Afghanistan and British Involvement 29

In Afghanistan, the last week has seen the passing of the symbolic 200th British fatality and desperate preparations for the looming elections.

Casualty Monitor provides a striking graphical picture of the upsurge in British casualties and looks at the historical context of British military failure in Afghanistan.

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29 thoughts on “Afghanistan and British Involvement

  • JimmyGiro

    I noticed a lot of high contrails over the Isle of Wight yesterday morning going from west to east, about 60 degrees from the usual commercial traffic.

    Don’t know if it was B52’s or transports, but I’m sure it was US military, based on previous observation when using bird glasses.

  • mary

    Never do we hear of or see a true figure of the Afghan casualties.

    Pieces of metal are being handed out to British widows (the first Elizabeth Cross was handed over yesterday to a widow with three children – more obscene Brown/MOD crapoganda) but there are none for the Afghan widows and orphans.

  • tony_opmoc

    I’d already worked out for myself, that taking the number of UK soldier’s deployed and deaths, and the fact that in war – for every soldier that dies around 5 times as many soldiers are seriously injured – what the chances were for a UK soldier deployed to Afghanistan. I came up with a figure of around 1 in 10 would be killed or seriously injuered.

    Then my wife passed me her Daily Mail yesterday. They had come up with a figure of 1 in 11 for EVERY 6 MONTHS tour of deployment.

    Any parent who encourages their kid to join the army should know what these risks are.

    Crying about it after the event is too late. Virtually no one – not even the army seems to understand the real reason we are fighting a War in Afghanistan. Even the army’s own website bleats on about 9/11 and The War on Terror.

    For every UK soldier killed in Afghanistan, what is the number of Afghan’s killed or seriously injured?

    Who’s country is it?

    What are we doing there?

    Does anyone really think these Afghan kids we are shooting and bombing know anything whatsoever about The UK or The US? From their perception We are just The EVIL that have invaded their land and sky to Kill Them. They know nothing about us, other than that. They are merely fighting for their own Country and their own survival.

    The EVIL is amongst us.

    We need to get out now.


  • Peter

    Afghanistan was invaded purely for oil/gas related commercial interests. In late 1990s more reserves of oil and gas were discovered in the Caspian Sea delta, Central Asia. Besides, historically Uzbekistan had enormous reserves of gas. All these reserves are delivered to Europe mainly through the pipelines over Russian territory which were built during the Soviet times. This means Russia has control over price and terms of delivery of gas to Europe. So, the americans decided to change the picture, the britons followed them. There is only two cheapest and shortest ways to get the central asian oil and gas to the Persian Gulf and further to Europe or US – through Afganistan or Iran. The latter country looked more stable and impossible to shatter. Therefore Afganistani taliban played key role in being scapegoats for the West to occupy this country. Long before 9/11 there were agreements between Uzbek government and americans on transit of military cargo thru Uzbekistan. Afganistan was becoming a stable country under taliban – opium production reduced dramatically, roads were safer. The taliban never threatened the West, because they knew that the West helped them to beat the soviets. Look at the situation now. This war will never end, because western countries have created a failed state now. At times of economic crisis, I can’t even imagine the cost of war.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Sending more troops, whether to Iraq or Afghanistan, has always meant more dead soldiers and more dead Afghans and Iraqis as the generals decide they have enough troops for another big offensive, which this time will supposdly result in the city or region assaulted being held. In fact most of the insurgents leave before the offensive and return after it every time – and every offensive creates more enemies than it eliminates, not least because each kills large numbers of civilians.

    Many of the Taliban are brutal and fanatical, but then so are Dostum and many of our other allies (not to mention US troops having beaten Afghan prisoners till they die of heart attacks in Bagram).

    Even if the Taliban are worse we still have to ask whether this war is reducing or increasing support for extreme nationalist fundamentalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the long run, rather than reducing it?

  • tony_opmoc

    An excellent book on the Global picture – though not specifically about Afghanistan is Pepe Escobar – “Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving Into Liquid War”

    “A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order” by F.W. Engdahl gives a riveting view of the history.

    Webster Tarpley Spelt It Out in a 20 minute video on Youtube a year ago..

    “The men behind Barack Obama” part 1 & 2 – though I found Tarpley’s book on Obama so well researched that it was too depressing to read.

    The video’s great though and most of what he has predicted has already come true.


  • George Laird

    Dear Craig

    This action in Afghanistan is nonsense.

    The Afghans recently passed a law legalising rape in marriage.

    It’s time to get the troops home safe.

    It is a complete farce.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • tony_opmoc

    Courtenay Barnett,

    I agree with the vast majority of your article on Global Research, but I am convinced from my own analysis that the real situation is both worse and better than what you have written.

