Saturday, 17 July 2010

Afghanistan


Three British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in the past 24 hours in separate incidents.

A Royal Marine from 40 Commando, was killed by an IED explosion while on foot patrol in Sanguin district on Friday and an airman from the Royal Air Force Regiment was killed in a vehicle crash while on patrol.

The third fatality was a soldier from the Royal Dragoon Guards who died after being hit by an IED in a blast in Nahr-e-Saraj district.

Richard North has his opinion of the mounting deaths in this unwinable war but I do not share his sentiments about Wootton Bassett being a 'street exhibition' - quite the contrary. Wootton Bassett has had hearses pass down its High Street for some considerable time and the people have paid their respects with quiet dignity with and without the media circus which now surrounds it. They continue to do so. The famous English 'stiff upper lip' in many cases can be an excuse for ignoring a situation and thankfully the good folk of Wootton Bassett are prepared to acknowledge the sacrifice these military have made. To say the army and its top brass are not concerned about the losses is uninformed nonsense and I admit I am rather disappointed with his attitude to military personnel in general.

We have now lost 321 of our armed services in this war. The fact that there is no strategy is playing its part and I agree with one of Richard's points, although I would call our soldiers the US's cannon fodder. Until we have politicians who are prepared to stand up and support Britain's interests first an foremost, sadly our armed services will be sacrificed for the whims of the US president.

Update 18 July 00.23: It has just been reported a soldier from the Royal Logistic Corps, who was part of a team clearing roadside bombs, died in an explosion in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Saturday afternoon. This fatality brings the number of British soldiers killed in the Afghanistan war to 322 since 2001.

20 comments:

Allan said...

Subrosa.

The people of Wootton Bassett are a credit to our armed forces and to us all for the way they stop whatever it is they are doing to come out and pay their respects to fallen servicemen and woman.

Wootton Bassett is doing the right thing, so much so that the loved ones of the fallen come to the town to pay their own respect to family members that have been killed in action.

For the war itself, I think it is unwinnable and what makes it even harder to accept the raising death toll is that its not a conventional war out on a battlefield, its more like gorilla warfare which most of out troops are not trained for.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

If you want to see the armed forces come home then you best hope for an early election.

As this will be the only event which motivate Cameron to bring the troops home........


up till then Cameron is totally unconcerned how many are injured or killed.


Richard North doesn't understand a stiff upper lip goes along with showing respect as the people of wooton basset and others do.

Allan said...

Mr Mxyzptlk

No thanks, the last thing anyone wants is another Labour gov. They took us into the war in case you had forgotten.

subrosa said...

Sadly you're near the mark there Allan. Our troops have been trained to win 'hearts and minds' since Ireland but that's not what will save lives in Afghanistan.

subrosa said...

Ah Niko, I think you could be right. We've just got a carbon copy of labour's policy with the new ConDem bunch.

subrosa said...

Mind you Allan, I thought the new government would have a better grasp of the Afghan war but it's just more of the same. All talk, no action. Certainly no strategy.

Allan said...

Subrosa.

Yes I agree. Cameron is not much better at dealing with the Afghan war but I think the troops will be better equipped under him and the wee Scots Fox guy than they were under the last lot.

subrosa said...

Allan Fox is turning out to be worse than Aintworthit. At least Aintworthit tried a bit, although Brown ignored him. Fox's plan is to do what America want. I think he sees himself as being the next Tony Blair and living there when he gives up politics.

RMcGeddon said...

Harsh article by Richard but he's right about the troops knowing what they're getting themselves in for. They've obviously summed up the risks and are prepared to die for a lost cause.

subrosa said...

RMcGeddon, many of these troops joined up before we had warmongers such as Blair, Bush, Brown and Obama in power. They joined to protect this country and not to be political pawns of another. Many are stuck between loyalty to their colleagues, losing their pension after having worked for a pittance for years and leaving a job which they thought would be worthwhile.

Indeed some have joined since Iraq and Afghanistan but certainly not all.

RMcGeddon said...

That's taking you back to before 1997 Rosie which means they are in their 30's. Most troops killed are aged 18 to 25 which means the conflicts have been well publicised by the time they joined up. I was in Gulf War1 which was John Major for goodness sake.

subrosa said...

Many are in their 30s+ RMcGeddon but you're right, those killed are in the 18-25 bracket. Are they not being well enough trained or is it because the infantry regiments average age is lower than some other regiments? As in all wars it's the infantry who suffer the most casualties yet folk still join up. That's their choice but many in the 30+ age group didn't chose to be cannon fodder as Richard says.

RMcGeddon said...

They're being well trained Rosie but training can't save you from IED's.
As long as Commanders are happy to see casualties as acceptable then nothing will change.
The infantry aren't a special case. Logistics, RAF Regiment etc are all dying.
We've been operating in the middle east since 1991 so anyone aged 17 to 40 knew what they were getting themselves in for.

JuliaM said...

And what most concerns our MoD people?

The fact that a Gurkha soldier - even under heavy fire and stupid orders from those safely back in London - might have not been 'respectful to Muslim beliefs'...

Words fail me.

subrosa said...

The military know they're up against it with the IEDs RM. As soon as they find a solution the Taliban change the parameters and they're so much faster at change than our services with the system we involve.

I should have said ground troops and not infantry.

Yes, but the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were the catalysts. They aren't wars which involved the security of this country any more than any other country. They are wars which were created at the behest of the US for their own reasons.

subrosa said...

Words fail me too Julia. And our troops spend time returning body parts? For goodness sake...

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

There's no use in trying to clean up the oily rags when the so called 'engineers' keep throwing them back into the sump.

This is not about heroes or the tinkle of glory - this's about young people dying for no reason but the wrong reasons.

banned said...

This pointless war is clearly unwinnable under current rules of engagement, our troops have to be lucky every time with IEDs, which they are not; the Taliban need to be lucky just every now and then, which they are.

subrosa said...

It's becoming clearer more and more each day that we've made a grave mistake being in that country RA.

subrosa said...

Nobody can be lucky every time with IEDs banned. Even I know that and I've no experience of the things other than what I've read.

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