UK defence issues and the odd container or two

ISAF Image Number 1

Just spent an idle hour browsing through the ISAF photostream on Flickr, this was the first image they uploaded, although obviously not the first image of ISAF in Afghanistan.

Capt. Paul Brewer Operational Mentoring Liaison Team leads Afghan National Army soldiers on a patrol south of the Kajaki Dam June 15 2008 first ISAF Flickr image 740x491 ISAF Image Number 1

Capt. Paul Brewer, Operational Mentoring Liaison Team, leads Afghan National Army soldiers on a patrol south of the Kajaki Dam June 15, 2008

Is there a metaphor in there, long and winding roads and all that!

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Think Defence hopes to start sensible conversations about UK defence issues, no agenda or no campaign but there might be one or two posts on containers, bridges and mexeflotes!

12 Comments

  1. Derek

    No metaphor, simple message though. This is a giant third world wasteland and we are squandering resources attempting to turn something that is barely sophisticated enough to understand what a democratic sovereign state is into one.

  2. x

    I hear heroin poppy production figures are up for the year.

    I wonder what the nutritional and water needs of the poppy are like compared to say a cereal plant?

  3. monkey

    Harvard University have done a report on the cost of the recent wars. The report states: “The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, taken together, will be the most expensive wars in US history—totalling somewhere between $4 trillion and $6 trillion.” Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies states the cost ” In the 10 years since U.S. troops went into Afghanistan to root out the al Qaeda leaders behind the September 11, 2001, attacks, spending on the conflicts totalled $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion.”
    The UK’s cost is estimated at $50 billion (£37 billion) for Afghanistan alone.
    No wonder Afghanistan is known as the “Graveyard of Empires”
    From November 2001 one month after the decision to go into Afghanistan.
    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/57411/milton-bearden/afghanistan-graveyard-of-empires
    Do Politian’s ever read history books or are the words just to big?
    Or are their ego’s so big they could not comprehend they would repeat history?

  4. IXION

    Monkey

    Nope no one who can read history, or for that matter economics, or geography, could or should have thought Afghanistan was anything than a massive waste of time, money, and of course blood.

  5. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @X – They used to grow a lot of wheat in Afghanistan, so I’d guess it needs much the same as poppies…

    Up to a point, @Lord IXION…perfectly good reasons for a short sharp punitive expedition…although the Taliban should have been given a little longer to hand over Bin Laden (or his head in a basket, along with those of his key acolytes)…none whatsoever for staying any longer than absolutely necessary…much less idiocies like education for girls, votes for women or democratic nation building generally.

    GNB

  6. John Hartley

    Much as I love fantasy fleet/plane/tank/etc. I think we made a huge mistake in not going for “hearts & minds” as soon as we got into Afghanistan. Women used to walk around in jeans in Afghanistan in the early 1970s. We should have reminded them of that. They will ignore Western propaganda, but we should have been distributing “liberal” Islamic voices from many nations. Show that you can be a good Muslim AND a moderate.

  7. Ace Rimmer

    JH, “Women used to walk around in jeans in Afghanistan in the early 1970s. ” They did in Egypt as well, I feel that the current vogue of Islamic conservatism has a lot to do with Western influences being linked to a general decline in moral standards in Islamic countries.

  8. dgos

    Well it seams to me that the global warming kinks have supported both operations .

    Just how much CO2 have they put out in both operational plant and transport.

    As I understand it the main reason for Afgan’ was because we did not know which of our Muslims were going there for training – now they are off to Syria.

    Has the cost been set against the ‘value’ of the immigrant population ion the economic evaluations.

    What a mad world!

  9. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @JH/AR – true enough, but I suspect that we are talking about a very limited number of upper-middle class women living in smart urban enclaves (which included heavily-policed City Centres) who were part of a ruling class who were rich, sophisticated and very often comfortable in the West…but who ran their own countries much as we had run them when they were under British or French influence (and protection,although of a rather self-interested sort)…true also of the Afghan Aristocratic and Princely Dynasties who ran the show there before the Communist take-over…likewise the Shah’s Iran before the Ayatollahs arrived…

    I met a fair few at a Russell Group University in the UK in the 1970’s. and during a Post-graduate year in a similarly solid US Institution afterwards; they mostly considered the majority of their own fellow-countrymen to be ignorant peasants…the townsmen a little better, because they were helpful shop-keepers, skilled artisans and craftsmen and diligent and loyal servants…but they expected to run their countries in perpetuity, much as an eighteenth century French Count might.

    A few, obviously, were patriots who went back when things fell apart in various ways (a fair few of those in the Afghan Northern Alliance I believe)…others were both patriotic and ideological and may well now be wearing beards and running the show…most settled down comfortably with their money in London, Paris or New York…

    But representative of the general culture of their homelands they very definitely were not…

    GNB

  10. IXION

    I have to say that there is at least one positive sign.

    The fact that the majority of people who could vote did vote. Despite rain and taliban threats. That large scale intimidation or electoral fraud was avoided 2 as also a good sign.

    However the 3 people likely to be in the run offs each rep one of he 3 big tribes…. not so good news….

    Still despite my cynicism nice to see.

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