If we merely cut and run, defeated by a rag-tag bunch hill tribesmen, what message does that give? There are many bits and pieces around the world who, by accident of history, are partially dependent on the UK for their defence. First whiff of gunpowder and we run, seems a poor reassurance to give to them. To this extent only, I agree with basil: the troops volunteer and, whether or not they fully understand what they are doing when they sign up, there is a far bigger picture that has to be taken into account when deciding how many lives should be risked in pursuit of any one objective, where other objectives would also be prejudiced. If you want convincing defence for your country, your military, and your leadership, must also convince.

 

I assert our polticians are 'wimps' because they cannot seem to decide anything unless someone else tells them what to do. My point about them being 'shy' in the past was attributable to the late 30's when many had experienced the horrors of WW1 and would have done almost anything to avoid it again, and in respect who could really blame them. However, eventually they recognised that it had to be done. and even Chamberlain admitted that he had been duped and therefore it was appropriate for him to resign. Seen any politician lately doing that for integrity?

Seems muddled to me. The Blair government got us in, but are no longer in office, so resignation is totally irrelevant. This is not, and never was WW1 or WW2, and there is no Kaiser, or Hitler, in sight. I'm far happier with politicians who act on advice than those who act on whim - though I am concerned that they select advisers in their own mould!

 

.............If Cameron would accept that this is a lost cause and tell the Americans that enough is enough, then at least the country would recognise his decision. I do however accept that the families of those already killed would be entitled to ask 'why?' but I am sure they would at least be happier to know others would not follow their own unnecessary sacrifices.

The Americans should be told in no uncertain terms that whereas we will remain their ally, we will not under any circumstances follow their lead unless, and until, we are fully satisfied that their interests coincide with ours, and that we shall rigorously scrutinise all and any "intelligence" they provide in pursuit of their requests for our support.

 

As for the Air Force One comment, .................

Not my quarrel! :-)

 

I am not trying to politicise the Forum in any way, but sometimes there are things that are important enough to be raised. I also feel possibly with others, that I am sitting here thinking about summer and my trips away while others are laying down their lives and are entitled to ask 'for what?' Is the UK any more at risk than from say Iran, or any other crack pot country, of which there are a few. Possibly we are more at risk from those within our borders who have similar feelings. Yes, i feel guilty although there is nothing I can do to change any of it, except maybe joining others in saying 'no more'.

Agreed. It is a most uncomfortable place to be. We need to change the way in which parliament works, so that it does it's job properly. No one seems to have weighed up the risks and benefits of either Iraq or Afghanistan before leaping in. Blair seems to have wanted to cosy up to Bush, for reasons that remain wholly obscure, and the Conservative opposition simply failed to question or oppose - seemingly because far too many of them think Uncle Sam is Santa Claus.

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Basil - 2012-03-13 2:35 PM

 

Well I don't agree with you Brian, you hold a different opinion to me, that does not make you right!

 

Bas

Since you don't say what you disagree with, I can hardly respond, can I? Give me an argument, and I can.

 

However, this a debate, is it not? Who is, or is not, right, we shall find out in due course. So, I have not claimed to be right, but I do not agree with you. If we agreed we should no more be right than wrong, we should merely agree. As it is we disagree, so it is possible one, or other, or neither, of us will be proved right in the end. Is that not the nature of debate?

 

One thing of which you can be absolutely certain is that whatever you, or I, think, or say on here, or even say in letters to the most august of our daily newspapers, no-one will be the slightest influenced one way or another. It is all just so much hot air! :-)

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Also, Brian, in your reply to Dave you misquote the reason why the UN joined with the Afghan Northern alliance to fight the so called Taliban forces (in fact there were around 45000 made up of some 28000 Pakistani nationals of which about 20000 were regular Pakistani soldiers with the rest being Al Qaeda only around 14000 were believed to be Afghan Nationals) the stated purpose of the mission was to dismantle the Al Qaeda training camps AND to topple the Taliban government AND replace it with a democratically elected government. Now in my book until those objectives are achieved the mission is still on going.

 

The current democratic process is far better for the majority of Afghans than before but is still far from perfect and until the Afghan army and government are capable of holding there own, which largely they do in the areas that they have taken over, then again the mission is still on going.

 

You do a grave disservice to those Afghanies, who incidently are the majority, by saying that they neither want nore understand democracy, as that comment is total piffle. The vast majority of Afghans want the same as us, freedom to chose who governs them and not be held back by primitives that are being fed by a state other than their own (Pakistan). Ask 50% of the population (women) whether they think they are better or worse off now!!

