Essay of the Week: 9/20/09-9/26/09

It ought to be considered a war crime to send people out to kill and die for no reason. If such things ever do become an indictable offense, Michael Yon’s latest essay would be evidence enough to start a criminal case.

It is clear from Yon’s post and from other newspaper reports that Great Britian is sending its troops off to kill and die in Afghanistan for no reason whatsoever. They don’t have enough troops to take the battle to then enemy that the old school doctrines of warfare call for. They don’t have enough troops to protect the population according to modern theories of counterinsurgency warfare. All they are doing is fighting and dying for the sheer pleasure of existing in Afghanistan.

They are paying for things that they destroy when they defend themselves. They are giving free medical treatment to people that they know are their enemies. They are letting prisoners go because they are afraid of trouble if they don’t. They are doing all this in the hopes of winning support by being nice.

But if they can’t defend the population, the population will never support them no matter how nice they are. Even if a sizable portion of the population supports the British, they will never dare act on that support while the Taliban have control. And it is manifestly clear that the British cannot secure the population with the force that they sent to do the job.

What is worse is that it is clear that the powers that be don’t even expect them to secure the population or defeat the Taliban. They just expect them to fight and die for the appearance of doing something.

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