There is a connection

Warrenpoint all over again.” What I remember most vividly is the smell that lingered for over 24 hours. There is still a jagged legacy. The contrast is between the Wooton Bassett ritual of the bodies coming home from Afghanistan today and the acceptance, almost the indifference in the 70s to the 90s, of the wider British public to the losses of the “long war.” Even Troops Out had little traction. It remains to be throughly explored but however much the controversy raged in Ireland, the British public seems to have grimly accepted that Northern Ireland was a duty to be performed, however distasteful. Afghanistan may be a different matter. The unfolding Aghanistan week on the BBC should offer insights. Meanwhile here is a home grown inight.

Militarily the Taliban cannot sustain this rate of attrition. It is losing scores to our every one. Its bank is going bust and terrorist volunteers to go into this mincer are increasingly hard to find. Let’s keep faith with our deployed troops. Let’s support the judgement and experience of Brigadier Radford and his men. They are on the ground and we are not. If we lose, it will be because we have defeated ourselves by a lack of nerve, and if that happens the sacrifice will be in vain. Keep the faith.

  • Yokel

    Collins is wrong. They said that about Vietnam as well. Yes killing them makes it harder because contrary to the oft quoted maxim that for everyone you kill 2 will be waiting to take their place, there is a point where manpower becomes an issue.

    In such a situation though the Taliban will simply shift tactics and sustain a lower level action.

  • smcgiff

    Yip this reminded me of Vietnam as well. I can’t remember the exact figure, but they said every one american killed was the equivalent of x Vietnamese. I’m pretty sure it was more than just scores.

  • The Impartial Observer

    The real tragedy of Afghanistan is that if Bush had given it the attention it needed in the aftermath of the Taliban’s fall, it would probably be in a much better state than it is today, but of course Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz just saw it as a warm up for the “main event” in Iraq.

  • Kevster

    The kill ratio in South Vietnam was roughly 40 to 1. It must be borne in mind that there were some real problems with the whole “bodycount” thing. I mean, how exactly do you count the enemy after a large napalm attack? The population of Vietnam is, of course, much larger than Afghanistan.

    Honestly, I can’t find many parallels between Afghanistan and Vietnam.

    But one thing is always true. If your tactics cause civilian casualties en masse, you will find you are creating enemies faster than you can kill them.

  • Driftwood

    5 of the soldiers killed were locally based, at Ballykinler. Some tributes have been laid there. 3 of them were 18 years old. Gordon Brown and his pathetic excuse for Minister for Defence need to show a lot more committment.
    And where are our European NATO allies fighting in the war against the Taliban?
    It’s our forces, the Yanks and Canadians.
    We really need Panther’s Claw to show some strategic victory, or public sentiment will turn against the battle for democracy. There is no alternative.

  • epicene

    Harold “poond in yr pcket” Wilson withstood constant & increasing pressure (even threats of IMF vetoes for the rapidly crumbling Sterling)to commit troops to Vietnam. Not for ethical reasons so much as realising the insanity of intervening in a civil war.
    The Afghan crisis was a wholly owned, financed and armed creation of the US in the late 1970s under Carter, purely to DRAW IN Russia which had no interest in occupation of the country.
    Recently Gates whined that he knew how valuable border sanctuaries in Pakistan were to guerillas “ I was the station chief there training & funding the muhjahaddein..” with apparently neither shame nor irony.

  • Secret Squirrel

    Drifty: – And where are our European NATO allies fighting in the war against the Taliban?

    They’re not there because they’re not there, because they’re not there, because they’re not there…..

  • Moody Blues Man
  • Secret Squirrel

    There is a connection. :o)

    Hmm. Some nice mellow vibes to work to. Thank you Moody Blues Man.