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The next domino? – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 8,489
edited August 19 in General
imageThe next domino? – politicalbetting.com

In 2019 the US President decided to withdraw US troops from the Syrian-Turkish border, a move seen by many – and certainly the Kurds, who were heavily involved in fighting and defeating IS in Iraq – as a betrayal.

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Comments

  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 20,127
    First.
  • eekeek Posts: 14,808
    edited August 19
    The logical one if the US continues to focus on China is Israel for in reality they don't need any help

    However I suspect we would never know because Israel probably doesn't cost the US that much nowadays - the support is really political rather than money..
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 51,489
    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,009
    eek said:

    The logical one if the US continues to focus on China is Israel for in reality they don't need any help

    However I suspect we would never know because Israel probably doesn't cost the US that much nowadays - the support is really political rather than money..

    Yes, we don't need to worry about Israel's security. Having been invaded by all their neighbours several times over they have both the means and the resolve to press the big red button if required.

    On America the question is where does their perceived circle of influence now extend? They have had overseas military bases since WWII to project their power and ideology. It wasn't always like that, less than a century since America was insular and disinterested in global affairs.

    If the "why should we send our boys overseas to die" sentiment is more universal than just Afghanistan then its party time for Russia and China. And probably the end of NATO as a functioning military alliance.
  • QuincelQuincel Posts: 3,760
    It won't be Israel, there's a bipartisan agreement to almost obsessively have their back militarily/financially. But if I were Taiwan I'd be pretty worried.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,209
    Did Trump not already effectively abandon Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to the Russians. He said something about them not being worth fighting for. I thought that was the whole point of NATO?

    If Johnson really ever was expecting a tasty trade deal from the US, he can forget it now. Just as Brexit embedded an ‘England First’ mode, he is now up against a wall of ‘America First’.
  • QuincelQuincel Posts: 3,760

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Right or wrong, I feel this is a dubious line of defence to take. Just seems risky to say to Labour: Don't you see, our Foreign Secretary shouldn't be criticised because the Foreign Office works exactly the same when he's on holiday as when he's working!
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 12,156

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 44,967
    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    And I posted this on the last thread

    Good morning

    I only listened to Boris, Starmer and May in yesterday's debate as I had to go out, but would affirm that Boris was appalling, embarrassingly so, and if it does not wake up his colleagues that he needs to go then I do question just how bad he has to get

    Starmer's speech was pitch perfect and statesman like as I commented at the time, but he went on and spoiled it with exaggeration and petty point scoring

    May is carrying a huge vendetta against Boris and while she may have appealed to some conservative backbenchers, her idea Nato and assorted allies could have remained in Afghanistan is idiotic especially without the US

    Yesterday's mail poll had just 2% blaming Boris and had he performed at the dispatch box he would have had a better chance of defecting a lot of the criticism that came his way

    And some of you will be interested to know I have made the decisions to lapse my conservative membership due in October, (as has my wife) notwithstanding I lose my vote for the next leader, as I cannot continue to attack Boris, Patel and Williamson freely as a member

    I would just make this clear however, I support HMG over covid, the economy and brexit and of course Boris will not be there forever either
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 44,967

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 10,197
    edited August 19

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    And I posted this on the last thread

    Good morning

    I only listened to Boris, Starmer and May in yesterday's debate as I had to go out, but would affirm that Boris was appalling, embarrassingly so, and if it does not wake up his colleagues that he needs to go then I do question just how bad he has to get

    Starmer's speech was pitch perfect and statesman like as I commented at the time, but he went on and spoiled it with exaggeration and petty point scoring

    May is carrying a huge vendetta against Boris and while she may have appealed to some conservative backbenchers, her idea Nato and assorted allies could have remained in Afghanistan is idiotic especially without the US

    Yesterday's mail poll had just 2% blaming Boris and had he performed at the dispatch box he would have had a better chance of defecting a lot of the criticism that came his way

    And some of you will be interested to know I have made the decisions to lapse my conservative membership due in October, (as has my wife) notwithstanding I lose my vote for the next leader, as I cannot continue to attack Boris, Patel and Williamson freely as a member

    I would just make this clear however, I support HMG over covid, the economy and brexit and of course Boris will not be there forever either

    I do not know what if anything Britain or NATO or the EU could have done but I do recall Tony Blair's government fighting several wars interventions without the United States. That was of course before a decade of Tory defence cuts but it did follow a decade of Tory defence cuts.
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,009

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    And I posted this on the last thread

    Good morning

    I only listened to Boris, Starmer and May in yesterday's debate as I had to go out, but would affirm that Boris was appalling, embarrassingly so, and if it does not wake up his colleagues that he needs to go then I do question just how bad he has to get

    Starmer's speech was pitch perfect and statesman like as I commented at the time, but he went on and spoiled it with exaggeration and petty point scoring

    May is carrying a huge vendetta against Boris and while she may have appealed to some conservative backbenchers, her idea Nato and assorted allies could have remained in Afghanistan is idiotic especially without the US

    Yesterday's mail poll had just 2% blaming Boris and had he performed at the dispatch box he would have had a better chance of defecting a lot of the criticism that came his way

    And some of you will be interested to know I have made the decisions to lapse my conservative membership due in October, (as has my wife) notwithstanding I lose my vote for the next leader, as I cannot continue to attack Boris, Patel and Williamson freely as a member

    I would just make this clear however, I support HMG over covid, the economy and brexit and of course Boris will not be there forever either

    As I replied to you at the end of the old thread, If the "petty point scoring was him attacking slack-jawed Raab for staying on the beach instead of making phonecalls, have you seen the front page of the Daily Mail?

    It isn't petty when lives are lost through inaction.

    As for a future UK military role, I go back to the comments from the senior general quoted in the debate yesterday about the Tory defence cuts having "filleted" the army to the point where we couldn't deploy to a new Afghanistan even if we wanted to.

    So much for "Global Britain". Afghanistan has started to wake people up to the reality that we are now a regional power at best.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,209
    How much is the US subsidising the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system? Trident is 100% dependent on the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, in Georgia. What if ‘America First’ means that they are no longer happy with puppet states holding the trigger on their (extraordinarily expensive) weapons system?

