MHO Home   Forum Home   Help   Register   Login
 
 
Welcome to MilitaryHistoryOnline.com.
You are not signed in.
The current time is: 11/18/2017 4:28:28 PM
 (2000-Pres) Current Day Military talk (No Partisan Politics)    
AuthorMessage
anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ????
Posted on: 10/17/2017 8:02:24 AM
The British and American presence in Afghanistan was triggered by the attacks on the US mainland on 11 September 2001.

The UK, led at the time by Prime Minister Tony Blair, lost 67 people on 9/11, more than any other country apart from the US. In the aftermath of the attack, Tony Blair was vociferous in his support for the United States, gaining considerable popularity there as a result.

It was probable, then, that the UK would participate alongside the United States in any military retaliation against the perpetrators of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

In terms of its domestic politics, the United States needed to be seen to respond aggressively to the al-Qaeda-led incursions onto its territory. This was not the case in the United Kingdom IMHO.


Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5516

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/17/2017 9:06:30 AM
First Jim, the response to the invasion of Afghanistan was by a multinational coalition. I know that you did not mean to indicate that it was a British and American response.

I am not sure that the British losses in that horrible attack on the twin towers were the sole reason that the UK decided to send troops to Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan conflict is not over but there is debate in the UK and in my country as to why we sent troops to Afghanistan.

Was it solely to deny al-Qeada a training base?

Was it a humanitarian mission to help the Afghanistan people?

Was it because the UK had identified a domestic terrorist problem?

Was the UK trying to protect its interests in areas of the world that it considered to be important to the UK?


In the case of my country, the government authorized the deployment of troops for the following reasons:

1. to defend Canada’s national interests,

2. to ensure Canadian leadership in world affairs

3. help tin the rebuild of the country

4. to defend Canadian values

Reason #4 does not sound like a Canadian speaking. We generally do no go about preaching about Canadian values in foreign affairs issues.
Many Canadians recoil when they hear that sort of self serving rhetoric that presumes righteousness on our side and therefore, evil on the other.

One writer summed up our reasons for being there. Michelle Mandell said, "because the US wanted us there".


Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2859

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/17/2017 9:22:37 AM
George,

Here! here!

MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/17/2017 9:55:51 AM

Quote:
The UK, led at the time by Prime Minister Tony Blair, lost 67 people on 9/11, more than any other country apart from the US. In the aftermath of the attack, Tony Blair was vociferous in his support for the United States, gaining considerable popularity there as a result.


Re Tony Blair-The war monger has not changed a jot-we tried to have him indicted for war crimes; but hr is TEFLON coated'

Britain could send more troops to Afghanistan after NATO requested extra support to help the USA in the fight against the Taliban.

The United States has written to NATO members about its existing 13,000-strong presence in the country with the possibility of sending more troops to be considered at a meeting in Brussels later this month.

British combat troops left Afghanistan in 2014; but there are still about 500 on the ground training local Afghan military forces.

The prospect of sending more troops to the country is likely to prove extremely divisive with a total of 456 British forces personnel or Ministry of Defence civilians having been killed while serving in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001. May is likely to be for it; but Corbyn will be against. It could well prove damaging politically.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/17/2017 10:03:07 AM
U.S.-AFGHANISTAN RELATIONS-US State Dept Stattement


Quote:
Afghanistan remains an important partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism, working with us to eliminate the remnants of al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

In order to strengthen Afghanistan’s capabilities as a partner, and to improve the lives of the Afghan people, we continue to invest U.S. resources to help Afghanistan improve its security, governance, institutions and economy.

Our strong bilateral partnership is guided by the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America (SPA) signed in May 2012, which lays out respective economic and political commitments, as well as by the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) signed in September 2014, which lays out mutual security understandings.

In July 2012, following the entry into force of the SPA, President Obama designated Afghanistan a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA).


Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1385

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/17/2017 8:24:14 PM
Wow, George!

Where did this come from?
Quote:

In the case of my country, the government authorized the deployment of troops for the following reasons:

1. to defend Canada’s national interests,

2. to ensure Canadian leadership in world affairs

3. help tin the rebuild of the country

4. to defend Canadian values

I agree with you that Item 4 doesn't ring true to Canadian dialogue. But to be honest, I'm not sure what national interests of Canada's were defended by joining the attack on Afghanistan. I'm damned certain this did not promote or ensure "Canadian leadership". Canada, until that time, had a reputation as a peace-keeper, not an assault partner. Whoever was detailing Canada's involvement, I think they missed on three of four points.

My understanding at the time was that Canadian forces went in a two-fold capacity. We were to support rendering the Taliban an ineffective government, and as an ancillary were to help deny Al Qaida training bases and other support, and were to provide basic support to rebuild a civilian infrastructure (under, it must be said, a puppet government?). On a very personal note, I honestly hoped that the Taliban destruction of World Heritage sites might also be curtailed, but I guess that wasn't PC enough!

