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 Post subject: The risk of failure
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:48 am 
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By linking the final stage of our ignominious retreat from Iraq with a memorial service, honouring the British troops who were killed (but not the others under British command), the military and government both thereby achieve the effect of blunting criticism of the war.

Any such criticism, especially of the military, can easily be dismissed as heartless or insensitive, given that so many have put themselves in harm's way and many have paid the ultimate price.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: The risk of failure
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:04 pm 

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To be fair to Gilligan, when he refers to "politicians in London" he does not specify whether they are wearing uniform or not.


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 Post subject: Re: The risk of failure
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:22 pm 
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JohnFSK wrote:
To be fair to Gilligan, when he refers to "politicians in London" he does not specify whether they are wearing uniform or not.


Very good point!

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 Post subject: Re: The risk of failure
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:12 pm 
You are incorrect when you state that the memorial service in Basra this morning did not honour the troops of the other nations who were killed whilst operating under British command. I sat and watched the ceremony in which the names of all the foreign troops who were killed were read out in the same way that the British losses were and all were honoured in the same way.


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 Post subject: Re: The risk of failure
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:07 pm 
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lanalt wrote:
You are incorrect when you state that the memorial service in Basra this morning did not honour the troops of the other nations who were killed whilst operating under British command. I sat and watched the ceremony in which the names of all the foreign troops who were killed were read out in the same way that the British losses were and all were honoured in the same way.


I stand corrected. And the interpreters working for the British?

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 Post subject: Re: The risk of failure
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:15 pm
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Do you give any credit to the British forces in Iraq? What can they build on that they did right or almost right?


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 Post subject: Re: The risk of failure
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:09 pm 
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Andrew wrote:
Do you give any credit to the British forces in Iraq? What can they build on that they did right or almost right?


The problem is that the core tactics and equipment were wrong, but even worse, there was a lack of capacity to respond to new and rapidly changing circumstances, and an almost suicidal (certainly homicidal) insistence on sticking to standard tactics, even when there was indisputable evidence that they were not working.

That led to the failure of the campaign, but so fundamental are the faults that the only thing that can effectively be salvaged is a willingness to learn from the many mistakes made. Since the Army, effectively, seems to be in denial, I see no hope of that happening, which means that there is little to build on, and every reason to expect mistakes to be perpetuated.

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 Post subject: Re: The risk of failure
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 3:31 pm 
"And the interpreters working for the British?"
Among the names read out to honour the dead troops, there were several Arabic-sounding names included. I could not be sure, but I believe they were the names of civilian helpers.


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