    The UK made a strategic error when it abandoned its independent nuclear deterrent and became dependent on US goodwill. That goodwill was always going to run out some day.

    How else could the UK deliver nuclear warheads?

    - heavy bombers?
    - tank rounds?
    - mortar rounds?
    - drone?
    - Boris Bikes?
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,009

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,576
    That might depend on how willing such countries were to fight to defend themselves.

    Difficult for any outside government to accept losses for countries which aren't.

    Countries such as Afghanistan.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,043
    One certainly has to question what use the USA is an ally, now. And, to an extent, US allies have brought this on themselves, by assuming the USA will always be there for them, while running down their own defences.

    We in the UK are lucky, because we have no enemies close by, and so, we can always shrug and let free states be gobbled up by unfree states or insurgencies. If Taiwan, or South Korea, or the Baltic states go under, well, we can just say “what a pity” and trade with whoever takes over.

    But, it would be a pity to see unfree states multiply around the world simply because we don’t care.
  • I think big bad Dom Raab should don his karate pyjamas and go and personally guard the British Ambassador in Kabul until his work is done.

    That'll show the Dutch what British turnips are made of (I understand they call him Dominic Raap - the Dutch word for turnip)
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 29,568

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    I feel Raab can only be truly absolved when the vital ‘what vile dereliction of duty was Drakeford committing’ question has been asked and answered.
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 44,967

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    And I posted this on the last thread

    Good morning

    I only listened to Boris, Starmer and May in yesterday's debate as I had to go out, but would affirm that Boris was appalling, embarrassingly so, and if it does not wake up his colleagues that he needs to go then I do question just how bad he has to get

    Starmer's speech was pitch perfect and statesman like as I commented at the time, but he went on and spoiled it with exaggeration and petty point scoring

    May is carrying a huge vendetta against Boris and while she may have appealed to some conservative backbenchers, her idea Nato and assorted allies could have remained in Afghanistan is idiotic especially without the US

    Yesterday's mail poll had just 2% blaming Boris and had he performed at the dispatch box he would have had a better chance of defecting a lot of the criticism that came his way

    And some of you will be interested to know I have made the decisions to lapse my conservative membership due in October, (as has my wife) notwithstanding I lose my vote for the next leader, as I cannot continue to attack Boris, Patel and Williamson freely as a member

    I would just make this clear however, I support HMG over covid, the economy and brexit and of course Boris will not be there forever either

    As I replied to you at the end of the old thread, If the "petty point scoring was him attacking slack-jawed Raab for staying on the beach instead of making phonecalls, have you seen the front page of the Daily Mail?

    It isn't petty when lives are lost through inaction.

    As for a future UK military role, I go back to the comments from the senior general quoted in the debate yesterday about the Tory defence cuts having "filleted" the army to the point where we couldn't deploy to a new Afghanistan even if we wanted to.

    So much for "Global Britain". Afghanistan has started to wake people up to the reality that we are now a regional power at best.
    I was not specifically referring to Raab in my criticism of Starmer, more that he did not need some of the petty points he was making towards the end of his speech

    The idea that without the defence cuts meant that we could have remained on our own in Afghanistan is nonsense and as I said our role as the Worlds policeman is over
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,209
    edited August 19

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    And I posted this on the last thread

    Good morning

    I only listened to Boris, Starmer and May in yesterday's debate as I had to go out, but would affirm that Boris was appalling, embarrassingly so, and if it does not wake up his colleagues that he needs to go then I do question just how bad he has to get

    Starmer's speech was pitch perfect and statesman like as I commented at the time, but he went on and spoiled it with exaggeration and petty point scoring

    May is carrying a huge vendetta against Boris and while she may have appealed to some conservative backbenchers, her idea Nato and assorted allies could have remained in Afghanistan is idiotic especially without the US

    Yesterday's mail poll had just 2% blaming Boris and had he performed at the dispatch box he would have had a better chance of defecting a lot of the criticism that came his way

    And some of you will be interested to know I have made the decisions to lapse my conservative membership due in October, (as has my wife) notwithstanding I lose my vote for the next leader, as I cannot continue to attack Boris, Patel and Williamson freely as a member

    I would just make this clear however, I support HMG over covid, the economy and brexit and of course Boris will not be there forever either

    Wow! That was a biggie Big G. Well done!

    I too allowed my membership of a centre-right party to lapse (the Swedish Moderates), at the end of 2018. No big fuss, no strop, no falling out, I just quietly didn’t pay the renewal invoice when it arrived. I fully intended to still vote M when a new election turned up, but the funny thing is that something changes when you are a free agent, and I now consider myself to be a genuine floating voter, for the first time in my life. It is fantastic! And quite daunting.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,576

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    And I posted this on the last thread

    Good morning

    I only listened to Boris, Starmer and May in yesterday's debate as I had to go out, but would affirm that Boris was appalling, embarrassingly so, and if it does not wake up his colleagues that he needs to go then I do question just how bad he has to get

    Starmer's speech was pitch perfect and statesman like as I commented at the time, but he went on and spoiled it with exaggeration and petty point scoring

    May is carrying a huge vendetta against Boris and while she may have appealed to some conservative backbenchers, her idea Nato and assorted allies could have remained in Afghanistan is idiotic especially without the US

    Yesterday's mail poll had just 2% blaming Boris and had he performed at the dispatch box he would have had a better chance of defecting a lot of the criticism that came his way

    And some of you will be interested to know I have made the decisions to lapse my conservative membership due in October, (as has my wife) notwithstanding I lose my vote for the next leader, as I cannot continue to attack Boris, Patel and Williamson freely as a member

    I would just make this clear however, I support HMG over covid, the economy and brexit and of course Boris will not be there forever either

    From the denialism and 'stab in the back' mythologizing taking place in parliament you would think that the Afghan army was up there with Leonidas's Spartans and the defenders of Hougoumont.
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,870
    edited August 19
    China (re)taking Taiwan is a given. The only question is the means. On current trajectory, China appears to have no real issue with South Korea, or with Japan beyond the performative nationalism those countries indulge in. They want the Americans out of their neighbourhood, but that's it. China clearly is disturbed by the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, despite the public point scoring. The Domino Theory has less again salience than it did in South East Asia when the Americans pulled out of Vietnam.

