Monday, October 06, 2008

From Basra to Helmandshire

Though the Brits seem to start strong - their legs get weak in the home stretch.

As almost a contrary indicator, just like the summer of '07 when the Americans decided to give Iraq the last full measure with Gen. Petraeus and the Surge - the British started their retreat from Basra will a steady drumbeat of defeatism and "neorealists" self-justification babble - we now have out British allies getting all wobbly at the knees in their primary duties in Afghanistan.
Brig Carleton-Smith is the Commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade which has just completed its second tour of Afghanistan. ... He paid tribute to his forces and told the newspaper they had "taken the sting out of the Taleban for 2008".

But he stated: "We're not going to win this war.
I ask you, is this the attitude you want leading you?

I will cut him some slack in that he does say the absolute truth - that this war will be won in the end when the Afghan National Army and the rest of its security forces can handle their own troubles on their own. (Phibian says by 2015 at the earliest, BTW). But that is not what people will remember.

With the Dutch in '10 and the Canadians in '11 playing the role of the Elector of Bavaria at Blenheim - we need a little more moxie out of our senior leadership.

They are not in some Senior War College seminar on the Comprehensive Approach or, gack, Effects Based Operations where you can just wander around your thoughts - you need to focus on mission.

In the end, Iraqi and American forces had to do the work the Brits quit too early to finish, and won the battle for Basra with minimal British help outside Special Forces. As Gen. McKiernan, Gen. Petraeus, and SECDEF Gates probably see in their tea leaves, it looks like it will USA forces with the Afghans who will have to do what the British seem to talked themselves out of. 24 MEU just spent half a hear doing some of that.

Shame. Pound for pound, the Brits are some of the best, if not the best, around. Too bad that Labour has starved them of both material - but also will to win it seems.

We will win this war, "we" as in the West. No war has been won by military means alone. He knows that, but is trying to be too clever by half.

If really thinks that "we" cannot win, he owes it to everyone involved to lead the professional movement to bring everyone home right now - or resign and do it with a better fitting coat and tie.

He will have plenty of company - the British diplomatic corps wants to retreat to al-Britain as well.
Cowper-Coles, as quoted, was critical of both U.S. presidential candidates, who have vowed in their campaigns to substantially increase U.S. military support to fight the Taliban for Afghanistan if elected president.

In the short run, "it is the American presidential candidates who must be dissuaded from getting further bogged down in Afghanistan," he is quoted as saying.
They just don't get it. They just don't want to believe what the enemy's own writing says.

America Alone; indeed.

No comments: