Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Our Next War

A British soldier was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday.  Captain Walter Barrie, 41, was serving with the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland when he was shot dead by an individual wearing an Afghan army uniform.

This is the 12th incident this year in which our servicemen have been killed by Afghan soldiers or police and brings the total number of fatalities in the war to 438.

On the Andrew Marr's Sunday Show, General Sir David Richards announced our next war. Hundreds of British troops could be deployed to Syria if the humanitarian crisis worsens he said. I translate that to read 'will' instead of 'could.

It's obvious Obama and Cameron had been discussing this for some time but the US election interrupted their plans.  Now they can continue with their plans.

I don't believe for one minute that our involvement would be limited.  Think back to - then Defence Secretary - John Reid's statement from Kabul in 2006.  We had 3,000 troops deployed there at the time.

 "We're in the south to help and protect the Afghan people to reconstruct their economy and democracy. We would be perfectly happy to leave in three years time without firing one shot."  source

 By then our military had been in Afghanistan for 5 years.  They've now been there for 12 years and the number of troops has risen to 10,000.  So has the number of deaths. Syria will be the next battleground for our armed services, which are being depleted month by month.  Although the appalling reduction in our full-time military is going ahead at considerable spped, the plans to augment the TA are still a pipe dream, because discussions with employers have not yet started and the UK government has little chance of gaining the support of businesses.  But that's a post for another time.

There is a humanitarian problem in Syria, as there is in every war.  The Syrian conflict is complex and, should we become involved, there's little doubt we would be there for some time - not months but years.


Furor Teutonicus said...

There is only one way to sort out the Middle East. Build a wall around it, give all none males and children six weeks to evacuate, ALL males over 16 get as much weaponary and ammo as we can throw at them, and come back and tell us the winner when you have finished.

THAT includes Israel. (Take the nukes off them all first. That would not be fair.)

dognamedblue said...

from the banned Press TV:
"Report: UK commanders spurn intervention in Syria"

I pity those that are thinking joining the reserves will be a "jolly"
badly trained, poorly equipped "cannon fodder" & when they come back crippled well we know how they are to be treated

Dioclese said...

Syria is none of our business and we should let them get on with it. Don't give me this humanitarian crisis stuff because they knew what would happen that when they started shooting. Their problem, not ours. Sod 'em!

JRB said...

Gen Richards is right, Syria will be our next unwinnable conflict situation.

America has decided that it is to be Syria, and when America calls on her ‘special relationship’ allies to jump – we jump (fools that we are).

Oh, no doubt all the usual platitudes will be dusted down and brought out once again … this is a humanitarian action … to prevent further loss of life …allow democracy to flourish … etc etc etc.

But there is only one reason for what is about to ensue.
This whole charade has nothing to do with Syria or its people, this is just a convenient conflict, a useful military stepping stone.
It will allow the USA, and those mad enough to follow, to build up a substantial strategic military presence in the eastern Mediterranean.

Simply in order that the USA can achieve its ultimate goal - neutralising Iran.

English Pensioner said...

There is no case for intervention in Syria, we are not an International Police Force.
When they stop fighting and there is some sort of peace, there might possibly be some case for providing some humanitarian aid. This should come from the existing overseas aid budget and aid to countries such as India, Pakistan, etc should be stopped.
Although on second thoughts, they would probably start fighting again over who gets the aid as those in charge would want to sell it in order to provide cash for their pension funds in Switzerland.

Demetrius said...

"The Great Game" is long over and we have lost. We should never have gone into Iraq or Afghanistan and it will cause us permanent damage. In order to support a number of engagements such as these and potentially others needs an Army of 200,000 and possibly more.

subrosa said...

I can think of a few folk who would agree with you Furor.

subrosa said...

Many thanks for the link dognameblue. You're right about the 'new' reserves, sadly.

subrosa said...

Exactly Dioclese.

subrosa said...

Excellent point JRB and one I should have included in the post. Think I wrote some time ago about Iran being the next war but then Syria had not yet erupted.

subrosa said...

I think the reason politicians may use to deploy our troops is that they're there to dispense our aid EP.

subrosa said...

I've always said the UK will suffer in the long run for Iraq and now Afghanistan Demetrius. I do pity the youth of today because they will have to cope with the consequences.

Edward Spalton said...

Demetrius, I think the "great game" is very much alive but is being played by the governments of Pakistan and India in competition. Much of what happens is a proxy war between the tribes and groups, sponsored by their respective security services.

Afghanistan is, of course, a bloody silly place to go to fight a war . Around 1880, Field Marshal The Lord Roberts of Kandahar said words to the effect that "The less the Afghans see of us, the better they will like us"

Depressingly enough I was in debate with a Lib Dem/European Movement spokesman on Monday who cited these "Humanitarian Interventions" as an area where the EU gives us enhanced influence in the world.
Less depressingly, the sixth formers we were addressing voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU. It was so overwhelming that no count was taken of the card vote - but I think it was well over 80per cent.

subrosa said...

Pleased to hear the younger generation has sussed out the setup with the EU Edward.

Of course we shouldn't be in Afghanistan. Elementary history tells us that.

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