    The Afghanistan issue is whether the "Coalition" have a moral obligation to the country on a "you occupy it, you own it" basis.
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 4,124

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    And I posted this on the last thread

    Good morning

    I only listened to Boris, Starmer and May in yesterday's debate as I had to go out, but would affirm that Boris was appalling, embarrassingly so, and if it does not wake up his colleagues that he needs to go then I do question just how bad he has to get

    Starmer's speech was pitch perfect and statesman like as I commented at the time, but he went on and spoiled it with exaggeration and petty point scoring

    May is carrying a huge vendetta against Boris and while she may have appealed to some conservative backbenchers, her idea Nato and assorted allies could have remained in Afghanistan is idiotic especially without the US

    Yesterday's mail poll had just 2% blaming Boris and had he performed at the dispatch box he would have had a better chance of defecting a lot of the criticism that came his way

    And some of you will be interested to know I have made the decisions to lapse my conservative membership due in October, (as has my wife) notwithstanding I lose my vote for the next leader, as I cannot continue to attack Boris, Patel and Williamson freely as a member

    I would just make this clear however, I support HMG over covid, the economy and brexit and of course Boris will not be there forever either

    Has NATO become "wholly impotent"? And how can you tell.

    There has been no sustained direct military attack from a state actor on NATO territory since its inception. (If I am wrong lots of people are going to tell me quite quickly).

    It is probably a daft idea but would it be any good to expand the principle of NATO to a NATO+ organisation in which a much larger range of countries agreed that an attack on one was an attack on all. NATO has worked so far.

    BTW among the more absurd features of the EU was (and is) its embracing both NATO and non NATO countries. What is the Estonian or German or EU response going to be to an attack on Finland or Ireland?

  • kle4kle4 Posts: 68,915

    Am I the only person who thought Tugendhat’s performance hammy, mawkish and, well, a performance? I’ve no doubt he feels strongly about the subject but as I’ve observed about Starmer, it’s not enough to have sincere principles as a politician, you have to convince people that’s the case even if it means fluently faking it at times.

    Being a performance doesnt necessarily mean fake. Being conscious of how you display an emotion may be calculating, but doesnt mean the emotion displayed is false.

    But it is an issue with actors who get involved in politics particularly since we know their job is faking emotion.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,209
    tlg86 said:

    Whilst I don’t think the government has handled Afghanistan especially well, I’d be amazed if this makes any difference to public opinion on the parties. It feels like another example of the media being disconnected from the ordinary people. As sad as the situation is, this is really low down the list of priorities.

    I disagree. Major foreign affairs cock-ups affect the zeitgeist. The Johnson and Raab indifference, finger pointing and lack of agency has not gone unnoticed. While voters may forgive the Conservative Party, this constant drip, drip, drip of Johnson ministry incompetence is going to result in a leadership crisis. The only question is when?
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 25,813
    Very o/t, and one for the geeks:

    A trip around one of the Tunnel Boring Machines currently boring HS2 tunnels under the Chilterns.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izLHTYaJrho

    What surprised me is how clean everything is. True, they haven't driven too far yet, but everything seems remarkably spick-and-span compared to ye olde time TBMs.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 51,489
    Will Dominic Raab resign? A move in the Cabinet reshuffle later this year more likely. As we reported last week: "Dominic Raab is not part of Johnson’s inner circle and if he were to be moved to another post, it would clear the way for a wider shake-up"

    https://twitter.com/SebastianEPayne/status/1428259271091830791?s=20
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 2,601
    edited August 19

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    Cyclefree is bang on the money here. Trendy types that have bemoaned America being the “world’s policemen” have no idea what they are talking about.

    The world is a dangerous place, with powerful ideologies completely incompatible with the one that lets us live generally pleasant lives in the West. Chinese Communism being one, Wahhabism another. Don’t rule out Russian nationalism either. And there will be more birthed.

    If we are now in an era where America has vacated moral leadership of the world, do not be surprised how little time it takes for someone else to try and fill the gap. Indeed China already is but most remain blind to this. Most pertinently by European governments (including in the UK), who still take a wholly transactional approach to understanding Xi’s China.

    That video Leon played last night (“are we now solely relying on diplomacy with the Taliban?”) was one of the worst clips I’ve ever seen. It showed the US military up as impotent, chaotic and with more than a whiff of the keystone cops.

    I’ve never been more afraid for the world being left to my children as I have this week.
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 44,967

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,576
    Sean_F said:

    One certainly has to question what use the USA is an ally, now. And, to an extent, US allies have brought this on themselves, by assuming the USA will always be there for them, while running down their own defences.

    We in the UK are lucky, because we have no enemies close by, and so, we can always shrug and let free states be gobbled up by unfree states or insurgencies. If Taiwan, or South Korea, or the Baltic states go under, well, we can just say “what a pity” and trade with whoever takes over.

    But, it would be a pity to see unfree states multiply around the world simply because we don’t care.

    Your first paragraph is spot on.

    It also applies to the westernised middle class of Kabul.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 7,675
    algarkirk said:


    There has been no sustained direct military attack from a state actor on NATO territory since its inception. (If I am wrong lots of people are going to tell me quite quickly).

    The Falklands were the territory of a NATO nation but Article 6 prevailed.
  • swing_voterswing_voter Posts: 978

    tlg86 said:

    Whilst I don’t think the government has handled Afghanistan especially well, I’d be amazed if this makes any difference to public opinion on the parties. It feels like another example of the media being disconnected from the ordinary people. As sad as the situation is, this is really low down the list of priorities.

