W.T. Warren in Cornwall make darned fine Stollen - that is the trouble with my spelling!
Here is the actual article that is stolen from Oooop North rather than down South stollen!
More about Dannatt & Cameron than Doughnuts & Cameroons, however on matters Military Fox needs all the help he can get to understand which way is up!
Backing the wrong horse
by Concerned Soldier » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:39 pm
I have been following Richard North’s Blog for most of this year and as a serving officer (shortly to retire at age 60); I must say that his evolving position on this conflict (and Telic) makes more and more sense as events progress.
In particular I agree with his opinion that the Press and the Conservative opposition (and the public) are barking up the wrong tree with regard to portioning all the blame for the misconduct of operations in Afghanistan on the Labour Government, although many of the strategic errors do firmly lie at their door.
Who can forget Dr John Reid and no wonder he has gone into hiding! However much more of the responsibility for our poor prosecution of the campaign should fall on the Chiefs of Staff, service commanders and staffs at many levels in both operations and procurement.
I am concerned that neither the politicians or military commanders and the media have any appreciation of the political necessity of the “limited” war or COIN campaign, many of which our soldiers have died in since WW2 e.g. Korea and the Indonesian Confrontation. God forbid that Dannatt should turn out to be a latter-day Douglas MacArthur!
Lastly Cameron must find someone better suited to the defence portfolio than Dr Fox one of Cameron’s token “old-timers” who clearly he doesn’t see as good enough to be the future Health minister (he was a GP after all).
This indicates that Cameron views Defence in the same way as Blair and Brown did, as being at the bottom of the Cabinet pecking order.
Much as I want to see the back of this Labour administration and gloat over many of its cabinet and ex cabinet ministers as the lose their seats on election night, I have little confidence in the potential incoming Conservative government.
When Cameron at his Party’s Conference stated that his shadow cabinet were inexperienced in Defence matters, he was not wrong! However choosing Dannatt as his adviser is an error that even I wouldn’t make.
Might I say he and his shadow defence secretary need to spend a bit of time with some of our eminent military historians and RUSI members including even Richard North and Max Hastings, before he mixes with any ex Chiefs of Staff.
To view the original CLICK HERE
It is well worth considering that Dunnatt has experience as a soldier, as a Captain in Northern Ireland, hence perhaps his popularity with Corps. Majors, jnr. Line Majors and below whilst being held in some derision as a politician, by more senior officers.
The military management of Afghanistan has been, is and will be a catastrophic failure leading to ever escalating casualties on all sides. Clearly there is absolutely no progress on the part of the allies as they have failed to understand the aim, the mission or the day to day job.
Let us take a simple single point - the Taliban are in the main of one tribe - Pashtun and are mainly farmers and land owners. Afghanistan having been churned into a war zone, based on concepts that have absolutely no local support or empathy, farming, storage and markets have been largely destroyed, as have grain and feed stores.
As a result the dealers tend to be mobile and larger and larger parcels are created as the dealers deal their product amongst the Pashtun to safe storage which is in what is called The Tribal Territories of The North West Frontier where even the Pakistanni Army is loath to go! The food is then sold back to Afghanisatan through a newtwork of dealers at Taliban prices and if you upset the Taliban you go hungry!
Britain has around 2 to 2.1/2 1,000 fighting troops in Afghanistan out of a Miltary force of 9,000 on the ground thus at any time around on shift around 600 available! These are backed up by some 11,000 civvies of NGOs, QUANGOs and service units.
20,000 in all - perhaps you would care to speculate as to the cost of feeding this small army of 20,000 people - then perhaps you can imagine how hugely we could enrich the society whilst providing a market for the Pashtun farmers and starving out the Pashtun's war lords of The Tribal Lands of Pakistan.
Is it any wonder that we are hated? We import ALL our food into Helmand!
Do you believe the war would last very long if we offered to source and buy as much food as we could locally AND we would pay 15% over the going rate (easily funded from the cost of fuel to import) and that we would pay for the food 30 days after delivery in gold coin but we would only pay if there was no incident bomb or killing within 10 miles of point of delivery.
We could then agree, having built allegiances and trust, to build a new secure grain and feed store in a different village in every 60 day period without incident etc. etc.
There are some 15 to 20 tribes in Helmand alone and then within the tribes there are family divisions and allegiances - has this imbecile Dunnatt or the fool Fox managed to understand this rivalry and these competitive elements?
Has the British government managed to comprehend that the Pashtuns were Pashtuns long before the birth of Christ, they were the ancient Pashtun peoples long before the prophet Mohammed and the birth of Islam and they had been Pashtuns for Millenia before the concept of Afghanistan - the Pashtuns being one of The Semetic tribes of Israel.
Has the British government, who seem to have little understanding of the rivalries between Liverpool and Manchester and less of working WITH the Irish, any inkling of the resentment of The Pashtuns at having a bunch of yahoo idiots telling them what to do in their land and trying to impose Kabul government with fake democracy on them. The Pashtuns were Pashtuns leading much the same life as they moved from tell to tell over 2,000 years before the white man found America they were established people when the Brits were wearing woad and the Icini were at war!
Now consider General Sir Richard Dannatt is to become a Conservative defence advisor and join the Tory benches in the House of Lords! Does this not show that this foolish self seeking, self important failed General even as a politician will NEVER understand the problems or solutions in Afghanistan since neither he nor little David Cameron even understand the simple tribal rules and ciustoms of these United Kingdoms where it is an accepted taboo that a General shall be politicised - by all means he may be elevated to The House of Lords if considered of sufficient merit, which clearly neither Jackson nor Dunnatt are, but to prostitute his career by politicising it is beyond the pale.
As a result of Military & Political ineptitude the British Army has just been thrashed and forced to scuttle out of Iraq in abject ignominy - it is clear with people like Jackson, Fox, Dunnatt, Ainsworth, Cameron and the like one wonders when William Hills will be making book for the date of the retreat.
This debacle is cheduled/budgeted to cost £4,500,000,000 - YES £4.1/2 Billion next year alone and since when could The Ministry of Defeat organise a garden party raffle let alone for it to come in on budget!
Yet more young lads will be sent home in boxes, if there are enough bits, or with their legs, arms or sanity blown to bits - often to be jeered in the streets for their bravery because the cannile of yobs know all too well what our self serving politicians do not - this war, as with Iraq is unlawful and a crime against humanity brought about by Tony Blair and his cabinet to make a name for themselves an buy status!
What have the parents, children and loved ones to hold onto? Oh yes, I forgot an implausible and entirely politicised fudge called an inquest and as for the maimed they are just dumped onto our streets with all the due ceremony of those who returned from The Crimea or Hook when, with only his VC, he returned from Roerk's Drift where General Lord Chelmsford had ridden out for a picnic luncheon leaving his troops at Isindlwana where he lost AN ARMY and where he provided no support to the Military Hospital at Roerk's Drift leaving it to the mercy of 1,000s of Cheteswayo's Zulus and his brother's rival Indunas!
This is all increasingly clear as it was only today that Barrack Obama was awarded The Nobel Prize for not being George W. Bush.
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