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View Full Version : Afghanistan - time to say goodbye . . .


G-CPTN
5th Oct 2008, 21:32
So:-
The UK's commander in Helmand has said Britain should not expect a "decisive military victory" in Afghanistan.
Brig Mark Carleton-Smith told the Sunday Times the aim of the mission was to ensure the Afghan army was able to manage the country on its own.
He said this could involve discussing security with the Taleban.
"We're not going to win this war. It's about reducing it to a manageable level of insurgency that's not a strategic threat and can be managed by the Afghan army. If the Taleban were prepared to sit on the other side of the table and talk about a political settlement, then that's precisely the sort of progress that concludes insurgencies like this."
Since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001, 120 UK military personnel have been killed.
(From:- BBC NEWS | UK | Afghan victory hopes played down (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7653116.stm) )
I recently asked Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's former senior adviser, how this seemingly impossible war could be won. His eyes dancing with imperial hubris, Rove replied, "More Predators (missile armed drones) and helicopters!" Which reminded me of poet Hilaire Belloc's wonderful line about British imperialism, "Whatever happens/we have got/the Maxim gun (machine gun)/and they have not."
(From:- edmontonsun.com - Opinion/Comment - Time to quit Afghanistan (http://www.edmontonsun.com/Comment/2008/10/05/6984116-sun.html) )
The Taliban was founded as an Islamic religious movement dedicated to fighting communism and the drug trade. It received U.S. funding until May 2001. But western war propaganda has so demonized the Taliban that few politicians have the courage to propose the obvious and inevitable: A negotiated settlement to this pointless seven-year war. Even NATO's secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, said the war could only be ended by negotiations, not military means.
Canada, which lacks funds for modern medical care, has spent a staggering $22 billion to support its little war against the Pashtun tribes. It's a war which Canada's defence minister actually claimed is necessary so that Canadian delegates would be "taken seriously" at international meetings.
George W. Bush, is probably the most disliked man on earth and certainly America's worst president in history, who has led his nation from disaster to calamity. Only 22% of Americans support Bush. Half of them believe Elvis is still alive.
The Taliban are not "terrorists." The movement had nothing to do with 9/11 though it did shelter Osama bin Laden, a national hero of the war against the Soviets. Only a handful of al-Qaida are left in Afghanistan.
The current war is not really about al-Qaida and "terrorism," but about opening a secure corridor through Pashtun tribal territory to export the oil and gas riches of the Caspian Basin to the West. NATO have no business being pipeline protection troops. . . . military intervention in Afghanistan has jeopardized . . . national security by putting it on the map as an anti-Muslim nation joined at the hip with Bush and his ruinous policies.
So what was the brief for 'intervention' in Afghanistan? Have these objectives been achieved?
What positives have been achieved?
Is it time for a strategic withdrawal, or are Karl Rove and GWB correct that 'more troops and equipment' is the solution?

BigEndBob
5th Oct 2008, 21:50
If you look at MSN UK the its quotes the commander as saying the 'Public should not expect a victory in Afghanistan'.
We can't win Taliban war - UK chief - | MSN News UK - news & weather (http://news.uk.msn.com/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=9935688)

Also said on Radio 4 this morning.


This really f***ing annoys mean that they don't say 'The British Government'.
It has nothing to do with the British people............doesn't concern us.

Like some General several weeks ago saying they operate to perform the will of the 'British people'.

Well i never asked them to go there!

frostbite
5th Oct 2008, 22:43
Not only did we not ask them to go there, I'm sure the vast majority of us have little or no idea just what we are doing there.

fitliker
5th Oct 2008, 23:00
All depends on what your definition of victory is :E:E

ORAC
5th Oct 2008, 23:07
Remarks of Senator Obama: The War We Need to Win:

......As President, I would deploy at least two additional brigades to Afghanistan to re-enforce our counter-terrorism operations and support NATO's efforts against the Taliban. As we step up our commitment, our European friends must do the same, and without the burdensome restrictions that have hampered NATO's efforts. We must also put more of an Afghan face on security by improving the training and equipping of the Afghan Army and Police, and including Afghan soldiers in U.S. and NATO operations.