    I disagree. Major foreign affairs cock-ups affect the zeitgeist. The Johnson and Raab indifference, finger pointing and lack of agency has not gone unnoticed. While voters may forgive the Conservative Party, this constant drip, drip, drip of Johnson ministry incompetence is going to result in a leadership crisis. The only question is when?
    Agreed, old school Tories must be wondering if it is time for the stalking horse....... (remember 1989?)
  • geoffwgeoffw Posts: 5,474
    Sean_F said:

    One certainly has to question what use the USA is an ally, now. And, to an extent, US allies have brought this on themselves, by assuming the USA will always be there for them, while running down their own defences.

    We in the UK are lucky, because we have no enemies close by, and so, we can always shrug and let free states be gobbled up by unfree states or insurgencies. If Taiwan, or South Korea, or the Baltic states go under, well, we can just say “what a pity” and trade with whoever takes over.

    But, it would be a pity to see unfree states multiply around the world simply because we don’t care.

    Nato has an "advanced forward presence" in the Baltic states and the British army component is in Estonia.
    https://www.army.mod.uk/deployments/baltics/

  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,870
    edited August 19

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    And I posted this on the last thread

    Good morning

    I only listened to Boris, Starmer and May in yesterday's debate as I had to go out, but would affirm that Boris was appalling, embarrassingly so, and if it does not wake up his colleagues that he needs to go then I do question just how bad he has to get

    Starmer's speech was pitch perfect and statesman like as I commented at the time, but he went on and spoiled it with exaggeration and petty point scoring

    May is carrying a huge vendetta against Boris and while she may have appealed to some conservative backbenchers, her idea Nato and assorted allies could have remained in Afghanistan is idiotic especially without the US

    Yesterday's mail poll had just 2% blaming Boris and had he performed at the dispatch box he would have had a better chance of defecting a lot of the criticism that came his way

    And some of you will be interested to know I have made the decisions to lapse my conservative membership due in October, (as has my wife) notwithstanding I lose my vote for the next leader, as I cannot continue to attack Boris, Patel and Williamson freely as a member

    I would just make this clear however, I support HMG over covid, the economy and brexit and of course Boris will not be there forever either

    As I replied to you at the end of the old thread, If the "petty point scoring was him attacking slack-jawed Raab for staying on the beach instead of making phonecalls, have you seen the front page of the Daily Mail?

    It isn't petty when lives are lost through inaction.

    As for a future UK military role, I go back to the comments from the senior general quoted in the debate yesterday about the Tory defence cuts having "filleted" the army to the point where we couldn't deploy to a new Afghanistan even if we wanted to.

    So much for "Global Britain". Afghanistan has started to wake people up to the reality that we are now a regional power at best.
    Not specifically tied to Afghanistan, but the UK is hampered by a lack of a credible or coherent foreign policy, post Brexit. Precisely it has no policy on Europe whatever, where its overall foreign policy was previously rooted in the Continent: The "Transatlantic Bridge" has been burnt at both ends; nothing has replaced it, nor has there been any real thinking put into what its replacement should be.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,209

    Very o/t, and one for the geeks:

    A trip around one of the Tunnel Boring Machines currently boring HS2 tunnels under the Chilterns.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izLHTYaJrho

    What surprised me is how clean everything is. True, they haven't driven too far yet, but everything seems remarkably spick-and-span compared to ye olde time TBMs.

    Hope they learned the lesson from this fiasco:

    … halted from late 1997 to 2005, and resulted in large cost over-runs. The project was finished in December 2015, over 23 years after start of construction.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallandsås_Tunnel
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,009

    How much is the US subsidising the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system? Trident is 100% dependent on the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, in Georgia. What if ‘America First’ means that they are no longer happy with puppet states holding the trigger on their (extraordinarily expensive) weapons system?

    The UK made a strategic error when it abandoned its independent nuclear deterrent and became dependent on US goodwill. That goodwill was always going to run out some day.

    How else could the UK deliver nuclear warheads?

    - heavy bombers?
    - tank rounds?
    - mortar rounds?
    - drone?
    - Boris Bikes?

    I believe that we absolutely should have "our own independent nuclear deterrent" but we haven't had for yonks. Sub-Launched Ballistic Missiles - Trident - aren't a deterrent or independent. If there was a global nuclear war they wouldn't even get used - SIOP has SLBMs held as a 2nd strike reserve and our subs are part of America's "NATO" arsenal.

    We need to go back to bombs. You can't fire strategic weapons without provoking a strategic response. Can Russia or China afford to wait until they know that our missiles aren't aimed at them? No such problem with a bomb. And we have the capability to deploy such weapons with our new carriers and aircraft.

    As America has decided to go home and take its toys with it, we need to consider the role of our military, its requirements and our allies. Tories have both "filleted" the military and scrapped our alliances outside of a NATO that is withering on the vine.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 11,532

    Will Dominic Raab resign? A move in the Cabinet reshuffle later this year more likely. As we reported last week: "Dominic Raab is not part of Johnson’s inner circle and if he were to be moved to another post, it would clear the way for a wider shake-up"

    https://twitter.com/SebastianEPayne/status/1428259271091830791?s=20

    Johnson has an inner circle? Who is in? I thought is was a rag tag of over promoted charlatans hand picked for their lack of threat to Johnson. The cabinet seems remarkably void of factions, partly because none of them believe in much other than their own careers.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 42,181
    About the only thing to be said in favour of the FO are that they’re not the DfE.

    Their suggestion for bio security next term? Outside lessons.

    https://www.tes.com/news/covid-outdoor-lessons-idea-total-fudge-dfe-told

    This on the day Cambridge University has threatened to withdraw from teacher training because the new arrangements are a rushed shambles.
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,009

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    And I posted this on the last thread

    Good morning

    I only listened to Boris, Starmer and May in yesterday's debate as I had to go out, but would affirm that Boris was appalling, embarrassingly so, and if it does not wake up his colleagues that he needs to go then I do question just how bad he has to get

    Starmer's speech was pitch perfect and statesman like as I commented at the time, but he went on and spoiled it with exaggeration and petty point scoring

    May is carrying a huge vendetta against Boris and while she may have appealed to some conservative backbenchers, her idea Nato and assorted allies could have remained in Afghanistan is idiotic especially without the US

    Yesterday's mail poll had just 2% blaming Boris and had he performed at the dispatch box he would have had a better chance of defecting a lot of the criticism that came his way

    And some of you will be interested to know I have made the decisions to lapse my conservative membership due in October, (as has my wife) notwithstanding I lose my vote for the next leader, as I cannot continue to attack Boris, Patel and Williamson freely as a member

    I would just make this clear however, I support HMG over covid, the economy and brexit and of course Boris will not be there forever either

    As I replied to you at the end of the old thread, If the "petty point scoring was him attacking slack-jawed Raab for staying on the beach instead of making phonecalls, have you seen the front page of the Daily Mail?

