As an antidote to Sandy Gall, in the current edition of The Week, we have Crispin Black on "The terrible truth about our wasted sacrifice in Afghanistan". His piece makes for sombre reading. Here are some excerpts:
Not only did we lose in the province for which we were responsible, Helmand. We lost because our generals have no idea how to deploy our troops to best effect.Then he concludes:
One of the reasons the top brass were so keen to get involved in Afghanistan was to restore the army's reputation after its defeat in Iraq at the hands of Shia militiamen in Basra. They reckoned they could handle things in Afghanistan.
Senior British commanders in Afghanistan in 2006, backed by their bosses in London … deliberately and recklessly disregarded an eternal military axiom: never split your forces …
And then the shooting war which we had just about mastered changed. The dastardly Taliban switched tactics and started to blow up our soldiers on patrol with roadside bombs or Improvised Explosive Devices, in the jargon.
An army which had spent a generation facing just such threats in Northern Ireland was taken by surprise without the bomb disposal equipment or protective vehicles to cope. Soldiers on resupply runs in Belfast in the 1980s travelled in vehicles with heavier armour than their counterparts on the frontline in Afghanistan 20 years later.
There is one overarching truth about the contemporary British Army that they and the rest of us are reluctant to face up to. Yes, soldiers in today's army are more experienced than their predecessors. They are better trained and equipped and more decorated. We have all been inspired by their example and their fortitude in adversity.And that is why get the likes of Dannatt and Richards creating a veritable blizzard of diversionary pieces – anything to throw the MSM off the scent, and salvage their reputations.
But in the end they have failed in their only purpose - they don't win their wars.
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