Sunday, February 03, 2008

It is time some one made Gordon Brown explain his exit strategy for Afghanistan

Below is a post I wrote in September, but didn't publish. At the time I just wasn't sure if I was undermining our forces by going on about this. The American determination to win in Iraq with their surge seemed to suggest that will and resources could be enough.

But like many other people I'm fed up of the theatre for the cameras of capturing towns that then they give back to the Taliban. It seems to my untrained eye that a strange half hearted war is being fought, the aim of which is to minimise casualties amongst our own troops, not to win a necessary war. The film that is allowed from the front shows soldiers calling in air strikes and being targets in fixed locations. No doubt the truth is far more complex and in truth i have little idea of what is really going on. But then so does the rest of the country.

Its time for both the government and other political parties to explain what is going on, why, and how in all reasonableness they intend to achieve the objectives they set out.

More of Gordon Brown's guff about long term targets is not acceptable, I am beginning to wonder if the destruction of the UKs military isn't his real aim in all this. Part of his hate filled partisan socialist politics.

01/09/07 - but not then posted:

    In previous blog posts I have gone on about Afghanistan.

    Firstly trying to remind people about how we were deceived in being lead into the current conflict in Helmand province by John Reid and the Labour government ( a cabinet table at which sat Gordon Brown - perhaps he hid underneath it and so can claim not to know what was going on ? ).

    We have now been warned by diplomats and soldiers that fighting there will last decades. As I've pointed out before this means that mothers are changing nappies on their children who will not grow up fully but be slaughtered in Afghanistan.

    It seems to me that there has not been a good or adequate explanation for this from our government. This is made more acute as it is clear that the groups leading Labour party politicians come from in society ( middle class- public school / grammar school educated ) are not those which will lose their children.

    I have two children and I have not yet heard a justification that would make me want to risk them on the battlefield in Afghanistan. Instead I suspect the government has got itself into this mess and doesn't know how to get out. As its other peoples husbands and children who are being killed they have no great compulsion to sort their strategy out, provided the equipment needed or treat the wounded well and with the honour they deserve from all of us.

    In both Iraq and Afghanistan to locally built up forces - forever being trained - forever ready to take on more of the burden sometime in the future

    The concept of a just war requires that it should be winnable

4 comments:

IanP said...

It is nothing to do with being a just war, or even a war that we can win. (no nation has ever successfully invaded and kept Afghanistan).

It is about keeping our military fully engaged, over stretched and out of the UK whilst the slow motion coup d’├ętat is enacted across Europe with the signing and ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

Man in a Shed said...

Ian - the just war concept requires that a war be winnable. If the war is mealy to mark time then it is unjust.

None of that implies the war is now just.

In my view the US was justified in attacking Afghanistan after 9/11 - which was in effect an act of war by a foreign state.

We really need a leader with good instincts and the guts to back them. Mrs Thatcher didn't go for every fight that passed her - but when she did she committed 100%. It can be argued that she broke the will of the IRA, Soviet Union, NUM and the fascist dictatorship in Argentina. Yet she used less military power than Labour have over the last 10 years and she funded it better.

lettersfromatory said...

The problem of Afghanistan is notable by its absence from mainstream political discussion. The only reason that the Conservatives are steering clear is that they're probably not sure what to do either.

Man in a Shed said...

lettersfroatory - I think your right. But the status quo isn't acceptable. We've been lead into two wars by Labour on the basis of lies.

1) WMD - Iraq
2) Policing operation - no shots fired - Helmand province.

The UKs relationship with the US and NATO complicate matters but what I'm afraid of is either we need to vastly increase our commitment and go for victory as the US has in Iraq or we need to pull out.

Procrastinating, as Gordon Brown does, why many more good men die, is immoral and despicable. ( His case is made doubly worse by being leader of the party whose lies created this situation and who don't fund the military correctly or support them. They don't even treat the wounded well. )

The Conservative party needs to look at itself in a very critical light on this one also.