World View: Both British campaigns were ill-conceived and poorly executed: military defeats dressed up as victory. And much of the blame lies with the generals
By Patrick Cockburn
Sunday 30 October 2011
".....A major source of weakness was that the most important reason for the British to deploy the Army in both these wars was to demonstrate to Washington that Britain remained its most important ally. Everything else, including operational success, was secondary to this aim. Both Tony Blair and David Cameron have maintained a pretence that Britain is fighting to maintain in power a democratic Afghan government. The reality is that the representatives of this government are often warlords engaged in extortion, corruption and kidnapping. Afghan police are notorious for stealing money, consuming drugs and raping young men and women passing through their checkpoints.
Four years after the British arrived in Sangin, a local farmer was quoted as saying "the Taliban do not even have a bakery that they can give bread, but still most people support the Taliban – that's because people are sick of night raids and being treated badly by the foreigners"."