Thursday, September 07, 2006

NATO forces in Afghanistan

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said today that the British forces are being asked to do too much in what is a NATO operation in Afghanistan (I heard him on World Service radio - I can't find the exact quote but the basic story is here or here). He said as directly as you'll hear from an international diplomat that other alliance members need to step up and help out.

Within the UK there is increasing coverage of the intensity of the fighting in Afghanistan - described by one senior commander as the most intense since Korea (so more intense than the battles during the Falklands campaign?!) - as the numbers killed are rising by the day. Footage from one para's mobile phone (click on the video link top right) has made it on to the BBC despite the MoD stopping journalists from visiting the areas of combat.

For the second time in as many days, I'll link to Alex at the Yorkshire Ranter who has been looking at Afghanistan in much greater depth and with more expertise (I presume from a military background) over the months, and who suggested today the conceivable notion that it will be one of these small UK "fire bases" that the Taliban seem to be throwing men suicidally at in waves, finally being over-run and all in it killed that will bring down the Blair government.

Anyway - which NATO nations aren't doing all that they should? It definitely can't be the Canadians.


KGS said...

Sounds like to me that " an estimated 200 Taleban insurgents killed and 80 captured during the weekend operation." are sign of success. Only in the present age can killing ones enemy be interpreted as negative development.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

But we're not talking about how many Taliban they're killing because that doesn't have an impact on British politics - it's the number British (or Canadians for Canada) soldiers dying that does. The mission will fail if political support for it collapses, and this will happen if over-stretched and under-equipped soldiers keep getting killed. Very few people argue they shouldn't be there, most just argue that if they are there they should be supported properly.

KGS said...

I understand what you just wrote; "that it's the number of British/Canadian dead that will be the decisive factor on British politics. I just happen to believe that the many of our polticians (British and American) are feckless, lacking the backbone of a prior generation, and project such a defeatest attitude, that could only serve to encourage this new breed of totalitarianism.

In the arena of modern day politics, where the number of enemy taken permanently off the battlefield is autmatically equated with "their numbers increasing", speaks loudly of the mindset, that has been against any kind of "persuasive intervention" against the Islamists.

Like Jimmy Carter in N.Korea, they will always see a partner in tyranny that they can do business with. Sadly it only serves to put off the day of reckoning for a future generation.

When killing the leader of your enemy (example in case al-Zarqawi) is a spun by the politicians of the opposition, to mean a never ending battle,(read=not a good thing) tells me that they have given up, and actually believe that the only way out, is through appeasement.

I believe all this to be bunk, and demeaning to the men and women who are putting their lives in harms way for the benifit of their societies.

KGS said...

For the record, I realize that you are just observing the British politic, and what events will determine their future moves.