We must not, however, repeat the mistakes of Iraq. The solution in Afghanistan is not just military -- it is political and economic. As President, I would increase our non-military aid by $1 billion. These resources should fund projects at the local level to impact ordinary Afghans, including the development of alternative livelihoods for poppy farmers. And we must seek better performance from the Afghan government, and support that performance through tough anti-corruption safeguards on aid, and increased international support to develop the rule of law across the country.

Above all, I will send a clear message: we will not repeat the mistake of the past, when we turned our back on Afghanistan following Soviet withdrawal. As 9/11 showed us, the security of Afghanistan and America is shared. And today, that security is most threatened by the al Qaeda and Taliban sanctuary in the tribal regions of northwest Pakistan.

Al Qaeda terrorists train, travel, and maintain global communications in this safe-haven. The Taliban pursues a hit and run strategy, striking in Afghanistan, then skulking across the border to safety.

This is the wild frontier of our globalized world. There are wind-swept deserts and cave-dotted mountains. There are tribes that see borders as nothing more than lines on a map, and governments as forces that come and go. There are blood ties deeper than alliances of convenience, and pockets of extremism that follow religion to violence. It's a tough place.

But that is no excuse. There must be no safe-haven for terrorists who threaten America. We cannot fail to act because action is hard.

As President, I would make the hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional, and I would make our conditions clear: Pakistan must make substantial progress in closing down the training camps, evicting foreign fighters, and preventing the Taliban from using Pakistan as a staging area for attacks in Afghanistan.

I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will......

con-pilot
5th Oct 2008, 23:12
You have to be kidding me.

You really expect anyone to take seriously an article with the following included within.

George W. Bush, is probably the most disliked man on earth and certainly America's worst president in history, who has led his nation from disaster to calamity. Only 22% of Americans support Bush. Half of them believe Elvis is still alive.

Yeah, that's not an opinion. Right. :rolleyes:

Why does he also not mention that Congress has only a 7% positive opinion poll, most of which are their parents. :}

The Taliban are not "terrorists."

No, they're just a misunderstood group of Muslim Boy Scouts. The idiot that wrote this would have a lot in common with Dan Rather. :p

SpringHeeledJack
5th Oct 2008, 23:29
The cousins went in and gave them the 'shock and awe' treatment at the beginning and crowed that that was that, the rest would just be a cake walk. Sadly it has turned out to be anything but, wiley fighters coming out of the cracks and crevices to torment the infidels at every turn.

The campaign can only have been continued for reasons of face saving and political arrogance, because any military scholar could tell us that there has never been a military solution in 'the stan'.... So many lives lost and many more horrifically injured and for what ? The Taliban are as strong as ever, the heroin trade booming and the support for the aforementioned fluid and strong.

I remember back to 1980 when the news came of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and people were worried about the effect of this on world affairs. A neighbour of mine at the time who had an interest in history noted wisely that the Russian's had just walked into their own personal hell that they would be lucky to come out of alive as no one had ever conquered Afghanistan. How true that was to become.

Troops out and a supervisory force rotated in theatre for 2 years until a home-grown force can keep the peace.


Regards


SHJ

parabellum
6th Oct 2008, 01:12
Have you ever tried mopping up a spill with a thick sponge without first stopping the source of the spill?

That is what is happening in Afghanistan today. Until the border with Pakistan is sealed, or at least controlled then there is no hope. The tribes in the border area do not consider themselves as Pakistanis, most don't even know the word, they make their own laws and dispense their own justice as well as supporting the Taliban. The evil powers, like AQ, know this only too well and play on it, supplying anything that the tribes need but don't have or can easily get. Additionally the tribes can supply an almost perpetual line of young fighters who will happily roam the mountains and valleys with a rifle for a few dollars a day, rather than sit at home and do nothing for nothing.

If Afghanistan is to remain even remotely peaceful then there will be a need for NATO troops there for a very long time yet, pull them out and you will really see what a blood bath is. Just my 2cents worth.

TimmoWhakatane
6th Oct 2008, 02:07
hehe so are you saying the best way to stop something leaking is to riddle it with bullets :ok:

seang
6th Oct 2008, 03:22
Para
sorry to sound ignorant, but why would there be a bloodbath if Nato troops were withdrawn?

Der absolute Hammer
6th Oct 2008, 06:11
About the UK in Afghanistan....

This is the fourth British- Afghan War .
This is the fourth defeat there?
The first. 1839-1842.
The second. 1878-1881.
The third. 1919.

