Thursday, September 28, 2006
British commanders in Afghanistan have recommended that their men receive almost 180 awards for gallantry, including "several" Victoria Crosses, following the most intense fighting since the Korean War......This is very serious.
Describing the range of actions, a senior Whitehall source said: "You are talking about bayonet and grenade actions, Chinooks landing troops while being raked by gunfire and 105mm guns in direct fire mode."
The latter comment refers to light field guns being used with their barrels horizontal due to the proximity of the enemy Â something not seen since Korea. "We're talking Waterloo stuff here," a source told The Daily Telegraph.
Officers are thought to have recommended about half a dozen VCs, mainly for the troops of 16 Air Assault Brigade. The airborne forces last received the ultimate award for bravery in such quantity during the disastrous Arnhem operation in September 1944.
The recommendations follow three months of vicious fighting in Helmand.
The scale of the awards suggests a conflict out of all proportion to the security operation first outlined by the Government.....
Britain has no reserves because they are all in Iraq etc. Without reserves we are heading for a military defeat & a unit getting wiped out.
When that happens it will make massive headlines which will do no good - it should be reported now while we may still have some options, however unpalatable.
The Afghan war was the one legitimate one we have been involved in lately - we cannot allow al Quaeda to win this.
The other NATO countries have made it quite clear that they will send troops to Afghanistan only if they go to places where ther is no chance of them getting hurt.
I must confess thatIi do not know what to do here. It might be possible to get some of the warlords off by negotiating with them & backing off a bit on our wish to reshape Afghanistan as a feminist liberal democracy. I would happily pull troops out of Iraq to reinforce here - Iraq is a pointless mess but al Quaeda is a real enemy we have undertaken to defeat. However it goesIi think we must steel ourselves for some very bad news & give the troops everything they need - they are putting their bodies in harm's way for us.