British troops in Afghanistan are facing a horrible attrition with rising deaths and injuries. Anyone who watched the recent documentary "Wounded" will appreciate the horror for formerly fit and healthy young men waking up to find arms and legs amputated and sight permanently gone.
Suicide rates, divorce rates are high.Similar sentiments emerged in an October 3 Times report on British troops operating in the Sangin district of Helmand Province during the Afghan presidential election in August. The unit, the 2nd Rifles, had lost 100 dead or wounded out of 500 combat troops since April. The author noted that the casualty rate compared with that experienced during the intense fighting in Europe in the final years of World War II.
Patrols are attacked as close as 500 metres from the walls of the British base but, as in Wardak province, the troops in Helmand rarely make any contact with the Taliban insurgents who have savaged their ranks with IEDs, mines and sniper fire.
Morale crumbling among US and British troops in AfghanistanStaff Sergeant Erika Cheney, a mental health specialist, said, “They’re tired, frustrated, scared. A lot of them are afraid to go out [on patrol] but will still go.”
A 20-year-old soldier, Specialist Raquime Mercer, commented, “We’re lost. That’s how I feel. I’m not exactly sure why we’re here. I need a clear-cut purpose if I’m going to get hurt out here or if I’m going to die. The soldiers’ biggest question is: what can we do to make this war stop? Catch one person? Assault one objective? Soldiers want definite answers other than to stop the Taliban, because that seems almost impossible. It’s hard to catch someone you can’t see.”
Brown has just announced another 500 troops are to go to Afghanistan. They are going out to a senseless, immoral and unwinnable war.
Obama increased the troop numbers by 17,000 earlier this year but McChrystal says he needs tens of thousands more.
John Kerry has just called for a stop to troop increases until the second attempt at elections has been held.
Whatever the intentions, and even with the use of drones fired from Texas, the forces in Afghanistan are being beaten on the ground without in many cases having ever seen one of the "enemy".
Isn't it high time that this miserable war, based on lies and deception, was brought to an end ?Specialist Eric Petty told the Times, “The soldiers are angry that colleagues are losing their lives while trying to help a population that will not help them. You give them all the humanitarian assistance that they want and they’re still going to lie to you. They’ll tell you there’s no Taliban anywhere in the area and as soon as you roll away, 10 feet from their house, you get shot at again.”