The first was specially disastrous.
The second near as bad.
In the third war.....
Amanullah Khan -King- objected that British bombed Mosques and towns with aircraft while British were making complaints that Zeppelins bomb England. Tribal hate runs deep in those parts.
Nothing changed much in Afghanistan since 1919. The Khyber Pass always is bandit land and after Russian departure, tribemen have many weapons. No possibility of defeating Afghanis with conventional warfare or perhaps any other. They are a bit different from western people. If more history taught in schools, lessons of the past...etc......

The Americans.

War is now an Afghan/Pakistan war. It escalates slow and sure. You may contain but can never win, what defines this victory? Territorial acquisition? Sorry but true that Americans have chronic general inability to think outside own cultural patch. No subtlety in foreign relations, tribal leaders are cunning and very subtel, have been for centurys.

Taliban wants USA to 'butt out' of world affairs. World economys in tatters. Time now for USA to take Taliban advice. Become isolationist, repair own finances, spend no money on foreign and insignificant countries, send troops home, develop own resources, to the devil with polar bears, but do it nicely please. Invest in space research for planetary minerals etc. Star Wars type anti terorist umbrella. Who will Taliban fight once USA out of loop? Themselves and other Islamic countys of course. Arabs and co like to fight among themselves same way Christians like to be santimonious and Jews presecuted. Ha! One more thing, build that damned wall along the Rio Grande before it is two late.

Effluent Man
6th Oct 2008, 10:11
For the U.S. to withdraw and take an isolationist role would be supported by most of the Yank/Bush bashers. However what they need to realise is that the chief beneficiaries of the strategy would be the Americans themselves.There are aspects to America that I find deeply unpleasant and distasteful.I think these feelings would be considerably abated if I lived in Iran or Pakistan.

Most Bush bashers are motivated by political considerations as indeed are most Brown bashers.That isn't to say that I find either of these politicians particularly attractive or confidence inspiring,just that I realise that Cameron or Obama really wouldn't do anything very different.

The problem the world faces is radical Islam.A similar statement to the one recently made re:The Taliban was also made in Britain about the IRA.We could not beat them so we must talk.Eventually that was done successfully but I think talking to the Taliban might be an altogether harder nut to crack.Their idea of negotiation is for us to cede all points of radical Islam to them.And they won't stop there.Once they get that they will want Sharia law in our countries.Our women to wear Burkhas.To stop driving cars.Islam is just a slippery slope that will lead back to the middle ages.It will continue to grow fuelled my fanatical teachers and gullible hordes of backward followers.

Chimbu chuckles
6th Oct 2008, 10:55
We just don't have the political will to fight it as it needs to be fought.

Does anyone doubt that if we fought in Afghanistan the way we fought in Germany, i.e TOTAL, ALL OUT, WAR, we could win?

Given we don't actually have the political will to do that, indeed, we can't win.

We didn't win in Vietnam for the same reasons...the only way to win was to bomb every school and kill every potential soldier.

In one of the 19th century Afgan wars the British were surrounded at some remote mountain fort (with wives, servants and children - as was the Brit way then) and were convinced to surrender on promise of safe passage out through the mountains.

They packed their stuff and started to walk/ride out. When they reached a pass through the mountains the Pashtuns attacked and slaughtered every man, women and child...save one Brit officer (a Doctor if memory serves) whom they allowed to escape to tell of what happened.

Think about that for a second. Every man, women and child - boy or girl, babe in arms, toddler, etc slaughtered - hacked to death, shot or bludgeoned.

We can't win because we don't have it in us. They, to this day, do.

parabellum
6th Oct 2008, 11:08
Seang - It is my belief that if NATO pulled out then the Taliban would re assert themselves as the ruling gang and slaughter anyone even vaguely suspected of not supporting them or having openly helped the NATO forces and the current Afghan government and Afghan security forces.

Flying_Frisbee
6th Oct 2008, 12:01
We can't win because we don't have it in us. They, to this day, do.
Maybe we would "have it in us" if we were defending our own country from a foreign invasion?
The Taliban were a nasty bunch of ideological fanatics while the West was arming them too. If this mess and Iraq teach us anything, it's that we should pack in playing games in other countries where we back pretty despicable and unsavoury characters with the justification that it suits us at that particular time.

Track Coastal
6th Oct 2008, 12:35
the only way to win was to bomb every school and kill every potential soldier.