Our commitment was, IIRC, made by a federal Liberal government, probably by that time under the banner of Paul Martin. When he was defeated by Mr Harper (when was that, 2004?), Canada's continued involvement became a different matter. Were the points you raised from the PMO of Mr Harper, I could understand.

Am I glad as a Canadian that my troops fought in Afghanistan? Dunno. I would like to think that Canadian troops proved capable in combat when it was necessary. And I hope that Canada's troops showed a kinder, less biased face of North America than would otherwise have been seen. But I think ultimately we failed. You can't kill 'em one day and try to pacify and organize 'em the next. And you can't bring a foreign value to bear on what makes a society function.

As for Michelle Mandell: I think she's wrong. I think Canada was there to help support part of the UN-led mission to Afghanistan, and was perhaps later drawn into a more specific campaign.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1385

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/17/2017 9:16:44 PM
Jim, just to underline George's point, there were hosts of nations with troops in Afghanistan, and not all of them there at the behest of the US. Many were committed through UN requirements. I think that's how at least Canada and Norway and Germany and others got involved, and maybe even Britain. You might want to ask Kai. ...

Are you confusing British involvement in Afghanistan with British involvement in Iraq? Because PM Blair did a sterling job of misleading the British nation about the threat from Iraq, and the existence of WMDs and the like. IMHO, the two campaigns have been conflated into an assault on terrorism, while I'm not convinced either of these distinct campaigns (wars, assaults, or what you will as a descriptor) was more than a tangential response to the real challenge 9/11 put forward.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5516

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/17/2017 10:23:44 PM
Brian, the initial entry authorized by the Chrétien Liberals was as part of a NATO led combat mission, was it not?

NATO invoked Article 5 of the Treaty of Washington. An attack on one member is an attack on all.

I believe that this was the first time that Article 5 had been invoked.

So Canada was in it, in a combat role, not as peace keepers.

On Dec. 7, 2001, Canada sent elite special forces of JTF2 to Afghanistan. I can't remember whether we were told about it or not. As I recall, we were shocked to see Canadian special forces stepping from a transport plane with prisoners in tow.

Then Parliament quickly decided how much more they could ramp up the commitment. The Liberals and the Conservatives were onside and gave the rationale for participation that I cited in a previous post.

Only the NDP's Alex McDonough demurred. She felt that we should only go under the UN umbrella.

And so a combat force was put together and sent to Afghanistan.

Cheers,

George


anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/18/2017 3:28:42 AM

Quote:
Jim, just to underline George's point, there were hosts of nations with troops in Afghanistan, and not all of them there at the behest of the US. Many were committed through UN requirements. I think that's how at least Canada and Norway and Germany and others got involved, and maybe even Britain. You might want to ask Kai. ...

Are you confusing British involvement in Afghanistan with British involvement in Iraq? Because PM Blair did a sterling job of misleading the British nation about the threat from Iraq, and the existence of WMDs and the like. IMHO, the two campaigns have been conflated into an assault on terrorism, while I'm not convinced either of these distinct campaigns (wars, assaults, or what you will as a descriptor) was more than a tangential response to the real challenge 9/11 put forward.

Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton


No Brian- I am not confusing Afghanistan with Iraq-I posed the question about Britain's continued military presence in Afghanistan is all-this arrangement of so called helping other countries to govern themselves is pure BS-too many lives lost in that game-it is because the real reason that troops are there- is to take part in the US inspired "war on terror"=in Afghanistan-here the US is fighting the Taliban.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1092

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/18/2017 5:10:45 AM
I thought Afghanistan was a NATO operation, certainly John Howard offered to invoke ANZUS.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/18/2017 5:19:54 AM
Riain-The United States has written to NATO members about its existing 13,000-strong presence in the country with the possibility of sending more troops to be considered at a meeting in Brussels later this month.

NB,British involvement With Afghanistan goes back to 1840 when there was a 1st war in which we were driven out.The second war wad 1877-79 which we won.The third war was in 1919 where we came to an agreement. Two Expeditions in the 1930's and a 4th war in 1938/39- interrupted by WW2. IMHO we did not succeed in bringing the Afghani to heel- in all that time- and this should be a lesson to others.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

jahenders
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
top 60
E-3 Private First Class
Posts: 54

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/18/2017 10:44:21 AM
As far as the UK winding up there in the first place:
1) The UK has been the target of quite a few terrorist attacks and understands the need to fight terrorism
2) The UK lost quite a few folks on 9/11
3) The UK has a long history in Afghanistan
4) The US and UK have long had a 'special relationship' where one supports the other in times of trouble

At this point, it's ultimately a question of whether the remaining coalition deems it worthwhile to keep propping up the Afghan government. If so, then it makes sense for the coalition members to maintain semi-proportional presence. If not, then they call all pull out, knowing that Afghanistan will likely devolve into civil war or an unfriendly regime shortly thereafter.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/18/2017 11:37:00 AM

Quote:
If not, then they call all pull out, knowing that Afghanistan will likely devolve into civil war or an unfriendly regime shortly thereafter.


