Wednesday, 31 October 2012

More Fatalities

Yesterday the bodies of two soldiers killed in Afghanistan last week were returned to their families here. The circumstances of their death is still being investigated, although the initial review ruled out friendly fire.

In Afghanistan, earlier in the day, two British soldiers were killed by an Afghan wearing the uniform of the Afghan police.  The soldiers were both from the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles.

The MoD said the attack occurred at a checkpoint in Helmand Province's Nahr-e Saraj district.

At least 53 international troops have been killed in assualts by Afghan soldiers or police this year.  The string of insider attacks has also claimed the lives of more than 50 Afghan members of the government's security forces.

This year at least 11 of our 43 fatality injured soldiers have been killed by Afghans they served alongside.

There is talk that the UK will leave a substantial force behind in next year as our politicians think we should continue to contribute to the training of the Afghan military and police.  The proposal is appalling. No member of our military should be left behind. Let the Afghan government pay for their troop and police training.  There has been more than enough British taxpayers' money paid into its coffers during this war.

The number of our fatalities has now risen to 437 since 2001.


dognamedblue said...

you'd think with the increase in the amount of heroin production in helmand that they could afford their own security forces?

JRB said...

As always, we are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of yet more lives associated with this conflict.

Was somewhat angered listening to an official spokesman, who with almost every sentence uttered, made reference to - ‘the mission’
“… this loss will not detract us from – ‘the mission’”
“… we will see – ‘the mission’ – through to completion”
“… the Taliban will not deflect us from – ‘the mission’”

Could someone please explain to me exactly what is – ‘The Mission’

If it was to remove the Taliban and Mujahideen – then it failed
If it was to bring democracy and security to Afghanistan - then it failed
If it was to bring freedom and civil liberty to the population - then it failed
If it was to remove financial and political corruption from the country - then it failed

If it was to prove the hawkish machismo of a few politicians – then it succeeded

– but at what cost?

Brian said...

Another couple of brave lives wasted. My thoughts are with their familes and friends.
The sad fact is that the Taliban/Iranians/Pakistani ISS/Haqqani Network have always been able to act within the Coalition's OODA Loop. They were beaten in conventional fighting so they adopted IEDs of increasing complexity until MRAP vehicles, detection and countermeasures reduced their effect to manageable levels. Suicide bombers have similarly been countered by changes in tactics. Consequently, green on blue attacks under the religiously-sanctioned doctrine of taqqiya or deception, have been developed. If the Coalition had more time and ability, it would be combing its intelligence files to construct a new way to fight the Taliban, because everything is a bundle of strengths and weaknesses in varying proportions. Identify the Taliban weakness and develop a counter.

Clarinda said...

Apparently 103 'green on blue' NATO troop deaths in Afghanistan from 2007 onwards - 75% of which have occurred since last year - 30%in 2011 45% this year, so far.

Is 'green on blue' not murder?

Equally, no count of civilian deaths and mayhem due to colateral and drone targeting throughout the wider areas on the Afghanistan borders etc..

So far in Iraq (remember that pusuit of democracy, 'regime change', 'WMDs' and oil contracts)-during October this year 241 civilian deaths. 120.000 recorded deaths since 2003.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Meanwhile - According to the Washington Post - If Scotland chooses independence it would (could) undermine the world's stability?

Perhaps if an independent Scotland were to refuse the non-proliferation pact and rent a few nukes from the US we could put the minds of the neo-cons to rest!

Good lord, Scotland the lynch-pin of the world; next they'll be asking us to sort out the EU.

subrosa said...

I haven't heard this war referred to as 'the mission' JRB, but I know if I had my dander would be up.

subrosa said...

Of course they can dognameblue, but Karzai and his cohorts are milking it for all its worth. They've personally made billions I believe.

subrosa said...

Brian, the brains and skills are in the military to do what you suggest but the political will to do it is not there.

Also the politicians refuse to provide the necessary finances.

These facts, together with the snail speed at which the MoD operate, should answer your comment.

subrosa said...

Of course it's murder Clarinda but for some reason that fact is ignored. Seems the 'enemy' has different rules or maybe NATO aren't too bothered.

subrosa said...

A strange article Crinkly when the writer doesn't even know that the SNP has now changed its stance about NATO.

Surely that would have made a difference to their assessment?

Brian said...

Didn't the taxpayer provide the necessary finances to buy the urgent Operational Requirement Pinzgauer Vector (£487,000 each) that were retired after two years, or the host of other extra spending - the Beech Shadow ISTAR platform, uparmouring Bulldogs, Warriors, Mastiffs, Ridgebacks etc? My view of Afghanistan is similar to Rory Stewart's, ie we should have entered with the lightest of footsteps. Instead, our involvement was too small to win quickly and decisively, but big enough to annoy the locals with our alien behaviour. Perhaps the Dhofar Rebellion should have been used as a first draft for UK involvement (although no insurgency is identical to another) but the Karzai regime has been constitutionally unable to modernise itself and the country and purge corruption.
There are several top class thinkers, Colonel Rigden of the Ghurkas being one notable example, but given that the Army went into Helmand in 2006 with its own five-year strategy and has not succeeded, isn't it reasonable for the politicians to lose patience? It is worrying that a section on "Learning and Adapting" was only added to the Army Field Manual on Counter-Insurgency in 2009.

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
subrosa said...

I believe you're right about the Vector Brian and the other spending.

Of course much of the spending is not to improve the equipment for the military but political decisions (payback for favours etc).

Thanks for the link to Colonel Rigden and the Learning and Adapting. My knowledge is increased.

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