Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Murder at an Afghan checkpoint

Grenadier Guards are deployed throughout the province of Helmand. They have several key roles. One of these is mentoring the Afghan National Police and to do so they deploy in small detachments to work, shoulder to shoulder, with these people out on the ground in their `back yard`. They work alongside soldiers from other regiments in this particular training role. As a concept in British military affairs, this is nothing new.
Much is said about that country and the corruption that has overshadowed the recent "elections". Politicians have banged dispatch boxes and stated their disgust at what was revealed, but haven't they got it all wrong? There was only corruption from our perspective, there is only double dealing and murder from our perspective. As far as Afghanistan goes, that is the way of their stone aged tribal world and has been so for centuries. Democracy, as we know it, has no meaning there, at least not in a short, ragged and bloody intervention that we have seen over the past few decades. Nothing is more blurred than the line between `policing` and soldiering where soldiers work in what the military refer to as "low intensity warfare". The risk of being cut off and ambushed, or betrayed and killed when at their most vulnerable, like 5 of our soldiers were the other day, are massive. And there is nothing more dangerous than engaging in `low intensity` warfare tactics on the outermost edge of that rather glib sounding definition, in a place like Afghanistan. But what happened the other day was not high or low intensity warfare, that was murder - but perhaps only from our perspective.


Blue Eyes said...

We should not be involved in nation building. We went into Affghanistan to knock out the Taliban because they encouraged terror cells to work in their country. We should only be there to the extent that we can somehow prevent terror cells which can attack our country and our allies. We should not be trying to instil a sense of democracy. It's none of our business.

Sage said...

I heard it on the news this morning.. so sad, very sad that they were killed by someone they were out to train and support.

Hogday said...

Blue; 100% sir.

Sage: It gets worse and worse.