    It isn't petty when lives are lost through inaction.

    As for a future UK military role, I go back to the comments from the senior general quoted in the debate yesterday about the Tory defence cuts having "filleted" the army to the point where we couldn't deploy to a new Afghanistan even if we wanted to.

    So much for "Global Britain". Afghanistan has started to wake people up to the reality that we are now a regional power at best.
    I was not specifically referring to Raab in my criticism of Starmer, more that he did not need some of the petty points he was making towards the end of his speech

    The idea that without the defence cuts meant that we could have remained on our own in Afghanistan is nonsense and as I said our role as the Worlds policeman is over
    The senior General quoted by an ex-service Tory MP in his speech disagrees with you about the defence cuts. As witnessed by various UK-led expeditions in the before times under Thatcher and Blair.
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 44,967

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    And I posted this on the last thread

    Good morning

    I only listened to Boris, Starmer and May in yesterday's debate as I had to go out, but would affirm that Boris was appalling, embarrassingly so, and if it does not wake up his colleagues that he needs to go then I do question just how bad he has to get

    Starmer's speech was pitch perfect and statesman like as I commented at the time, but he went on and spoiled it with exaggeration and petty point scoring

    May is carrying a huge vendetta against Boris and while she may have appealed to some conservative backbenchers, her idea Nato and assorted allies could have remained in Afghanistan is idiotic especially without the US

    Yesterday's mail poll had just 2% blaming Boris and had he performed at the dispatch box he would have had a better chance of defecting a lot of the criticism that came his way

    And some of you will be interested to know I have made the decisions to lapse my conservative membership due in October, (as has my wife) notwithstanding I lose my vote for the next leader, as I cannot continue to attack Boris, Patel and Williamson freely as a member

    I would just make this clear however, I support HMG over covid, the economy and brexit and of course Boris will not be there forever either

    As I replied to you at the end of the old thread, If the "petty point scoring was him attacking slack-jawed Raab for staying on the beach instead of making phonecalls, have you seen the front page of the Daily Mail?

    It isn't petty when lives are lost through inaction.

    As for a future UK military role, I go back to the comments from the senior general quoted in the debate yesterday about the Tory defence cuts having "filleted" the army to the point where we couldn't deploy to a new Afghanistan even if we wanted to.

    So much for "Global Britain". Afghanistan has started to wake people up to the reality that we are now a regional power at best.
    I was not specifically referring to Raab in my criticism of Starmer, more that he did not need some of the petty points he was making towards the end of his speech

    The idea that without the defence cuts meant that we could have remained on our own in Afghanistan is nonsense and as I said our role as the Worlds policeman is over
    The senior General quoted by an ex-service Tory MP in his speech disagrees with you about the defence cuts. As witnessed by various UK-led expeditions in the before times under Thatcher and Blair.
    I think the straight answer to that is 'well, they would wouldn't they'
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 4,124
    Dura_Ace said:

    algarkirk said:


    There has been no sustained direct military attack from a state actor on NATO territory since its inception. (If I am wrong lots of people are going to tell me quite quickly).

    The Falklands were the territory of a NATO nation but Article 6 prevailed.
    Noted. Geography meant there was no obligation. I suppose the clue is in the N of NATO. No doubt Argentina had read the relevant article. Would they, or anyone else, attack the Isle of Wight? The answer is: Not yet anyway. In the post WW II world those decades are a considerable victory, only ignored because of what didn't happen.

  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 25,813

    Very o/t, and one for the geeks:

    A trip around one of the Tunnel Boring Machines currently boring HS2 tunnels under the Chilterns.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izLHTYaJrho

    What surprised me is how clean everything is. True, they haven't driven too far yet, but everything seems remarkably spick-and-span compared to ye olde time TBMs.

    Hope they learned the lesson from this fiasco:

    … halted from late 1997 to 2005, and resulted in large cost over-runs. The project was finished in December 2015, over 23 years after start of construction.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallandsås_Tunnel
    Thanks. I hadn't heard of that one.

    My favourite was Denmark's Storebaelt Link tunnel. The one where they drove it into the seabed (or at least a lens of super-saturated sand), flooding the tunnels.

    "A series of calamities plagued the project from the beginning. Some of the problems encountered were:
    - Because of design modifications the TBMs arrived on site up to 10 months behind schedule and incomplete, and were very late being commissioned.
    - Shortly after they commenced driving the tunnels, impurities in their hydraulic systems caused a malfunction that resulted in the replacement of the cutterhead drive motors.
    - The two tunnels on the Sprogo Island side were accidentally flooded in October1991, inundating the TBMs around 300 metres from the tunnels entrance portals.
    - The bearing seals on the TBM screw conveyors (that removed the excavated muck from the tunnel face) failed, causing 6 months further delay.
    - The cutterheads on the Halsskov (Zeeland) side wore out prematurely due to the extremely abrasive ground, and were replaced at a cost of 9 months delay
    - Ground freezing was required twice in order to repair the TBMs
    - To cap it all, in June 1994 with just 1% of the tunnel left to complete, a devastating fire occurred on Dania TBM which nearly destroyed 36 metres of the concrete tunnel lining closest to the face. Following another long delay required for making safe and repairing the damage, the tunnels were completed with the final segment being placed on 7th April 1995 after nearly 5 years of tunnelling."

    https://sites.google.com/site/constructivedevelopments/storebaelt-tunnels

    When these projects go wrong, they really go wrong. Something Musk will find out sometime.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,209

    Will Dominic Raab resign? A move in the Cabinet reshuffle later this year more likely. As we reported last week: "Dominic Raab is not part of Johnson’s inner circle and if he were to be moved to another post, it would clear the way for a wider shake-up"

    https://twitter.com/SebastianEPayne/status/1428259271091830791?s=20

    Johnson has an inner circle? Who is in? I thought is was a rag tag of over promoted charlatans hand picked for their lack of threat to Johnson. The cabinet seems remarkably void of factions, partly because none of them believe in much other than their own careers.
    Exactly my thought: who is in this Johnson “inner circle”? Carrie? Churchill’s ghost? The budgie?
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,009

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    Lol - the EU member states who were involved in Afghanistan were involved as NATO members, not as EU members. Same as us. The EU is not in Afghanistan. Are you saying that prior to Brexit the UK PM/Defence secretary should have deferred to the EU commission with regards to our military?

