PDA

View Full Version : The Afghan War after ten years



davidbfpo
10-07-2011, 08:26 PM
Currently there are 282 threads in this OEF - Afghanistan folder, covering a variety of topics and some undoubtedly are duplicates.

Today is the tenth anniversary of the start of this campaign or war, which has prompted a few articles that I have spotted in my daily reading (listed below).

All manner of questions come to mind, notably around was it worthwhile - a question posed in this:
According to a recent CBS News poll, 58 percent of Americans believe we should not be fighting in the shadows of the Hindu Kush. This week, the Pew Research Center released a survey showing that only 50 percent of veterans who have served in the military since the attacks of 9/11 believe the war in Afghanistan has been worth the cost in lives and treasure.

From:http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/10/07/a_decade_at_war_111607.html

From the father of a UK soldier killed in 2006, slightly edited:
..the war had been "totally, utterly a waste of time. They died in vain." ...."When the government went into Afghanistan, they claimed it was our interests. The whole thing was a lie. They were hooked into something that they should have checked out....Afghanistan deserves something better than what we're leaving them with..

Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8812110/Afghanistan-war-10-year-anniversary-Terrible-mistake-sent-young-and-brave-to-die-in-vain

Sherard Cowper-Coles reflects:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8811172/Its-a-fantasy-to-think-we-are-winning-the-war-in-Afghanistan.html

He ends with:
But I do know that, bad though it is to send a young soldier out to fight and die for his country without the best equipment, it is even worse to send him out without a strategy in which any serious analyst can believe.

As others have noted British TV programming has - now - a regular diet of embedded reporting or soldier's own filming; rarely with any context given or quickly left alone, e.g. this week armoured vehicles driving through poppy fields.

A somewhat strange, short story with President Karzai's lament and General McChrystal:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8813658/Karzai-we-have-failed-to-provide-proper-security-to-the-Afghan-people.html

A short, strategic assessment:http://offshorebalancer.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/ten-years-in-afghanistan/

Personally I think the British national interest has been poorly served, especially since going into Helmand in 2006.

JMA
10-08-2011, 08:59 PM
Currently there are 282 threads in this OEF - Afghanistan folder, covering a variety of topics and some undoubtedly are duplicates.

Today is the tenth anniversary of the start of this campaign or war, which has prompted a few articles that I have spotted in my daily reading (listed below).

All manner of questions come to mind, notably around was it worthwhile - a question posed in this:

From:http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/10/07/a_decade_at_war_111607.html

From the father of a UK soldier killed in 2006, slightly edited:

Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8812110/Afghanistan-war-10-year-anniversary-Terrible-mistake-sent-young-and-brave-to-die-in-vain

Sherard Cowper-Coles reflects:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8811172/Its-a-fantasy-to-think-we-are-winning-the-war-in-Afghanistan.html

He ends with:

As others have noted British TV programming has - now - a regular diet of embedded reporting or soldier's own filming; rarely with any context given or quickly left alone, e.g. this week armoured vehicles driving through poppy fields.

A somewhat strange, short story with President Karzai's lament and General McChrystal:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8813658/Karzai-we-have-failed-to-provide-proper-security-to-the-Afghan-people.html

A short, strategic assessment:http://offshorebalancer.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/ten-years-in-afghanistan/

Personally I think the British national interest has been poorly served, especially since going into Helmand in 2006.

Not too many takers on this thread David.

I wonder if there will ever be an inquiry into exactly why it went so badly wrong (both for the Brits and the yanks). (Note the why and not the what)

TDB
10-09-2011, 09:50 AM
I have a problem with saying it start 10 years ago, while yes the neo-Taliban began to emerge as early as January 2002 we didn't start fighting until 2006. Even then we didn't start conducting a counterinsurgency, arguably until 2009/10. So when McChrystal says we're only half way there, he's right.

JMA
10-09-2011, 10:09 AM
I have a problem with saying it start 10 years ago, while yes the neo-Taliban began to emerge as early as January 2002 we didn't start fighting until 2006. Even then we didn't start conducting a counterinsurgency, arguably until 2009/10. So when McChrystal says we're only half way there, he's right.

Really?

What has changed for the Brits between 2006 and 2009/10 other than more realistic areas of operation?

Fuchs
10-09-2011, 10:25 AM
German General Says NATO Mission Has 'Failed' (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,790539,00.html)

JMA
10-09-2011, 11:32 AM
German General Says NATO Mission Has 'Failed' (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,790539,00.html)

This sounds like a Brit style exposť from a senior officer now retired with a secure pension.

But he takes on the German government:


Kujat said that it was ignored for too long that "the opponent was fighting a military battle and we needed to do the same." In reference to claims from German political leaders, among others, he said "the argument that it was a stabilization mission was maintained for too long." The result, he said, is that soldiers were not given what they needed in order to effectively fight the enemy.

Any ideas what the 5,000 German troops do all day? Play cards?

Fuchs
10-09-2011, 11:43 AM
The share of troops outside of camps was rather low for years (for a reason; there wasn't much to do outside), as with other nation's contingents, too.

There's more activity now.

I doubt that more patrolling would achieve much more; the TB would simply adapt by keeping a lower profile. It would not remove them.

I wrote it years ago and I repeat it; the correct strategy would have been to provoke a Tet offensive, a premature switch towards overt warfare in which the enemy can actually be defeated.

We should have pulled airborne troops out, rested them, minimised the other troops and once the TB begin overt warfare they'd be smashed by an airborne strategic quick reaction force.


Or - even better - stay the #### out of this idiotic war.

JMA
10-09-2011, 02:20 PM
The share of troops outside of camps was rather low for years (for a reason; there wasn't much to do outside), as with other nation's contingents, too.

There's more activity now.

I doubt that more patrolling would achieve much more; the TB would simply adapt by keeping a lower profile. It would not remove them.

I wrote it years ago and I repeat it; the correct strategy would have been to provoke a Tet offensive, a premature switch towards overt warfare in which the enemy can actually be defeated.

We should have pulled airborne troops out, rested them, minimised the other troops and once the TB begin overt warfare they'd be smashed by an airborne strategic quick reaction force.

You think the yanks would have bought that idea?

Why wait? What about a few raids into Pakistan right now... they won't be expecting that. ;)


Or - even better - stay the #### out of this idiotic war.

Yes idiotic and more. But see it as an opportunity test your systems and exercise your troops.

Fuchs
10-09-2011, 03:00 PM
No I don't.
Small wars teach many lessons that kill (you, not the enemy!) in great wars.

See PM.

davidbfpo
10-11-2011, 10:42 AM
A slightly confusing commentary, but fits in this thread well:http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/bruno-de-cordier/parallel-frontlines-ten-years-of-soviet-and-american-occupation-compar

There is a thread on the Soviet experience in Afg:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=9483