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Taliban on the run again?

UK military authorities are claiming the Taliban in Southern Afghanistan has been ‘tactically defeated’, which can mean quite a variety of different things. Certainly the accounts of what has been going on there indicate bloody hard fighting down to bayonet range on occasion and given the lack of resources at their disposal, any significant victory against the casualty insensitive Taliban reflects rather well on the British Army.

Now if only the UK government would get rid of some of the many utterly pointless government departments, say for starters the Department of Trade and Industry and the truly preposterous Department of Culture, Media and Sport), we could spend more on the military and still reduce the level of taxation. Well, one can wish…

24 comments to Taliban on the run again?

  • Gabriel

    we could spend more on the military and still reduce the level of taxation. Well, one can wish…

    Boo yah!

    If Cameron would only say that exact sentence, all would be forgiven.

  • cryptononcommie

    The fact that the 7th century Taliban savages are still running around reflects rather poorly on modern Western civilization. Classical Western civilization would have resolved the matter far quicker.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    crypto, perhaps you’d like to enlighten us on how to defeat the Taliban!

  • John K

    Kill ’em all, let God sort them out. Works as a plan for me.

  • Nick M

    Well Jonathan,

    It’s kinda simple… If the rest of Nato were prepared to pony up the troops and materiel then we could win this one quite quickly.

    I seem to recall that immediately post 9/11 Nato invoked Article 5. So where are the rest of you?

    On a deeper level, if all of Nato decided to go into the ‘stan and kick Tale-butt we’d send a general signal to the Islamicists that the West was united.

    Because together (if that ever happens) we are invincible.

    And they know that.

    PS. Perry, I very much doubt any member of the commentariat would challenge your final paragraph. I wish I had the cartoon from Private Eye a while back slagging off the DCMS – Do you suffer from irritable Jowell syndrome? Alas, long trashed.

  • If a genuine politician in a position to make things happen ever said something along those lines I might cry tears of happiness!

    I expect to be dry eyed for some time to come then…

  • cryptononcommie – yes, well…modern Western civilisation is somewhat leery of resorting to ruthless and widespread slaughter so early in the game, in a way that we perhaps weren’t in more brutal times. I think this reflects well on our civilisation, rather than poorly – it shows that we are worthy of the term.

    You’re very critical of the West, however I’ve asked you before what your people are doing about the problems you so enthusiastically identify. Funnily enough, you haven’t felt the need to respond. Not once. Perhaps it’s time to take a wee peek in the looking-glass?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Nick M, well of course, you answered the question well, and more troops might – might – do the trick. Then again, the terrain is extremely hard to deal with even for a big force.

  • cryptononcommie

    James Waterton:
    It’s approximately 1400 years into the game. When exactly will resorting the “ruthless and widespread slaughter,” as you pejoratively refer to it, actually be appropriate? I hope that you realize that you only view some actions as “ruthless and widespread slaughter” due to your own cultural biases (“cultural imperialism” as well). Perhaps it is time to shed modern Western cultural imperialism, and do onto others as they would do onto you. Anyways, I hope that you realize that displaying weakness only emboldens the enemy, and will eventually lead to even more casualties. Well, at least doing it your way, you will eventually be able to say “well, we tried being nice, it didn’t work out too well, perhaps it’s time to try something new.” I hope that that time will come about rather soon, or else it may be too late (especially once Iran is allowed to go nuclear).

    As for what “my people” are doing, I must apologize for not replying sooner. The answer to your question is such: “my people” fought against the jihad while your barbarian ancestors were still busy killing all sorts of other people (mostly cultural Westerners). My people won some victories; they held back the jihadis for a while, buying your barbarian ancestors quite a bit of time. Eventually, however, without considerable outside assistance, facing a huge empire of ruthless warriors not hindered by Christian morals, and emboldened by a stronger “more ruthless” God, my people eventually fell to the jihad. Ever since, it’s all been downhill. The touch of Mohammed is the reverse of King Midas’: everything they touch turns to shit. “My people” are still recovering; anyways, their valiant effort may have ensured that “your people” did not have to suffer what they suffered; in my mind, even though they can do little now, they did their part when they were able to do so, and in doing so, they did more than “your people” ever did, and helped “your people” far more than “your people” ever helped them. I hope that that answers your question.

  • Jim Keenan

    Am I being overly cynical in pointing out that the Taliban withdrawl – and our tactical victory – occur at precisely the moment when the Opium crop is in and when thw local warbands traditionally withdraw for the winter.

