Thursday, February 08, 2007

With friends like these

In case you haven't noticed, our esteemed leaders over the last decade or so have gradually reorganised, re-equipped and re-committed our armed forces towards a more EU-centric model disposing of many famous regiments in order to fit into the European Rapid Reaction Farce (no, that's not a typo). They've done this because we know that when push comes to shove all us Europeans will rally round and share the burden amongst ourselves.

Or maybe not.

Nato ministers clashed over Afghanistan on Thursday when continental European governments refused to follow the US and the UK and send troops to battle the Taliban.

Germany, France, Italy and Spain are refusing to send combat troops to the south and east, the centre of battle against the Taliban.

"I do not think it is right to talk about more and more military means," said Franz-Josef Jung, German defence minister. "When the Russians were in Afghanistan they had 100,000 and didn't win . . . We are liberators, not occupiers."

What a pile of defeatist crap. Quite how he expects Afghanistan to be "liberated" without occupying the country first is a bit of a conundrum, but the fact he somehow thinks it can happen while his troops sit on their arses as far from the front line as possible is remarkable.

This tells us all we need to know about any proposed or existing European Rapid Reaction Force. Our boys would be the ones to do the fighting, to get up close and personal with the enemy, to kill or be killed, while our colleagues provide "logistical" support - which generally consists of an army of bureaucrats and "human rights" lawyers waiting to whisk our fellas to an international law court at the slightest misdemeanour.

A competent defence secretary - even a modestly competent one - would tell our German, French, Italian and Spanish "chums" that either they start living up to their NATO obligations or they can expect certain defence contracts to be cancelled.

What a bunch of weasels.


Henry Bolingbroke said...

NATO is neither a liberator or an occupier in Afghanistan. It is there to help the Afghan government rebuild the country. However, to enable reconstruction, the Taliban have to be tamed.

European Defence Farce is about right. I like it.

Interesting blog, Stan. I've added it to the roll.

Stan said...

Thanks, Henry.

I have to admit I'm not much into the concept of "nation building" as a modern military adventure. My view is that it can only work if certain conditions are met.

1) You have utterly defeated the enemy with no possibility of their resurgence(as with Germany and Japan).

2) You are prepared to match any attempt to rebuild the nation with overwhelming miilitary force AND are prepared to unleash it with unrestrained ferocity.

3) You tie any rebuilding or funding to conditions that will see that force unleashed if these are not met.

And, to be honest, in certain countries and with certain peoples, it really is a waste of effort. It doesn't matter what we do or how well we do it - we know damn well that five minutes after we leave they'll be back to their old ways. Why bother?

Far better to just give their backsides a bloody good kicking and then tell them to behave or they'll have some more.