British soldiers leave Afghanistan

This video, recorded in Britain, says about itself:

War veteran Joe Glenton on the dangers you face every time you leave your house

Afghan veteran Joe Glenton talks to Afshin Rattansi, the host of Going Underground, about Britain’s foreign policy, radicalisation in the UK and home grown terrorism. He also discusses public attitude to war today and how the government lied about Afghanistan. First aired 16.12.13.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:


Monday 27th October 2014

BRITISH troops lowered the flag over their blood-drenched Afghanistan HQ yesterday after a 13-year conflict that cost £20 billion, killed 453 soldiers and leaves a legacy of political chaos and rising civilian deaths.

Tory Defence Secretary Michael Fallon admitted at the formal end of combat operations that “there is no guarantee that Afghanistan is going to be stable and safe.”

He claimed that the British army’s mission in Helmand province had prevented “a safe haven for terrorism and terrorist atrocities” in the West.

But anti-war campaign Stop the War Coalition spokesman Chris Nineham retorted that jihadist groups once based in Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan “had now spread in an arc from central Asia to the Middle East to significant parts of Africa.

“The truth is that the war has made the world a much, much more dangerous place.”

He added: “The sad truth is that the occupation as a whole has been a complete disaster. On most indexes the life for Afghans is considerably worse than it was 13 years ago when the occupation began.

“Stop the War and many other predicted this outcome and take no pleasure in saying it — despite the rhetoric from the government and the West — Afghanistan is in fact a failed state.”

The Taliban has recently swept in on vacated parts of the province such as Sangin, where nearly 80 British soldiers died between 2006 and July 2010 in a fruitless attempt at control.

It was among 180 towns and isolated outposts in Helmand where 10,000 British troops and 20,000 more including Danish, Estonian and US soldiers based at Camp Bastion holed up while Islamist fighters controlled swathes of the countryside.

War refusenik Joe Glenton, who served with the Royal Logistic Corps in Afghanistan in 2004 before absconding in 2007, warned yesterday that Afghanistan now stood at the edge of a precipice amid a flourishing opium trade and widespread corruption.

“We’ve recreated almost exactly the same conditions that saw the Taliban come to power,” he told the Morning Star.

“Some people have benefited — the warlords who we’ve cut deals with, various members of the Karzai family, dodgy development companies.

“The average Afghan, the average Helmandi clearly hasn’t.”

Civilian deaths in the first six months of 2014 stood at their highest since 2001.

The Afghan army has been hit by mass desertions that the Royal United Services Institute said drained 2 to 4 per cent of its strength a month.

Fears of collapse grew when squabbling among western-facing politicians after June presidential elections plunged the country into a three-month crisis.

But British military bigwigs claimed yesterday that Afghanistan was not another Iraq, where the western-trained army fell apart this summer amid an assault by extremist Isis fighters.

“It is not a cliff edge end here,” said commander in Helmand Brigadier Rob Thomson, adding: “We can be extremely proud of the part we have played in building a capable, credible and confident Afghan force.”

Mr Glenton rejected the claim, predicting Iraq-style chaos within a couple of years.

He added that Britain now faces a “tidal wave of post-traumatic stress” among soldiers returning home.

See also here.

President Barack Obama has authorized the US military to carry out far more widespread air and ground operations in Afghanistan in 2015, effectively reversing his order to end combat actions this year, White House officials told the New York Times: here.

PRESIDENT Barack Obama has abandoned his pledge to cut the number of US forces in Afghanistan to 5,500 by the end of 2015, officials admitted yesterday. While no final decision on numbers has been made, the officials said that the administration was poised to slow withdrawal plans and will probably allow many of the 9,800 US troops there to remain well into next year: here.

6 thoughts on “British soldiers leave Afghanistan

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