2 years, 11 months ago
Regular readers know my position on abandoning the Pech River Valley in Afghanistan, and chasing the insurgents into their havens to kill them, so there is no need to rehearse that issue. Now comes James Foley’s report on the Pech River Valley area. As an aside, Jim has done and is doing some of the best reporting coming out of Afghanistan. I have exchanged mail with Jim, and find him to be not only learned about the situation in Afghanistan, but friendly and open minded as well. Any time you can catch his reporting you should do so. You will be richer for it. Now for his report.
Did you catch Lt. Col. Joe Ryan’s views on our presence in the Pech Valley? Our presence helps the insurgency by giving them an enemy to fight. Do regular readers remember what other situations we have discussed where the same claim was made?
Think for a moment. Who else regurgitated these talking points? What army was it, and where were they located? Think hard.
For the astute readers, you’re right. The British failure in Basra is storied, and covered in painful, lengthy, gory detail here at The Captain’s Journal. Recall their final justification for retreat (with flags waving proudly)? It was this:
Rather than being – as the anti-war brigade claimed – a humiliating retreat, the tactical withdrawal from Saddam’s old summer palace on the banks of the Shatt al-Arab was undertaken on the basis that the continuing presence of British troops was exacerbating, rather than helping, the local security situation.
Goodness yes. Best to let the Sadrists take full control of things, executing whomever they wish, destroying infrastructure, and generally wreaking havoc until the ISF and U.S. forces finally wrested control of Basra from them with stiff-armed kinetics. At least we aren’t being shot at. The brutish Yankees are doing the labor. Time to go home.
We now sound like the British in Basra – the talk is now about full-on retreat. The end cannot be far off.