    Could it be that the ‘unexpected’ aggresiveness of the Taliban had something to do with our stated intention to destroy the Opium crop, our enemies primary strategic source of funding. It may be entirely co-incidental that our entire focus has been strategically defensive in the last few months, preventing our putting into action the tactically offensive strategy with which we entered the engagement.

    The enemy has secured this years opium crop and de-railed our ink-blot – hearts & Minds – strategy. Is claiming a tactical victory our way of saying we have suffered a strategic defeat?


  • gravid

    Hitting the nail on the head Jim.

    Massive crop this year by all accounts too.

    Strikes me as odd how, whenever the western military are operating in certains parts of the world the drug products hit our streets so much easier. Vietnam, central America, Afghnaistan, Afghanistan. Have to include Afghanistan twice as they had to pay for their stingers with hash in the early eighties…

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Crypto, so I ask the question again, what sort of actions would you favour that might win the campaign against the Taliban? Ranting about “my people” means nothing. Nick M. suggested more troops. What do you suggest?

  • Why doesn’t the NHS just buy up all the opium, produce its own supply of morphine and heroin (I forget the PC version of it’s name to spare the blushes of prescription holders) and with the rest dispense for free at treatment centres to reduce the power of the drug gangs in this country?

    Happy Afghans. Happy NHS. Happy smackers but weakened drug gangs. Result.

  • The war is western civilization vs Tribalism. Islam is just the major representative of tribalism.

    As to Culture, Media, and Sports. Looks like they have gathered all the whores in one spot.

    Oh? Not that kind of sports? More is the pity.

  • Tim C,

    You might find this of interest:

    Is Addiction Real?

  • gravid,

    I miss the operations in Thailand. Lebanon. Nepal. etc.

  • Johnathan Pearce,

    I think one of the major funding sources of the enemies of civilization could be dealt a body blow for the price of some paper and ink.

    End drug prohibition.

    Of course whole armies of folks will have to find new employment.

  • gravid

    M…good point. off to read your blog now.

  • Phil Hellene

    By the sound of it, ‘Crypto”s people could be:

    – Greeks
    – Armenians
    – (non-Muslim) Kurds
    – (non-Muslim) Persians
    – Assyrians
    – (non-Muslim) Albanians
    – Copts
    – Serbs
    – Montenegrins
    – Bulgars
    – Romanians
    – (non-Muslim) Indians

    etc. etc.

    Oddly, for such a ‘peaceful’ religion there are so many possibilities…

  • Re knocking the DTI and DCMS on the head—there’s a good half-dozen more we could do without, with DEFRA at the top of the list.

    And if we abolished every QUANGO, not only would we deprive thousands of NuLabour leeches of the opportunity to boss us about and be pointless wastes of skin, but we’d save £123 billion a year. That’s more the size of the US defence budget than the UK’s.

  • Steve P

    TimC: Diamorphine.

  • cryptononcommie – before I start on a response, where are you from1?

  • Midwesterner

    James Waterton,

    Just curious. Especially in light of Phil Hellene’s comment, why does it matter? I have a reflexive response when people ask about ethnicity and they’re not bragging about food, music, etc.

    Again, just curious. While I emphatically disagree with his statement “do onto others as they would do onto you”, I wonder what his ethnicity has to do with the merits of his opinions. You probably have a good reason for asking.

  • Julian Taylor

    I think that one of our problems with Afghanistan is still that nobody in our government is tipping their caps at all towards history. Neverminding the bestial Taleban, and their notions of Islamic Year-Zero toward all and sundry, this country is, always has been and I bet will always be pretty much bloody impossible to deal with by the West or Russia. We have seen several former Soviet generals recently publicly comment on how Britain, Canada and other NATO units need to rethink what their objectives and intentions are in Afghanistan, rather than just having platoons and squads dumped in tactical bases with unlimited ammunition (US and Canadian ammo, by the way since our own MoD is unable to supply all the ammunition required by our troops). Couple these warnings with our own monumentally disastrous history of expeditions into Afghanistan (“Auckland’s Folly” of 1842, the massacre of the Kabul garrison in 1878 and the tactically brilliant Amanullah massacre of British forces in 1919 and I do get a somewhat cynical picture that our government might not know its bottom from its elbow regarding that region of the world.

    I am still at a loss though to understand why the British Army is unable to give its full support to its troops out there though. We hear that they have no problem with numbers of combat troops but that they lack specialists in supply, sanitation and the myriad of other mundane yet essential things that a modern army depends upon. Is this possibly due to the contracting out of support services to private enterprises, which face difficulty getting staff into war zones? Or is it, as I feel may be more likely, that some senior staff are using this deployment as a means of forcing the treasury’s hand on future financing?