    Laughable. I know you want to try and find a pro-Brexit angle, but really. As for refugees, check the number taken by non-UK EU states, then how many we have. For all that we have this "crisis" of migration we take far less than France or Germany. As you well know.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,043

    This is a curious thread. It seems much of the West wants simultaneously the US to be the worlds sole policeman but also resents it playing that role. No wonder the US pivots between playing it and stepping back every other generation.

    Like it or not, the world will always have hegemonic powers, and for all its flaws, the USA has been more benign than any other hegemonic power in history.

    Plainly, the UK has nothing like the resources to be a hegemonic power, and the European nations definitely don’t have the will to be, collectively. But we should at least be boosting our defence expenditure, to something like 3% of GDP.
  • EndillionEndillion Posts: 3,813

    This doesn't follow at all.

    Biden doesn't want to do endless corruption-breeding troop-killing counter-insurgency things. The Americans didn't want to do any such things before Bush-Cheney, and they didn't get themselves into any new ones after Bush-Cheney. These wars were a mistake, and they've known this for well over a decade, but given the likely clusterfuck that would follow it was always easier to stay a bit longer than leave.

    That doesn't mean they don't want to spend ungodly sums of money on impressive weapon systems and fight glorious overseas military campaigns from the air or the sea. If anything Biden will be on the look out for someone to bomb to repair his relationship with the blob.

    I think this is mostly an excellent point, with one caveat: Biden is under a certain amount of pressure from specific elements of his party on support for Israel. If it is no longer clear that the US will stand behind Israel, then suddenly out and out war in the Middle East becomes a distinct possibility. And the answer to the last question posed in the article is in part that Israel absolutely will defend itself, and won't particularly care what anyone else thinks about that.
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,009

    tlg86 said:

    Whilst I don’t think the government has handled Afghanistan especially well, I’d be amazed if this makes any difference to public opinion on the parties. It feels like another example of the media being disconnected from the ordinary people. As sad as the situation is, this is really low down the list of priorities.

    I disagree. Major foreign affairs cock-ups affect the zeitgeist. The Johnson and Raab indifference, finger pointing and lack of agency has not gone unnoticed. While voters may forgive the Conservative Party, this constant drip, drip, drip of Johnson ministry incompetence is going to result in a leadership crisis. The only question is when?
    Agreed, old school Tories must be wondering if it is time for the stalking horse....... (remember 1989?)
    With what is happening now you wonder if they could put up someone like Johnny Mercer, sacked for demanding the government uphold a manifesto pledge to veterans.

    Then again, they'd probably put up John Redwood again. Or Desmond Swayne...
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 4,594
    edited August 19
    moonshine said:

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    Cyclefree is bang on the money here. Trendy types that have bemoaned America being the “world’s policemen” have no idea what they are talking about.

    The world is a dangerous place, with powerful ideologies completely incompatible with the one that lets us live generally pleasant lives in the West. Chinese Communism being one, Wahhabism another. Don’t rule out Russian nationalism either. And there will be more birthed.

    If we are now in an era where America has vacated moral leadership of the world, do not be surprised how little time it takes for someone else to try and fill the gap. Indeed China already is but most remain blind to this. Most pertinently by European governments (including in the UK), who still take a wholly transactional approach to understanding Xi’s China.

    That video Leon played last night (“are we now solely relying on diplomacy with the Taliban?”) was one of the worst clips I’ve ever seen. It showed the US military up as impotent, chaotic and with more than a whiff of the keystone cops.

    I’ve never been more afraid for the world being left to my children as I have this week.
    Europe is well capable of filling some of the gap, if it wants to, and that's also the only arena where Britain will have anything approaching independent input. Britain, France and Germany in combination are well capable of exerting military influence, let alone the addition of Scandinavia, or Mediterranean states, who are now in an unofficial alliance from France to Cyprus.
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 44,967

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    Lol - the EU member states who were involved in Afghanistan were involved as NATO members, not as EU members. Same as us. The EU is not in Afghanistan. Are you saying that prior to Brexit the UK PM/Defence secretary should have deferred to the EU commission with regards to our military?

    Laughable. I know you want to try and find a pro-Brexit angle, but really. As for refugees, check the number taken by non-UK EU states, then how many we have. For all that we have this "crisis" of migration we take far less than France or Germany. As you well know.
    How many Afghan refugees from this crisis has each member state of the EU declared they will accept

    You could start with France
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,209
    Sean_F said:

    This is a curious thread. It seems much of the West wants simultaneously the US to be the worlds sole policeman but also resents it playing that role. No wonder the US pivots between playing it and stepping back every other generation.

    Like it or not, the world will always have hegemonic powers, and for all its flaws, the USA has been more benign than any other hegemonic power in history.

    Plainly, the UK has nothing like the resources to be a hegemonic power, and the European nations definitely don’t have the will to be, collectively. But we should at least be boosting our defence expenditure, to something like 3% of GDP.
    Bung up inheritance tax. That’ll delight the base.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 68,915

    Will Dominic Raab resign? A move in the Cabinet reshuffle later this year more likely. As we reported last week: "Dominic Raab is not part of Johnson’s inner circle and if he were to be moved to another post, it would clear the way for a wider shake-up"

    https://twitter.com/SebastianEPayne/status/1428259271091830791?s=20

    If hes not in the inner circle why was he made First Secretary of State and entrusted with deputising for the PM when he was incapacitated?