 

Members of our forces who are out there believe that they have, and are making a difference for the better and want to continue to do so, in fact they are dismayed at anyone suggesting that they may be pulled out before their mission is complete.

I make that statement in the knowledge that my son in law, a Royal Marine, and his comrades believe that to be so, as does my daughter, RAF personnel, both of whom have been to and will be returning to Afghanistan in the not too distant future.

 

 

Bas

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Brian Kirby - 2012-03-13 2:58 PM

 

Since you don't say what you disagree with, I can hardly respond, can I? Give me an argument, and I can.

 

 

I made that comment in response to Pelmetman and I had origionally put forward other points, but then deleted them as we do not agree and therefore felt it a waste of time discussing, as you say it is only hot air. But for the record I disagree with most of your analysis. Unfortuneately our posts have since crossed.

So we will have to just agree to disagree.

 

Bas

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Basil - 2012-03-13 3:21 PM

 

 replace it with a democratically elected government. Now in my book until those objectives are achieved the mission is still on going.The current democratic process is far better for the majority of Afghans than before but is still far from perfect and until the Afghan army and government are capable of holding there own, which largely they do in the areas that they have taken over, then again the mission is still on going.You do a grave disservice to those Afghanies, who incidently are the majority, by saying that they neither want nore understand democracy, as that comment is total piffle. The vast majority of Afghans want the same as us, freedom to chose who governs them and not be held back by primitives that are being fed by a state other than their own (Pakistan). Ask 50% of the population (women) whether they think they are better or worse off now!!   Bas

 

Unfortunately there will 'never' be an Afghanistan wide democratic government because of tribal loyalty and corruption.  Having served in Afghanistan and met with a number of embassy officials I am fully aware that the Karsai government is known as the 'Kabul' government.  It has little or no influence in the 'badlands' where corruption and brutality governs. 

 

The mission our troops are valiantly trying to complete will (at whatever point we withdraw) very rapidly be undone once there are no more ISAF forces to oversee the region.  In essence Afghanistan is still in the Middle ages and they function as a society based around the village/tribal headman.  Central democratic government is unknown to them.

 

One of the biggest reasons the aim of eradicating the poppy/opium cultivation (which has expanded beyond all previous crop yields in recent years) is because the growers are subsistence farmers under the 'control' of the drug lords/Taliban and the poppy is their main source of income.  The Western politicians and ISAF hierarchy promised those farmers protection and payment to 'stop' growing the poppy.   For a while cultivation dropped off but resumed on a much larger scale of cultivation because the Western governments (Americans in particular) and regional development offices were 'not' paying them.

 

The idea of 'womens rights' is laudable in Western terms and ideals and within the cities like Kabul/Kandahar/Herat etc but in the countryside the way of life is so far removed from those places as to make it impossible.  It is part of the structure which allows those small isolated communities to function.

 

To answer the comment from Dave225 regarding 'there are no rules in war'..............in that you could not be more wrong.  In the coalition it is known as 'The rules of engagement' and there are severe consequences for those deemed to have broken them.  In extremis a member of the coalition could be charged with murder if having broken the rules of engagement their actions result in the death of an innocent.

 

Afghanistan is a situation where western ideals of democratic government will never be implemented country wide and whilst I applaud and support our troops I feel it will end as all other Afghan ventures have ended.......with nothing achieved.

 

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Basil - 2012-03-13 3:26 PM

 

Brian Kirby - 2012-03-13 2:58 PM

 

Since you don't say what you disagree with, I can hardly respond, can I? Give me an argument, and I can.

 

 

I made that comment in response to Pelmetman and I had originally put forward other points, but then deleted them as we do not agree and therefore felt it a waste of time discussing, as you say it is only hot air. But for the record I disagree with most of your analysis. Unfortuneately our posts have since crossed.

So we will have to just agree to disagree.

 

Bas

Ah well, pelmetman is Dave and you addressed it to Brian!

Agreed, agree to disagree. I'm intrigued as to where you information on what the majority of Afghans (male or female) want comes from, though, because I've not seen those figures from anywhere else, and was unaware any reliable surveys had been conducted.

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Yes you are right, origionally as I said I had made further points and comment that were addressed to you but then deleted for the reasons given, but of course as I had left my reaction to Pelmetman I should of course not addressed it to you. Sorry again.

 

 

 

Bas

 

P.S. There are many surveys that have been taken in Afghanistan, this analysis of one depicts the real concern if finding the peace means a step back to placate those that do not want change, see

 

http://asiafoundation.org/in-asia/2011/11/16/qa-survey-findings-reveal-ongoing-challenges-for-afghan-women/

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