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Samizdata quote of the day

Former US representative in Kandahar, Bill Harris, told the paper that the embarrassing mistake was not Britain’s alone, saying “something this stupid generally requires teamwork.”

Many thanks to Taylor Dinerman for the heads up on this QOTD material:

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2 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    Our “friends” the Russian government (via RT) have been laughing about this for days.

    But there is a broad point here.

    Whatever the flaws of the American intelligence services and armed forces the United States still has such things.

    I do not think the Afghan operation is well thought out (for example the supply lines, whether via Pakistan or via “former” Soviet Central Asia, are hopeless – they are in hostile areas), but the American military will fight on if allowed to do so.

    The British position is quite different.

    For all the individual courage of certain soldiers and agents the STRUCTURE is not there.

    Firstly poltical (i.e. P.C.) thinking is endemic in the British higher ranks.

    Every high ranking officer seems to think in terms of “talking with the Taliban” – rather than defeating them.

    “But defeating them is not possible” – if that is so then all Western forces should leave at once, for “talking” is not going to achieve anything with people who hold to this interpreation of Islam (sorry but ideology matters) they will just lie and cheat – till the time is right to cut the throats of all they deem to be opponents (and they will hold that God blesses them for their lies and for their murders).

    In any case the American military can fight – whether it will be allowed to do so, or whether victory is possible in this situation are different questions.

    The British military and intelligence structure can NOT fight.

    Again I am not questioning the courage of individuals (especially private soldiers and noncoms), but the STRUCTURE is not there.

    In every case (in Iraq as well as Afghanistan) when the British military (and so on) was given a job to do – it could not do it.

    This is not going to get better (even though what is left of the Royal Navy is being abolished – in order to carry on the fight in Afghanistan for a little while longer).

    For the third time I am not questioning the indivdual courage of British soldiers – but I believe if the army is given a vital task to do in Afghanistan it will prove unable to do it.

    American commanders must understand that (if they do not already).

    To be blunt – a British flag in a map of general combat (i.e. “the British will hold such and such an area – or take such and such an area”) might as well be taken out.

    A British flag, on such a map, is basically the same as no flag at all. For example, “the British are guarding that flank” really means “no one is guarding that flank”. The British soldiers will fight well (perhaps better than American soldiers), but it will be individuals and small groups trying to survive – not a force that can win a war (even if their senior officers thought in military terms – which they do not, they think in P.C. “talks” terms, again to be blunt their basic form of thought is “how best do we make a deal in order to save face politically”).

    Do not expect such a military or intelligence structure to carry out any large scale important role .

  • Laird

    Clearly he does not agree with Hanlon’s Razor.