Hmmm, I believe you are absolutely fcuking insane.

Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich* would have been so proud of you.

If I came across fellow officers with your attitudes and grasp of hearts and minds and winning of the peace, I wouldn't have done 18 hours let alone 18 years.

Absolutely barking mad.

*As an invading commander in Czechoslovakia in 41 and 42, he often possessed the attitudes you seem to find so enviable in invading forces. As a result the Bohemians just loved him. As soon as I read that little gem, this [ex]town came to mind... Lidice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidice)



Execute all adult men
Transport all women to a concentration camp
Gather the children suitable for Germanization, then place them in SS families in the Reich and bring the rest of the children up in other ways
Burn down the village and level it entirelyThis sort of thing float your boat because its the 'right' way to invade?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c9/Lidice_massacred_men.jpg/350px-Lidice_massacred_men.jpg

Effluent Man
6th Oct 2008, 13:04
To be fair he wasn't saying that this should be done.He may well be advocating it,in which case I agree with your reply,but it was a jumping to a conclusion on your part.

Track Coastal
6th Oct 2008, 13:22
EM, this looks pretty straight to me...
We didn't win in Vietnam for the same reasons...the only way to win was to bomb every school and kill every potential soldier.

To even contemplate it, to even suggest such action is reprehensible IMO.

Further, it is nuts as a tactic.

Look at the British areas of conflict in the last 60 years. They wrote the book on how to conduct military opeartions in another country. Oman, Aden, Borneo, Malaya and Iraq are pretty reasonable examples of 'hearts and minds'.

Put it this way, if you are fighting indoctrinated guerillas or regulars, you want the the 'fence sitting' locals and neutrals on your side. If the locals start harbouring the bad guys because of 'collateral damage' and soft kills etc because of your (or your allies) fcuk ups its end game, everyone is now against you. Look at the absolute balls up the Americans made of Somalia once they got involved, it was a warlord recuiting heaven.

Killing civilians and children as a tactic is the domain of the barbarian not 'civilised' combatants.

If you have to resort to killing local non-combatants to make a point, what are you doing there anyway?

Der absolute Hammer
6th Oct 2008, 17:21
Reducing the possibility of non combabants becoming combatants when they grow up?

Reaching for the M1942.

larssnowpharter
6th Oct 2008, 17:40
Look at the British areas of conflict in the last 60 years. They wrote the book on how to conduct military opeartions in another country. Oman, Aden, Borneo, Malaya and Iraq are pretty reasonable examples of 'hearts and minds'.

Well, I might leave a few of your examples out but would agree with your overall direction/thrust.

We seem to have to reinvent the wheel now and again in these sort of conflicts, don't we?

Go back to Malaya and Thompson:

His five basic priciples were:

1. The government must have a clear political aim
2. The government must function according to the law
3. The government must have an overall plan
4. The government must give priority to defeating political subversion
5. The government must secure its base areas first

Malaya was - arguably - the most successful COIN effort in recent history.

Taking the above priciples in mind, now ask yourselves where we went wrong and what needs to be done to head in the right direction.

dazdaz
6th Oct 2008, 17:52
Tract Coastal
One of the best posts Sir I've read on this forum.

larssnowpharter
6th Oct 2008, 17:59
We didn't win in Vietnam for the same reasons...the only way to win was to bomb every school and kill every potential soldier

Ahhh.

The 'Turn it into a glass ashtray', solution!

RatherBeFlying
6th Oct 2008, 19:33
Yes, the Afghans did slaughter everybody else.

However the women and children were taken under the arm of one of the khans and eventually handed over in relatively decent condition.

Yes, Lidice was quite the grim example. GWB celebrated his re-election by reenacting Lidice in Falluja.

Readers of history know that the Afghan national sport is feuding. When foreigners invade, the environment becomes quite a bit more target rich, especially since killing a foreign soldier comes without the complications of mistakenly killing somebody belonging to a clan or tribe that will make too much trouble for your clan or tribe. It's an untroublesome way of gaining prestige.

Then there's the Durand line drawn through the Pashtun tribes. That line was drawn to include those tribes that had a habit of raiding Punjab which had recently been acquired by the Brits. That way the Brits could mount punitive expeditions against the raiders without violating Afghan sovereignty.

Note that the Pashtuns on the British side of the Durand never acknowledged British rule, nor have they acknowledged Pakistan rule. Similarly the Pashtuns on the Afghan side of the line don't much consider themselves subjects of Afghanistan.

So what would I do:

Remove the heavy weapons (tanks and artillery) so that no one Afghan faction (i.e. Taliban) could take over all of Afghanistan and leave Afghanistan to the inhabitants.

As far as OBL is concerned, let it be known that he is wanted and that any location he is suspected of staying at is subject to barampta -- i.e. being surrounded and searched. Pot shots at searchers may be answered with Hellfire:E

G-CPTN
6th Oct 2008, 21:36
I believe (so I've read) that the area of Afghanistan is more than three times the area of Great Britain.

fitliker
6th Oct 2008, 21:38
Captain T.E.Lawrence (Lawrence Of Arabia) wrote "Granted mobilty ,security,time and doctrine,victory will rest with the insurgents"

Nato has been bunkered down while the insurgents have been growing opium and paying for new weapons .Stop the growing of the opium and it will slow down the insurgents .Some other things that would work i would not write in a public forum.
By changing the currency of the reward for Bin Laden from 50 million dollars to your weight in gold and a bag of diamonds.The weight in gold might have more success than offering Yankee dollars .Gold ,silver and diamonds have always been the currency to create traitors :E:E

Chimbu chuckles
6th Oct 2008, 21:50
I was NOT advocating it I was merely suggesting that that was the only way to assure victory.

Fanatics will do whatever it takes...we won't...so don't pick fights with fanatics. The Taliban are most assuredly fanatics, as were the Vietcong/Vietminh.

Ho Chi Minh and his Generals said it often enough...the US and her allies were not prepared to bleed excessively. The Vietnamese were prepared to kill as many of their own as it took to achieve their political ends. That has been a feature of wars with Asians...witness the human wave tactics used in WW2, Korea and Vietnam.

Hearts and minds is a nice theory...if politically cynical...the hearts and minds you're trying to win know that one day you won't be there but the baddies will...and they know what the retribution will be.

We absolutely flattened Germany and Japan...and within just a few years they were our friends and allies.

What has been the result of 'limited' warfare ever since?

Edited to add.

My father learned to fly in the RAF in 1950. He spent WW2 being bombed in London. He spent two years flying fighters for the French in Indo China (he was over Dien Ben Phu in a Bearcat) against the Vietminh and 2 years flying bombers for the RAAF in Malaysia bombing Communist insurgents. His brother spent two tours in Vietnam in the 60s.

Many of my teachers at high school were just back from Vietnam.

All said the same thing...we couldn't win because more vietnamese were turning 18 every year than we were killing.

I'll take their real world experience over your peace time theory anyday TC.

Matari
6th Oct 2008, 23:09
Flying Frisbee:


If this mess and Iraq teach us anything, it's that we should pack in playing games in other countries where we back pretty despicable and unsavoury characters with the justification that it suits us at that particular time.


Yep, we decided to stop backing "pretty despicable and unsavory characters" (in Iraq) and instead have helped that country move to the first free and open elections and government in the history of the Arab world.

It came at a cost of more than 5000 brave men and women soldiers and thousands of Iraqis, but we stopped supporting the despots and sided with morality just as you asked for.

Is Iraq a perfect democracy? No way. Could the war have been executed better tactically and otherwise? Of course...all wars could have been. Will history judge the action differently that the whims of popular opinion today? Most assuredely.

Flying_Frisbee
7th Oct 2008, 07:30
Yep, we decided to stop backing "pretty despicable and unsavory characters" (in Iraq) and instead have helped that country move to the first free and open elections and government in the history of the Arab world.

Not looking for weapons of mass destruction then? :hmm:
My point was about interfering in countriies' affairs for short term interest in the first place. WHo decides the list of regimes to be changed? Halliburton, sorry, George Bush? Blair? Brown? WHat if Putin (yes I know he's not officially in charge) decides to change a few regimes he doesn't fancy. Is that ok too? :ugh:
See- we're back to my original point about interfering. And I doubt if "morality" was high on the agenda when Rumsfeld and Cheney were planning this one.

Track Coastal
7th Oct 2008, 14:03
I was NOT advocating it I was merely suggesting that that was the only way to assure victory.

And that is why we screen to be members of Her Majesty's Australian Military.

