This is great. Many Europeans have been telling us for years that we don't belong in Afghanistan and should have left years ago. So, now we leave and they're still not happy. The British are mad we left? They basically left years ago.
No, there to the end, including the post 2014 stabilisation force until this year. Their leaving was effectively dictated by the US, under Trump it would have been in May though I struggle to see what difference it would make, my views on the current UK government are very negative but Defence Secretary Wallace is a former Soldier who will be reflecting the real anger that many feel for all those killed or badly injured only to have this situation occur.
Further up it was asked whether ‘the Brits’ had ever won any counter insurgencies, Malaya, Cyprus, Borneo, Oman, as far as you can judge a win against a non conventional force. Look who wasn’t involved in these.
Considering the stated goal of the Provisional IRA’s ‘armed struggle’ was to force through violence the withdrawl of all British influence in N.I despite the majority there not wanting this and the goal of the military/security presence was to hold the line until political sense prevailed, it’s clear who did not ‘win’. Not that a military victory was possible as one side advised it’s political masters from the start.
But it took decades. Longer than Afghanistan not that I am directly comparing the two places.
LBJ insulted, threatened, put direct economic pressure on the UK to join in Vietnam and many in the US resented or even hated us for not even sending the token presence they wanted. Until 1966 the UK forces were winning in Borneo, without a single bomb dropped from an aicraft, then with that over, then the withdrawl East Of Suez, a goal of US ‘anti colonialism’ until the Cold War when suddendly we had to stay it seemed. Too late and too unaffordable.
Don’t think I am just US bashing here since unlike the wise Harold Wilson who listened to his own Defence Secretary and refused LBJ, too many British PM’s have drunk the same Kool Aid as their American counterparts, Blair was more aware of the Mid East and did beleive in nation building but he ignored his own experts, Cabinet decision making broke down and we ended up in Iraq.
In 2006 the UK led an enhanced NATO mission in Afghanistan, the GWB admins lack of interest in Afghanistan after chasing the Taliban out, using help from other groups barely less brutal and at least as corrupt, if not more, problem was the Taliban had several years to regroup, some of the Parachute Regiment troops based in FOBs in now hostile areas had firefights the most intense since the Korean War.
But all the above his history, one that certain Western nations, the US and increasingly the UK too, simply do not learn from, or rather elect those to power that haven’t.
What is happening in Afghanistan now is most of all about the suffering many in Afghanistan, who put their trust in us will endure, likely further mass migrations in a world already choked with them from other wars and environmental pressures.
This is a massive defeat for the West, the US in the eyes of Islamic fundamentalists, has cut and run again, Lebanon 1984, Somalia 1993, Iraq 2011, they even see the felling of the Shah of Iran in 1979 the same way.
Bear in mind that the late, unlamented Bin Laden took the Soviet withdrawl as a victory, of ‘pure’ Islam against a superpower.
Biden is left holding the baby, well he was against the Obama surge after 2009, though it is ironic to have it claimed further up that all his foreign policy is always wrong, from of all things, a GWB cheerleader!
Remember, the admin so concerned about Afghanistan and the then link to the terrorists that even while the fires in the collapsed twin towers still were burning were looking at bombing targets - in Iraq!
According to an exasperated intel officer.
Whether there will be political blowback for Biden rather depends if any kind of terrorist group sets up in Afghanistan again, maybe the Taliban have learned from last time not to allow that, then again it was thought less than two days ago Kabul would hold on for a month or so.
What a horrible century we live in, the worst terror attacks, a bloody 20 year endgame leading to this, the US recently and the UK now, having the worst leaders in their modern histories, the environmental chickens that even I, at my bog standard comprehensive 40 years ago learned about, coming home to roost.
Know what? A part of me preferred the Cold War, if nothing else it encouraged restraint on both sides, including voters in two leading NATO nations.
Last edited by GDB
on Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.