Afghan Army Analogy

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Owen, Jun 29, 2010.

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  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I was going to say this is my 'quote of the day' but I suppose it's really my 'analogy of the day.'

    Later, Gen Petraeus warned that raising the standards of the Afghan army and police was a "hugely challenging" task, he said, comparing it to "building an advanced aircraft while it is in flight, while it is being designed and while it is being shot at".

    BBC News - Gen Petraeus tells senators Afghan fighting may worsen
    CL1 likes this.
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Owen -
    I think he got that right - as his boss just fired the best General they have had since "stormin" Norman - and who needs enemies !

  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Very sad to see the Taliban are back.
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Even worse all the service staff and people killed over the past 20 years for absolutely nothing.
  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  6. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    I found it fascinating that we rushed 600 soldiers into the country to extract our citizens working there when, for 20 years, successive UK Governments did the absolute minimum and capped manning at every opportunity.

    We were never serious about winning and never had an Army back in UK that was big enough to sustain more than an Infantry Brigade for the long haul. It is all pretty pathetic really. A single Infantry Brigade is no more than 900 bayonets on the ground - and that is if each and every Rifle Company was at full strength. You cannot cover much ground with 900 infantrymen.

    Modern warfare is frightfully expensive and we were never willing to underwrite what it would have actually cost to defeat the insurgents.


  7. smdarby

    smdarby Patron Patron

    But is it possible to "win" in Afghanistan, no matter how many troops/hardware are employed?

    Remnants of an Army by Elizabeth Butler (The First Afghan War 1839-42):

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  8. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    We were stupid enough to go into Afghanistan when we were still heavily though inadequately committed to operations in Iraq.

    We were trying to punch way above our weight and it was bound to end in tears.

    I recommend that you read ‘Operation Herrick. An unofficial history of British military operations in Afghanistan 2001-2014’ by Sallust.

    It is enough to make you weep.

    In the Foreword to the book, the author lists Robert McNamara’s 11 lessons from Vietnam. They could be applied to Afghanistan which implies that we learnt nothing from the failure in Indochina.

    Sallust is very, very perceptive.


  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Afghanistan Quotes by Vladislav Tamarov

    On August 10, 1984, my plane landed in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. There were no skyscrapers here. The blue domes of the mosques and the faded mountains were the only things rising above the adobe duvals (the houses). The mosques came alive in the evening with multivoiced wailing: the mullahs were calling the faithful to evening prayer. It was such an unusual spectacle that, in the beginning, I used to leave the barracks to listen – the same way that, in Russia, on spring nights, people go outside to listen to the nightingales sing. For me, a nineteen-year-old boy who had lived his whole life in Leningrad, everything about Kabul was exotic: enormous skies – uncommonly starry – occasionally punctured by the blazing lines of tracers. And spread out before you, the mysterious Asian capital where strange people were bustling about like ants on an anthill: bearded men, faces darkend by the sun, in solid-colored wide cotton trousers and long shirts. Their modern jackets, worn over those outfits, looked completely unnatural. And women, hidden under plain dull garments that covered them from head to toe: only their hands visible, holding bulging shopping bags, and their feet, in worn-out shoes or sneakers, sticking out from under the hems.

    And somewhere between this odd city and the deep black southern sky, the wailing, beautifully incomprehensible songs of the mullahs. The sounds didn't contradict each other, but rather, in a polyphonic echo, melted away among the narrow streets. The only thing missing was Scheherazade with her tales of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights ... A few days later I saw my first missile attack on Kabul. This country was at war.”
    ― Vladislav Tamarov, Afghanistan: A Russian Soldier's Story
    Afghanistan Quotes by Vladislav Tamarov
  10. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Understandably our media have given some coverage to the events in Afghanistan, although I am under the impression the BBC TV no longer has a resident correspondent and relies on local / regionally recruited professional staff.

    This American article does provide insight into how Afghans, whatever their faction / group / institution they fight for: : Fighting Like Taliban There are some exceptions within the ANSF, their commandos (special forces) and the security agency, the NDS.

    Earlier this evening I read a report that we are sending an evacuation force, mainly paratroopers, to protect Kabul Airport / Bagram airbase, to enable four thousand UK nationals to be evacuated. Alongside a larger US force.
  11. snailer

    snailer Country Member

    If I wanted an unbiased view of what’s going on in the world the last place I’d looking to impress me would be the BBC.
  12. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    No UK media outlet is going to tell the truth about the Afghanistan/Iraq/Libyan) debacle. The current (right-wing newspaper) view of 'UK exceptionalism' means the truth will be ignored and will (unwisely) continue sailing our warships close to Russia and China under USN protection.
    That said the BBC is by far the most unbiased news outlet in the UK and anyone who claims otherwise must themselves hold extreme views.
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  13. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    Please tell us where you get your "unbiased" view.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
  14. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    The bane of modern politics is those with deep convictions who see everything as a black & white issue. If you find yourself foaming at the mouth over an issue (any issue) then you are part of the problem. I think that social media is to blame for allowing deeply myopic people to find and link up with other blinkered individuals and form echo chambers for single-issue pressure groups of self-reinforcing lunatics.
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  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Why does it always come down to holding extreme views if people disagree with somebody or have a strong opinion about an issue.

    People who stifle discussion are the major part of the problem
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  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Getting back to the Afghan army.
    Disturbing to see they aren't putting up much of a fight .
  17. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    No. Its the people who want to 'win' who are the problem. People who are convinced they are right and that everyone else is wrong.
    alberk likes this.
  18. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    I would be interested in hearing your definition of "unbiased" in the context of journalism/reporting.
  19. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    I think your post sums up the issue
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  20. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Owen it is a very sad day for all the poor Afghans who will be taken back to the stone age.
    Civil war will rage

    a number of books showing the many issues

    The Anglo-Afghan Wars 1839-1919:
    On Afghanistans Plains: The Story of Britains Afghan Wars
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