Fanatics will do whatever it takes...we won't...so don't pick fights with fanatics. The Taliban are most assuredly fanatics, as were the Vietcong/Vietminh.

Ho Chi Minh and his Generals said it often enough...the US and her allies were not prepared to bleed excessively. The Vietnamese were prepared to kill as many of their own as it took to achieve their political ends. That has been a feature of wars with Asians...witness the human wave tactics used in WW2, Korea and Vietnam.


We absolutely flattened Germany and Japan...and within just a few years they were our friends and allies.

What has been the result of 'limited' warfare ever since?

Many of my teachers at high school were just back from Vietnam.

All said the same thing...we couldn't win because more vietnamese were turning 18 every year than we were killing.

ZEEBEE
7th Oct 2008, 14:27
Track Coastal...

Ad Hominen attacks are usually the hallmark of someone who doesn't have a valid argument.

CC's point is simply that warfare is NOT a game where if someone breaks the rules you take your bat and go home.

Nor is nature very forgiving of the mentality that you espouse. To that end, understand that these people want to and WILL, bury us.

The only people who can win against fanatics are bigger fanatics and there's plenty of those to go around especially when they're fuelled with a religion that has no place for unbelievers.

So, without the action espoused by CC, we will lose EVERY time and each time it will be harder to overcome the wave of fundamentalism that seems to be sweeping the majority of the planet. (I include Christian religions in that, by the way)

Because we have the luxury of nurturing attitudes such as "we must be humane", we will not be around much longer.

Track Coastal
7th Oct 2008, 14:40
Ad Hominen attacks are usually the hallmark of someone who doesn't have a valid argument.


LOAC, Geneva Convention?

What Australian civilians (yes read it again) do to an occupation force is governed by?

If we were over ran...I cringe when I think what some of our Bogans would do to a captured Combatant.

ZEEBEE
7th Oct 2008, 15:50
LOAC, Geneva Convention?

What Australian civilians (yes read it again) do to an occupation force is governed by?

If we were over ran...I cringe when I think what some of our Bogans would do to a captured Combatant. ??????

TC

Are you on the jungle juice by any chance ?

Wiley
7th Oct 2008, 16:37
For those shocked by Chimbu's politically incorrect observations about how to win another war a very long time ago, (most of you, it would seem), I can say that I was equally shocked when barely out of my teens, I came across an American Marine senior NCO on R&R pissed out of his ever lovin' brain in a bar somewhere in SE Asia.

He was 'hard core', to put it mildly, and told us he had a sure fire recipe for winning the war. "Take all the good Vietnamese and put 'em in a boat and park it fifty miles offshore, then nuke the country 'till it glows.

But save one last bomb for the boat."

Like Chimbu's comment, I think most would agree, totally and absolutely politicaly incorrect, (although we'd never heard of the phrase at the time), but it points out very clearly that the so-called 'ignorant' grunts who manned the coal face back then had a perhaps better understanding of the futility of the war than their 'betters' ever did.

There was a joke that did the rounds back then (which was 'politically correct'): an American, just after arriving in Vietnam to start his tour, asked an old timer how to tell a 'good' Vietnamese from a VC, or enemy Vietnamese. The old timer told him he should cry out "Goddamn Ho Chi Minh!" to any Vietnamese he encountered, and if the man became angry, he was obviouly VC.
Two weeks later, the old timer is visiting a field hospital and finds the newcomer strung up in traction and swathed in more bandages than the Pharoh Tutankhamun. "What in the hell happened to you?" he says.
"Well," says the newcomer, "I did just what you told me. I came upon this Vietnamese guy and said 'Goddmn Ho Chi Minh!', and he said 'Goddamn LBJ!', and we were both shaking hands and havin' a smoke when a ***ing tank ran over us!"

Track Coastal
8th Oct 2008, 04:55
ZEEBEE, my point is militia/freedom fighter/guerillas tend not to be governed by LOAC or codes there in.

If Australia was invaded how would the local militia/partisan groups treat 'captured' invaders especially if the local unit was staffed by the local misfits. You know, the ultra-violent ones that trawl around Northbridge (seeing as you are in Perth) after midnight on a Friday?

Remember the Taliban are irregulars defending their homeland as the Viet Cong were irregulars defending theirs. Be empathetic if you wish success in war, poker and business IMO (whats HE thinking and why).

