18 August 2009

Is this a country worth fighting for?

Fraud and corruption the Afghanistan way:

  • Thousands of voting cards have been offered for sale and thousands of dollars offered in bribes to buy votes;
  • Multiple voting cards are reported to have been issued to some individuals, while government workers have actively and illegally campaigned for candidates;
  • An influential tribal leader in the north of the country said he had been offered thousands of pounds by campaign teams in exchange for delivering large blocks of votes;
  • The Afghan government has limited or no control in 30% of the country; and
  • Western officials are likely to declare the vote a success - whatever the flaws and challenges.

Just what do we hope to achieve in this country?  What is Brown’s strategy?  Ming Campbell is right, ‘the government needs to make the case for continued UK involvement in Afghanistan’.

Our troops are dying to prop up the failed and corrupt Hamid Karzai.

Brown’s absence during this critical week is not justified.  The country and our troops need reassurance.  It is time that he forgot about his dividing lines, stopped his short -term tactically manoeuvring, put aside his re-launch strategy for the autumn and behaved and acted as a Prime Minister.

Parliament should be recalled at the earliest opportunity.

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  1. The government's stated strategy is providing security in advance of the Afghan elections. Casualties have been incurred in pursuing this strategy.

    Parliament should be recalled in the wake of these elections so the government can provide a statement on the election and on the post-election strategy. The only excuse for not doing so would be if troops were to be stood down until Parliament returned.

    The government does not have immunity from Parliamentary scrutiny - although it would like to think it has. The current casualty rate is not sustainable with the small field Army we have (less than 100,000 all arms, far less than that are infantry...Iraq War force was 40,000 all arms). The Army is in real danger of being broken. General Richards (next Chief of the General Staff) has indicated such operations may continue over the next two to three years...I think that limit is set by the breaking point of the Army rather than achieving any objectives.

    The backlash against Afghanistan is only just beginning....

  2. Well put and well said. Thanks for adding to my post. Your knowledge of the armed forces is welcome.