    You said…

    “Thus 9/11 could be considered as horrific blowback from the CIA having funded, armed and encouraged Muslim fundamentalist militant actions cum Taliban regime. However, with about 15 Saudis directly involved in the 9/11 attack the nexus of the attack raises even more questions…”

    I won’t bore you with my own analysis of 9/11, that I did years before Physics Professor Steven Jones even looked into it – but I reckon he is right on the ball – whereas most other analyses of 9/11 are complete disinformation…

    But the real issue is not 9/11.

    I am not going to give you my own career history, but all I will say is that I believed in the concept of “Peak Oil” for around 7 days and was scared Shitless for the future of my kids and grandkids.

    I might still be scared shitless, but it is not because of Peak Oil, it is because so many powerful people believe in it and are preparing Draconian measures to reduce population by mass genocide.

    Check out FW Engdahl – Confessions of an Ex-Peak Oil Believer – though my own analysis of it was about 3 years before his…

    We are almost certain to go through an absolute Whirlwind of Devastation – not because we need to – but because mis-informed lunatics are in charge of our destiny.

    We need to get back to true objective analysis using fundamental science.

    At the moment nearly everyone is being paid to tell lies and as a result we are all going to hell.

    ALL our problems can be solved Gracefully, if only we could get back to telling the TRUTH.


  • Courtenay Barnett


    I simply worote as my research revealed the facts.

    The fact is that “peak oil” and US hegemony can run conjuntively and propel the kinds of actions to which you allude.

    Wish I was paid for the article, but researching it did clear things in my own mind.

    Thanks for taking time to read it.

  • Tom

    All very concerning but what gave me a wry grin was the piece on cnn world about how tourism is on the increase with local people in afghanistans national park.

    They do their best don’t they! There’s no roads into this place apparently but still the number of visitors is “booming”.

    Can’t think why.

  • ingo

    Yes, the rigours of elections, I know them well. Afghanistan has had a massive vote yesterday, apparently in one voting station some 5000 voted/hour, but the official counters came only up with 60 people/hour, so who dropped in 5000 votes?

    Karzai was expected to rig this election and he has, we could not live without the stooge and his heroin pushers.

    NATO should be ashamed of itself and pull out, with or without all of its members, how can they live with protecting these scoundrels. Unless Afghanistan improves and troops leave, nothing will change for human rights in the surrounding Stan’s, our demand for cheap bases will further deteriorate the situation and the war might even spread to them, who know’s.

    Back to the solitude of book keeping.

  • John

    Brown and Blair could not care less about British soldiers. They send these young men to die and do nothing with the likes of baby P killers but put them in holiday camps. Why don’t they send some of these lifers to Afghanistan to walk in front of the troops and act as booby trap detectors.

  • avatar-singh


    Zbigniew Brzezinski revealed a hidden Fact that on July 3, 1979, unknown to the public and American Congress that President Jimmy Carter secretly authorized $500 million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and “de-stabilize” the Soviet Union…

    The CIA called this Operation Cyclone and in the following years poured $4 billion into setting up Islamic training schools in Pakistan (Taliban means “student”).

    These people were sent to the CIA’s spy training camp in Virginia, where future members of al-Qaeda were taught “sabotage skills” – terrorism.

    Others were recruited at an Islamic school in Brooklyn, New York, In Pakistan; they were directed by British MI6 officers and trained by the SAS.

    this Brzezinski was a rabid antiisrali and so was Wiinniberg in reagan department=-so beloved of the english nation..


    As America teetered on the brink of entering World War II, Charles A. Lindbergh gave a fateful speech that did more damage to the America First movement for peace than all the propagandistic efforts of the pro-war groups he named in Des Moines that day. In his oration, the great aviator and American hero sought to define who and what had brought us to the point of no return:

    “The three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt administration.

    “Behind these groups, but of lesser importance, are a number of capitalists, Anglophiles, and intellectuals who believe that the future of mankind depends upon the domination of the British empire. Add to these the Communistic groups who were opposed to intervention until a few weeks ago, and I believe I have named the major war agitators in this country.”

    “The First World War was by far the bloodiest conflict in human history up to that time. Schwartz and Skinner noted, “Woodrow Wilson proclaimed a war for democracy against ‘Prussian dictatorship,’ but that was propaganda. Germany had civil rights, an elected parliament, competing parties, universal male suffrage, and an unparalleled system of social democracy.” Germany was far more democratic than either the British or French empire.”


    “The West’s policy – in other words, the policy of the Anglo-Americans, as the European Union does not have a policy worth citing – toward the Middle East has long been formulated by Bernard Lewis. The British-born Lewis started his career as an intelligence officer and has remained in bed with British intelligence ever since. Avowedly anti-Russia and pro-Israel, Lewis reaped a rich harvest among US academia and policymakers. He brought president Jimmy Carter’s virulently anti-Russian National Security Council chief, Zbigniew Brzezinski, into his fold in the 1980s, and made the US neo-conservatives, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, dance to his tune on the Middle East in 2001. In between, he penned dozens of books and was taken seriously by people as a historian. But, in fact, Lewis is what he always was: a British intelligence officer. . . .

