Afghanistan, how to get it wrong

The big risk but no return campaign

Afghan war Afghan war
The 'man in the pub', that universal source of wisdom, had doubts from the start about the UK's participation in the war in Afghanistan, feeling it was a huge risk and of doubtful value. The war in Iraq also jarred the nerves of not just pub man but the entire nation. Getting rid of Saddam Hussein was, so we were told, the only way to deal with the Weapons of Mass Destruction; so WMDs and Hussein, two easy to discern and define targets. It was only later did we find that in reality it was not like that. The fighting in Afghanistan was different, the Taliban were hard for the troops on the ground to define, pub man stood no chance.

However, pub man is patient and as the typical Taliban looked just like a nutty Muslim Cleric, gave the fighting a fighting chance. But for the UK troops the risk to benefit ratio soon became clear and the nation, in response to the rising death toll, withdrew its support for the concept whilst maintaining respect for the troops on the ground. Hence today pub man is not the least bit surprised by the articles in the Times laying out the awful truth, and blame, behind the Afghan Campaign.

But enough of pub man we need an expert here. Almost alone Richard North took the time and trouble to research the performance of the UK military, civil service and parliament throughout this campaign. On his website he set out his thoughts and was usually ignored and sometimes ridiculed for doing so. So the revelations published in the Times were bound to be posted on his website along with his comments. A must read.