See that fantastic quote from T.E. Lawrence a few posts above.

Mai Lai was an example of 'payback' where the Americans stooped to the most basal level. Is that how we should regularly operate when we invade? If the answer is yes, then are we not anything other than repackaged SS?

Regarding Afghanistan, are we there to win the peace so we can introduce true democracy, our [better and more egalitarian] values, and prosperity?

Or, our we there to get the bastards out of the way so we can pipe energy from the Caspian?

The answer to the above will somewhat influence ROE.

Are you on the jungle juice by any chance ?

Hey, nice pick up. A bottle of South African Shiraz at the time. How did you know it wasn't Single Malt or half a case of Heineken?

(A long black Arabica at the moment though)

ZEEBEE
8th Oct 2008, 07:05
Regarding Afghanistan, are we there to win the peace so we can introduce true democracy, our [better and more egalitarian] values, and prosperity?

Or, our we there to get the bastards out of the way so we can pipe energy from the Caspian?

To be perfectly honest, I don't really know what we're doing there, but then I don't have the big picture, whereas someone who sees the scene more clearly may well have a different view.

My point though, is that you cannot play war like gentlemen because faced with non-gentlemen, you will lose EVERY time.

All this hoo-haa about treating prisoners well only makes it more attractive for the other guys to wage war. After all, if the enemy is going to treat you with compassion if you get caught, what is there to lose? It's then just another game of paint-ball really.

And more importantly, what do you do if the other side don't play by the rules ? Declare war?? Oh, sorry, we've already done that.

Somewhere, there has to be someone who is prepared to do what HAS to be done.
I think the Major played by Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men" summed it up perfectly when he said that people could only sleep peacefully at night while there were people like him prepared to do what has to be done. (paraphrased by me).
Goody two shoes Cruise took him to task for it showing what a loser he was.

I didn't think South Africa made any decent reds :E

13thDuke
8th Oct 2008, 07:57
I think the Major played by Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men" summed it up perfectly when he said that people could only sleep peacefully at night while there were people like him prepared to do what has to be done. (paraphrased by me).

George Orwell must be spinning in his grave....

ORAC
8th Oct 2008, 08:37
A few points if I may.

This is not a war of conquest, so camparing it to previous Afghan wars is not analogous.

The Taleban were not deposed back in 2001 becuase of what they were, even though many of their practices were found offensive, but because of the refuge they offered Al Qaeda, which holds true today.

The Taleban, as with the Sunnis in Iraq, are having major problems with Al qaeda at home. As in Iraq they are finding the local tribal leaders are being ignored or killed, terror and voilence is spreading. If you do a search you will many reports of almost a civil war taking place.

Because of the above the Taleban are holding talks with the Afghan government, MI5, the CIA etc on possible ways forward. Basically, as in Iraq, they want shot of Al qaeda which they have found a viper in the nest.

Where these talks will end up I do not know. There are many who now see the Taleban as the equivalent of Al Qaeda and do not want to talk to them; others who do. Members of the Afghan government have sat down to eat with them in Saudi Arabia, and eventually it is they who have to deal and live beside/with them.

The current Taleban are, for good and bad, not the same as those deposed. The previous regime were against education, technology, diplomacy. The current factions, in only to counter the influence of the aid agencies, have medical and eduction programmes, are technological highly sophisticated etc. That is not to say that they are not violently anti gay/female rights/religious toleration - but so may other nations in the region.

So do not write off a deal with them if it gives everyone but Al Qaeda what they want.

Chimbu chuckles
8th Oct 2008, 08:55
You'd think politically correct Warfare was an oxymoron...but apparently not.

Track Coastal
8th Oct 2008, 10:07
ORAC, that is a very interesting post! Keep us posted on that!

You'd think politically correct Warfare was an oxymoron...but apparently not.

LOAC: Law of Armed Conflict (http://www.airforce.gov.au/organisation/info_on/operations/law.htm)

LOAC is an internationally accepted legal code that is unconditionally binding on the conduct of all military operations. The individual combatants act for the nation in the application of lethal force although they are often operating under conditions of uncertainty and change. Even in the confusion of combat, individual commanders and combatants at all levels can be held legally accountable for their actions. With this in mind, no other profession has the burden of responsibility that matches the one faced by combatants. All members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) must therefore understand the laws


The Geneva Convention deals with the treatment of civilians. Signatories/Ratification: International Humanitarian Law - State Parties / Signatories (http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebSign?ReadForm&id=375&ps=P)

If anyone gives a toss, research how differently the Germans treated prisoners that were Jewish, Russian and Commonwealth/American/European (non slav).