    The recent developments in Uzbekistan have all the hallmarks of the same process. This time the objective is to weaken China, Russia, and possibly India, using the HT to unleash the dogs of war in Central Asia. It is not difficult for those on the ground to see what is happening. The leader of the Islamic Party of Tajikistan, Deputy Prime Minister Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda, has identified HT as a Western-sponsored bogeyman for “remaking Central Asia”. . . .

  • avatar singh

    dirty hands of the british because they are too scared to do the real fighting! so they negotiate with the Taliban!

    Multiple channels are being used to get the process moving. Some have involved senior American officials and military commanders and the Afghan government, which has roped in former Taliban leaders such as Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, Abdul Wakeel Muttawakil and Senator Moulvi Arsala Rehami (above).

    A former British and European Union senior diplomat, Irishman Michael Semple, expelled from Afghanistan in 2007 for talking to the Taliban without approval from Afghan (read US) officials, has also been involved. He now lives in the Pakistani capital Islamabad and has been using his contacts with the Taliban on behalf of London. Semple is married to a Pakistani woman, spent 30 years in Afghanistan, speaks fluent Dari and is a self-declared Muslim.

    Taliban sources recently told Asia Times Online that all backroom negotiations had ended a few months ago when Taliban leader Mullah Omar told Saudi Arabian intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, through the Taliban’s supreme commander Mullah Bradar, that such talks were not possible.

    “It would be wrong to interpret that message [from Mullah Omar] as stopping the talks,” Rehami told Asia Times Online during an interview at his Kabul residence, while confirming that a message had been relayed.

    Rehami should know.

    He is from the Paktika tribe which originates along the border with Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal area. He was minister of religious affairs during the Taliban’s regime in the late 1990s, but after the invasion of 2001 he severed his ties with the Taliban and moved to Islamabad. Rehami later returned to Afghanistan to throw his support behind the Karzai government. He is now a senator.

    Although two other former Taliban officials are involved in the initiative to talk to the Taliban, Rehami enjoys some advantages. Mullah Zaeef is not trusted by the Americans as they see him as still sympathetic to the Taliban, while former foreign minister Muttawakil is not trusted by some of the Taliban.

    Rehami uses his extensive tribal connections to create channels of communication with the Taliban. He is also in almost daily contact with the British Embassy in Kabul, as well as mixing comfortably with Western diplomats.

    “I can confirm that seven stages have been agreed on by the Afghan government to deal with the Taliban, and at present the negotiations are in the first and primary phase,” Rehami said, without mentioning the obvious inevitable involvement of certain Western governments.”

    if the british and americans had faced as well armed taliban forces as the soviet union faced then thse british and americans would have fled the field long ago and put garland around the taliban coomander asking for their mercy!thse cowards fith agasint unamred civilains and against those who cannot reciprocate.They let osma bin laden go from tora bora because tehy were asking nothern alliance to go and attack rather then daring to attack themsleves-such cowards are these !

  • mary

    Were Obama and his mother CIA operatives (or spawn as one of the two commenters calls them) here?

    ‘Yet he refused to mention a dangerous trip to Pakistan which he made at a time when travel to that country was discouraged by the State Department. That country was then the focus of the CIA’s largest covert operation, the supplying of the Afghan mujahadeen. While there, this callow college kid met with one of the most powerful men in Pakistan — a meeting arranged by an unnamed personage with the American Embassy. (Spook-watchers know what that means.)’

  • Strategist

    Craig, any chance of something to cut through the confusion that is the mainstream media’s coverage of the Al Megrahi case?

    I thought BBC Newsnight tonight was literally unbelievable. Unless I missed something (I did lose interest) there was no mention of the widely held view that Al Megrahi never did it and he has been released purely to avoid the appeal case evidence being heard.

    Some good stuff from the reliable Paul Mason that it is all about oil (of course it’s all about oil, it’s always all about oil), but Mason is not and cannot be their legal or diplomatic correspondent.

    Complete acceptance of the obvious fiction that this was the SNP’s decision only and London nothing to do with it. A load of irrelevant tripe from the risible Michael Crick.

    Finally, an extraordinary studio debate on Kenny MacAskill’s “higher judgement” rhetoric, as if this was an interesting talking point. It looked like Gavin Esler anchoring the show, but is really Roger Irrelevant in disguise?

  • glenn_uk

    Read “Who bombed Lockerbie?” by investigative journalist Paul Foot, who specialised in doing the gum-shoe work on miscarriages of justice.

    It seems pretty damned obvious that Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi had nothing whatsoever to do with it, and nor did Libya.

    If you’re a subscriber to Private Eye, you can download it from their site, otherwise it might be available online or from PE directly.

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