Many people know that the war in Afghanistan is lost, it was lost before it began!
The problem with war is that once it starts it takes on a life of its own, and no one especially politicians can yet see the future. The Brother War that was World War One is the greatest example of this.
The reason that Chamberlain and many like him did their best to stop World War Two is because they knew the cost of war.
War itself can be seen as a failure of the political class to solve issues between one another amicably. It is not normally the politicians who do the fighting but the fit young men of their respective nations.
It is a sad enditement on our political class in particular and the Liberal elite in general that to my knowledge none of their ilk have served in the current conflicts.
World War Two was quite possibly the last war in which our elite took part in any great numbers. It is also the last time that we achieved victory in war
Let me explain:
After World War Two the Liberal elite decided to impose their own rules on warfare. In the Korean War the allies were not allowed to advance into Communist China, so the war was not won. Technically the war still continues, but realistically the war aims were not achieved, so the war if not won, was lost.
In Malaya the British Army had the distinction of being the only nation in the modern era to win a terrorist war. Yet it was for insurance purposes properly termed an Emergency. This war, although won militarily was lost politically because the British government failed to maintain British control.
Vietnam, was perhaps the ultimate example of a war being lost by politicians because of rules that restricted military operations.
The rules of engagement era of modern warfare has continued to retard the effective use of military force. War as Von Clausewitz would say is an extension of diplomacy, and modern political leaders are adept at using air power to solve political problems. Kosovo and Libya are two specific examples of this. Neither achieved their stated aims.
When it comes to boots on the ground the modern military has enormous restrictions imposed on it. Restrictions imposed by politicians for political reasons. Many people will remember when Willy Whitelaw wanted British troops to patrol Ulster with no bullets in their guns!
Which brings me to the point of this article, which is that if you must fight a war you must fight it with all your might, or not at all. Using this maxim we should have turned the Battle for the Falklands into the Argentine war and dictated terms in Buenos Aires. We should have destroyed the Irish Army and dictated terms on the steps of the Dail.
Or we should not fight wars at all!
The British Army could have defeated the PIRA in Ulster, as it could the insurgencies in Iraq, or Afghanistan. We have the ability to nerve gas the respective war zones, and then repopulate. My personal view is that it would be a good place to put those annoying Chavs! Yet in all seriousness we should not be losing these wars. We and our allies are being defeated because our political class will not allow us to win.
The mistakes of Ulster are being repeated and seven marines are paying the political price. Charging British military personnel with murdering an insurgent in a war zone, is like charging a Formula One driver with speeding during a race.
When you force a military to fight with one hand tied behind their back they tend to lose.
Afghanistan like Ulster before it is "our stab in the back"