Left alone- it was ever as you describe--even after 100 year of British supervision.It is a turbulent nation of warring hill tribes-so why continue. The Dark Continent is full of such regimes -so why id Afghanistan receiving so much attention ??????
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3443

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/18/2017 12:35:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:
If not, then they call all pull out, knowing that Afghanistan will likely devolve into civil war or an unfriendly regime shortly thereafter.


Left alone- it was ever as you describe--even after 100 year of British supervision.It is a turbulent nation of warring hill tribes-so why continue. The Dark Continent is full of such regimes -so why id Afghanistan receiving so much attention ??????
--anemone


Jim,

 At this point, the answer to your question may be "sheer momentum". But initially, that country served as a center of organization and rallying point for a terrorist movement that successfully struck New York City and Washington DC, killing thousands in the course of their attacks. That was all a bit too much to simply ignore.

 Of course, a troublesome point is that the attacks were, viewed nationally, something done by Saudis and Pakistanis (if I recall correctly). Pakistan's intel service has been and is in bed with the Taliban; and of course, they sheltered Bin Laden. Saddam Hussein was a brute and I doubt many people, even Iraqis, really miss him ... but strategically, going into Iraq and Afghanistan simultaneously was an unwise diversion of effort and resources.

Cheers,

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/18/2017 1:45:39 PM

Quote:
At this point, the answer to your question may be "sheer momentum"


But what will it achieve Bill-a quiescent Afghanistan-history says not;
When Lord Roberts was there in 1878 he had all the rabble rousers hung
did that do the trick-not a bit of it- the more he hung they were replaced.If Afghanistan were policed for another 100 years-I very much doubt that they would change their ways.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

jahenders
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
top 60
E-3 Private First Class
Posts: 54

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/25/2017 1:00:38 PM
As others have suggested, momentum is a factor.

However, ultimately it's because we (US, UK, etc.) are there now and have been there for years. So, it's hard to let go and watch it all / much of it come crashing down.

You're right that a lot of the countries in the region are similar, but it would take FAR more work/cost/political capitol, etc. to start up an effort in one of those countries than to continue this one.

None of that implies that continuing perpetually is a a good plan, but it's why we have to this point.

jahenders
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
top 60
E-3 Private First Class
Posts: 54

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/25/2017 1:07:48 PM

Quote:


 Of course, a troublesome point is that the attacks were, viewed nationally, something done by Saudis and Pakistanis (if I recall correctly). Pakistan's intel service has been and is in bed with the Taliban; and of course, they sheltered Bin Laden. Saddam Hussein was a brute and I doubt many people, even Iraqis, really miss him ... but strategically, going into Iraq and Afghanistan simultaneously was an unwise diversion of effort and resources.


While it is clear that going into Iraq and AFG simultaneously strained resources, the bigger problem was going in without a clear (political) plan, end game, and exit criteria. Iraq was less pressing / clear-cut and consumed more resources, but ultimately had we gone into Iraq with a strategy of "Kick butt, take names, and get out" it could have worked at least as well at a minute fraction of the cost. For instance, we could have gone in, destroyed lots of the Iraqi military, broke Baath power, got Saddam, handed them a pre-written constitution, appointed some semi-decent people to power, and left. Yes, it would probably have devolved to civil war, but that happened anyway -- at least we could have avoided most of the cost and loss of (US) life. Unfortunately, we can't/don't do that political and accept a "If you break it, you've got to fix it" mindset.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5516

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/25/2017 8:43:08 PM
Making the assumption that an incursion into Iraq must have been the right thing to do, of course.

I resent the presumption that the US and allies should enter Iraq or any other country to effect regime change.

Who the hell are we to make those calls about the lives of other people in this world.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3443

Re: Is a British Military presence really necessary in Afghanistan today ?
Posted on: 10/27/2017 12:48:01 PM
the bigger problem was going in without a clear (political) plan, end game, and exit criteria.

Jim,

 The MENA nation-states are so artificial I'm not sure that what you mention can be done. The tribes are not happy with the international boundaries that were drawn during the colonial era. And you are correct, Iraq would have become a civil war sooner or later. The invasion by U.S. forces accelerated that process.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

 (2000-Pres) Current Day Military talk (No Partisan Politics)    
 Forum Ads from Google