Monday, August 20, 2007

'Do you think it is winnable?'

An interesting article on Afghanistan that makes it pretty clear that UK/NATO or U$ forces are not winning there at all:

As usual, the conversation turned towards the same simple question. 'Do you think it is winnable?', the British commanders, officers and soldiers of Helmand would ask. It was a tough call....The obstacles were piled high. Progress, by comparison, seemed stunted. Few who asked seemed sure of success. Some sensed it was possible, others wondered at what cost. One officer simply exhaled sharply and gazed at his desert combat boots.

Sounds like a 'no' then? It is also clear that Iraq is part of the problem:

Overstretching the few soldiers available in Helmand increases the risk of the enemy moving back into areas once occupied by British forces, a politically untenable scenario. As usual, the central dilemma boils down to a lack of manpower where it matters, with the British still immersed in Iraq.

Hey, but we've can't back out of Iraq, after all the order to invade came from none other than God - and who are we to dispute HIS DIVINE WILL? The most poignant bit in the article is this:

Lying in the shallow trench before dawn, it was difficult not to contemplate how this war might end. The ditch was an old Soviet relic from when the Russian army withdrew from Helmand, a province where the mujahideen were never conquered.

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