    It's hard to move people to go quietly in the top jobs since its impossible to pretend all but a few posts are demotions, and they may have too much pride.

    I did wonder if he'd lost the First Secretary title - clips his wings without making another enemy.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 33,225

    This doesn't follow at all.

    Biden doesn't want to do endless corruption-breeding troop-killing counter-insurgency things. The Americans didn't want to do any such things before Bush-Cheney, and they didn't get themselves into any new ones after Bush-Cheney. These wars were a mistake, and they've known this for well over a decade, but given the likely clusterfuck that would follow it was always easier to stay a bit longer than leave.

    That doesn't mean they don't want to spend ungodly sums of money on impressive weapon systems and fight glorious overseas military campaigns from the air or the sea. If anything Biden will be on the look out for someone to bomb to repair his relationship with the blob.

    I agree with you.
    The domino analogy wasn't valid back in the Cold War days, and was more a piece of rhetoric to justify intervention than it was a serious analysis.

    Having said that, @Cyclefree is quite right to raise the question. People from various US allies have asked exactly the same thing. The US government needs to make very clear the distinction between what it has done in Afghanistan (whatever we might think of that), and the strategic commitments it believes are important to it - Taiwan most urgently.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 9,983
    Dura_Ace said:

    algarkirk said:


    There has been no sustained direct military attack from a state actor on NATO territory since its inception. (If I am wrong lots of people are going to tell me quite quickly).

    The Falklands were the territory of a NATO nation but Article 6 prevailed.
    Interesting that overseas Metropolitan France is excluded.
  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 15,541
    Endillion said:

    This doesn't follow at all.

    Biden doesn't want to do endless corruption-breeding troop-killing counter-insurgency things. The Americans didn't want to do any such things before Bush-Cheney, and they didn't get themselves into any new ones after Bush-Cheney. These wars were a mistake, and they've known this for well over a decade, but given the likely clusterfuck that would follow it was always easier to stay a bit longer than leave.

    That doesn't mean they don't want to spend ungodly sums of money on impressive weapon systems and fight glorious overseas military campaigns from the air or the sea. If anything Biden will be on the look out for someone to bomb to repair his relationship with the blob.

    I think this is mostly an excellent point, with one caveat: Biden is under a certain amount of pressure from specific elements of his party on support for Israel. If it is no longer clear that the US will stand behind Israel, then suddenly out and out war in the Middle East becomes a distinct possibility. And the answer to the last question posed in the article is in part that Israel absolutely will defend itself, and won't particularly care what anyone else thinks about that.
    The anti-Israel faction of the Democratic Party is like 4 or 5 people, even Bernie didn't really go there, and Biden defeated it decisively in the primaries. Biden is under no pressure there at all.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 33,225
    (FPT)

    All of the ex-servicemen who spoke gave similar testimonies, as for a split second did Ben Wallace on LBC with his "cos I'm a sold..." snapped response as to why he is taking this all so personally.

    I note the dismissal of Tugendhat's "performance" from several posters above and have to ask - have you served? Unless you have seen what these men have seen who are you to call them fakes?

    Who called him a fake? My point is that he wasn’t imo very good at presenting his authentic experience as a professional soldier.
    You did. His speech was a "performance" - an act, a fake.
    I don't think that's fair - all speeches are performances, and while I've no doubt his emotions were genuine, Tugendhat's was no different in that respect.

    A question I do have about him is whether he's being wise after the event. He is chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
    I posted yesterday a link to the House of Lords select committee report from January this year, which is comprehensive, and in some respect prescient about what subsequently happened:
    https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld5801/ldselect/ldintrel/208/20802.htm

    I've searched back, and can find nothing of significance from either the Defence or Foreign Affairs committees of the Commons in the last two years.

    I'm also not sure whether he made any comment at all on the Trump deal last year (our Defence Minister welcomed it at the time). Prior to the debate, I can find him speaking in the HoC on Afghanistan only twice in the last two years (April and July this year).
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,209
    - “Researchers concluded two doses reduce the chance of getting the Covid-19 by about 82 per cent for Pfizer and 67 per cent for AstraZeneca.”

    Countries that uses principally Pfizer are going to have a better autumn and winter.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 18,693

    Very o/t, and one for the geeks:

    A trip around one of the Tunnel Boring Machines currently boring HS2 tunnels under the Chilterns.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izLHTYaJrho

    What surprised me is how clean everything is. True, they haven't driven too far yet, but everything seems remarkably spick-and-span compared to ye olde time TBMs.

    Hope they learned the lesson from this fiasco:

    … halted from late 1997 to 2005, and resulted in large cost over-runs. The project was finished in December 2015, over 23 years after start of construction.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallandsås_Tunnel
    Thanks. I hadn't heard of that one.

    My favourite was Denmark's Storebaelt Link tunnel. The one where they drove it into the seabed (or at least a lens of super-saturated sand), flooding the tunnels.

    "A series of calamities plagued the project from the beginning. Some of the problems encountered were:
    - Because of design modifications the TBMs arrived on site up to 10 months behind schedule and incomplete, and were very late being commissioned.
    - Shortly after they commenced driving the tunnels, impurities in their hydraulic systems caused a malfunction that resulted in the replacement of the cutterhead drive motors.
    - The two tunnels on the Sprogo Island side were accidentally flooded in October1991, inundating the TBMs around 300 metres from the tunnels entrance portals.
    - The bearing seals on the TBM screw conveyors (that removed the excavated muck from the tunnel face) failed, causing 6 months further delay.
    - The cutterheads on the Halsskov (Zeeland) side wore out prematurely due to the extremely abrasive ground, and were replaced at a cost of 9 months delay
    - Ground freezing was required twice in order to repair the TBMs
    - To cap it all, in June 1994 with just 1% of the tunnel left to complete, a devastating fire occurred on Dania TBM which nearly destroyed 36 metres of the concrete tunnel lining closest to the face. Following another long delay required for making safe and repairing the damage, the tunnels were completed with the final segment being placed on 7th April 1995 after nearly 5 years of tunnelling."

    https://sites.google.com/site/constructivedevelopments/storebaelt-tunnels

    When these projects go wrong, they really go wrong. Something Musk will find out sometime.
    I think that anyone who proudly arranges for a video like this one - and has it published - has a healthy, sane understanding of the concept of failure.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvim4rsNHkQ

    As opposed to the belief that 10,000 pages of analysis proves Nothing Can Wrong.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 68,915
    edited August 19
    I do hope everyone is poised tomorrow for the results of today's vital election?