Wiley
8th Oct 2008, 13:14
There's nothing at all new about this debate. Tolstoy explored it at some length in his classic 'War and Peace', where one of the main (Russian) characters, Prince Andre(?), advocated (and practised) killing all French prisoners without exception. His rationale was, war should be made so terrible for the invaders, they would never be tempted to do it (invade Russia) again.

Marlon Brando's character rambled on about it in 'Apocalypse Now' (Who could forget the most unlikely, overweight Special Forces man in the world and "The horror... the horror..."?)

Through writers like Kipling, the Brits have managed to sell us all 'back home' a load of twaddle about how the soldfiers of the Empire always fought a 'Boys Own Annual' gentlemen's war against the 'Fuzzie Wuzzies' and others unfortunate enough to face British Maxim guns with spears. If their actions in winning one of the Maori Wars in NZ are anything to go by, it 'twernt always so. The Maoris they faced in what turned out to be the final battle of the war were Christian (Methodists, I think), who strictly adhered to the (learned from Brit missionaries) rule of keeping the Sabbath Day holy. They downed weapons on Sunday and went to church, which is eaxctly when the Brits attacked them and and wiped them out.

Also, ask any Scot what the English Dragoons got up to in the four days following Colloden and you might be surprised.

A lot of people in today's West don't like to admit it, (and maybe don't even know it), but we enjoy the cossetted life we have in the West today only becuse men like Jack Nicholson's Colonel in 'A Few Good Men' did things - and maybe continue to do things - in our name that 99.9% of us would find very unpalatable to face up to.

ORAC
8th Oct 2008, 13:26
Carthago delenda est!

Track Coastal
8th Oct 2008, 13:47
Carthago delenda est!

...and that dear ORAC is what Obergruppenfuhrer Karl Frank did to Lidice. Am not sure about the salt (so nothing can grow again) some say yes, some no.

Senor Wiley, all so very true. BUT [and this is the money shot] if you shit on a battlefield now it will be recorded electronically and we will know!

As an aside are we still expanding the 'interests' of the British East India Co.?

So I will ask again:
are there to get the bastards out of the way so we can pipe energy from the Caspian?
If so kill every cnut and let god sort them out (British East India 101 - conquer and tame)
are we there to win the peace so we can introduce true democracy, our [better and more egalitarian] values, and prosperity?
.
That involves winning the populace over and even swinging some of the combatants.

In order...decide what we want first; decide how to achieve it; estimate when we are getting the fcuk out.

(why is missing because the politicians conned you into it and YOU voted for them).

Capt.KAOS
8th Oct 2008, 14:11
We didn't win in Vietnam for the same reasons...the only way to win was to bomb every school and kill every potential soldier The Nazi's called it "Die Endlösung (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2c/Carta_G%C3%B6ring.JPG)"....

Talking about bombing; The US dropped more bombs on Indochina than it has dropped in the whole World War II.

ORAC
11th Oct 2008, 08:52
Track Coastal: ORAC, that is a very interesting post! Keep us posted on that! :cool::cool:

Gates: U.S. would support Afghan peace talks with Taliban (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/10/10/gates.taliban/index.html)

......Mullen said empowering tribal militias that have influence in both Pakistan -- where U.S. forces have limited access -- and Afghanistan -- where the United States is training more Afghan security forces to bolster troop levels -- could reduce violence. By giving legitimate power to some militias, the plan addresses U.S. commanders' frustration with Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government, which is viewed as not very effective outside the capital, Kabul.

The official said that no decisions have been made and no drafts have been shown to Mullen, but the plan is expected to be completed later this year. There is no political timeline attached to the report, according to the official.

Gates, referring to talks with the Taliban, said a similar rapprochement strategy worked in Iraq. "We promoted a reconciliation that involved people we were pretty confident had been shooting at us and killing our soldiers," he said.

"At the end of the day, that's how most wars end," Gates said, referencing the Sunni Awakening Movement in Iraq. "There has to be ultimately -- and I'll underscore ultimately -- reconciliation as part of a political outcome to this," he said

Those talks would not include al Qaeda, Gates said........