Friday, 24 October 2014

Under-prepared, under-resourced and no clear strategy

On 23 October 2014, Larisa Brown said this in The Daily Mail:
“In a scathing critique of the UK’s involvement in Afghanistan, a series of British military commanders admitted a failure to appreciate the size of the task and that mistakes were made in the build-up to the fight. At times, troops were so stretched there was a risk they would be ‘massacred'...

Military chiefs failed to calculate the potential dangers and the size of the forces needed for the war in Afghanistan, General Sir Peter Wall admitted yesterday.
The former Chief of the General Staff made the damning statement in a BBC documentary ahead of the upcoming withdrawal of Western troops from the country after 13 years of war.

Another senior military commander said the UK was ‘under-prepared, under-resourced’ and had no clear strategy to succeed in the conflict.."
Sir Peter added:
“We had put forward a plan… saying that… for the limited objectives that we had set ourselves, this was a reasonable force. And I freely admit now, that calculus was wrong.”
Brigadier Ed Butler, Commander of the British Forces in Helmand in 2006, said:
“We were under-prepared, we were under-resourced, and most importantly, we didn’t have a clear and achievable strategy to deliver success.”
In 2006, however, Butler had said quite the opposite describing British forces as ‘well-prepared and well-equipped.’

General Lord Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff, added:
“We knew that we were heading for two considerable size operations and we really only had the organisation and manpower for one. Therefore perhaps we should have revisited the decision…We didn’t do that… There was a real danger… that we would find a platoon cut off and potentially massacred.”
Thus did 447 British soldiers die in Afghanistan. 

Thus were more than a thousand others horribly injured.

During the course of WW1 a German general described our young men as ‘lions led by donkeys.’
"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose?"
Perhaps I’m being a little harsh. At least the Generals have had the good grace to admit they got it wrong, something our politicians never do. And yet… see the article immediately below.

Oh yes, the times they are a-changing all right.

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