    Thst is, the rerun of the Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner election.
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,009

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    And I posted this on the last thread

    Good morning

    I only listened to Boris, Starmer and May in yesterday's debate as I had to go out, but would affirm that Boris was appalling, embarrassingly so, and if it does not wake up his colleagues that he needs to go then I do question just how bad he has to get

    Starmer's speech was pitch perfect and statesman like as I commented at the time, but he went on and spoiled it with exaggeration and petty point scoring

    May is carrying a huge vendetta against Boris and while she may have appealed to some conservative backbenchers, her idea Nato and assorted allies could have remained in Afghanistan is idiotic especially without the US

    Yesterday's mail poll had just 2% blaming Boris and had he performed at the dispatch box he would have had a better chance of defecting a lot of the criticism that came his way

    And some of you will be interested to know I have made the decisions to lapse my conservative membership due in October, (as has my wife) notwithstanding I lose my vote for the next leader, as I cannot continue to attack Boris, Patel and Williamson freely as a member

    I would just make this clear however, I support HMG over covid, the economy and brexit and of course Boris will not be there forever either

    As I replied to you at the end of the old thread, If the "petty point scoring was him attacking slack-jawed Raab for staying on the beach instead of making phonecalls, have you seen the front page of the Daily Mail?

    It isn't petty when lives are lost through inaction.

    As for a future UK military role, I go back to the comments from the senior general quoted in the debate yesterday about the Tory defence cuts having "filleted" the army to the point where we couldn't deploy to a new Afghanistan even if we wanted to.

    So much for "Global Britain". Afghanistan has started to wake people up to the reality that we are now a regional power at best.
    I was not specifically referring to Raab in my criticism of Starmer, more that he did not need some of the petty points he was making towards the end of his speech

    The idea that without the defence cuts meant that we could have remained on our own in Afghanistan is nonsense and as I said our role as the Worlds policeman is over
    The senior General quoted by an ex-service Tory MP in his speech disagrees with you about the defence cuts. As witnessed by various UK-led expeditions in the before times under Thatcher and Blair.
    I think the straight answer to that is 'well, they would wouldn't they'
    Yep. There is always inter-service jostling over resources. But do we believe the word of senior military leaders to know the state of the army, or do we believe the word of Dominic Raab...?
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,043

    Sean_F said:

    This is a curious thread. It seems much of the West wants simultaneously the US to be the worlds sole policeman but also resents it playing that role. No wonder the US pivots between playing it and stepping back every other generation.

    Like it or not, the world will always have hegemonic powers, and for all its flaws, the USA has been more benign than any other hegemonic power in history.

    Plainly, the UK has nothing like the resources to be a hegemonic power, and the European nations definitely don’t have the will to be, collectively. But we should at least be boosting our defence expenditure, to something like 3% of GDP.
    Bung up inheritance tax. That’ll delight the base.
    WRT IHT, one can just let rising property prices do the work of dragging more estates into the net. Or alternatively, cut the rates, but abolish most exemptions and reliefs. In reality, it's the most painless of taxes.
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,870

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    Lol - the EU member states who were involved in Afghanistan were involved as NATO members, not as EU members. Same as us. The EU is not in Afghanistan. Are you saying that prior to Brexit the UK PM/Defence secretary should have deferred to the EU commission with regards to our military?

    Laughable. I know you want to try and find a pro-Brexit angle, but really. As for refugees, check the number taken by non-UK EU states, then how many we have. For all that we have this "crisis" of migration we take far less than France or Germany. As you well know.
    How many Afghan refugees from this crisis has each member state of the EU declared they will accept

    You could start with France
    The "which European country is doing the least for Afghan refugees?" argument appears to another Brexit proxy-war promoted by people who mostly think we shouldn't be doing anything much for Afghan refugees anyway.
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,009

    moonshine said:

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    Cyclefree is bang on the money here. Trendy types that have bemoaned America being the “world’s policemen” have no idea what they are talking about.

    The world is a dangerous place, with powerful ideologies completely incompatible with the one that lets us live generally pleasant lives in the West. Chinese Communism being one, Wahhabism another. Don’t rule out Russian nationalism either. And there will be more birthed.

    If we are now in an era where America has vacated moral leadership of the world, do not be surprised how little time it takes for someone else to try and fill the gap. Indeed China already is but most remain blind to this. Most pertinently by European governments (including in the UK), who still take a wholly transactional approach to understanding Xi’s China.

    That video Leon played last night (“are we now solely relying on diplomacy with the Taliban?”) was one of the worst clips I’ve ever seen. It showed the US military up as impotent, chaotic and with more than a whiff of the keystone cops.

    I’ve never been more afraid for the world being left to my children as I have this week.
    Europe is well capable of filling some of the gap, if it wants to, and that's also the only arena where Britain will have anything approaching independent input. Britain, France and Germany in combination are well capable of exerting military influence, let alone the addition of Scandinavia, or Mediterranean states, who are now in an unofficial alliance from France to Cyprus.
    A European Army then...
  • MattWMattW Posts: 9,983
    edited August 19

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    Depends on Phase - in the iSAF period, most it them. Since then, still some but perhaps fewer.



    http://chartsbin.com/view/nnu
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 18,693
    On toipic

    Israel - Has a policy that if it goes down, it will "rm -rf *.*" everyone involved. And has the weapons to do it.
    South Korea - large, effective army, with a history of fighting like hell. Strong, effective government, with lost of buy in from the population
    Taiwan - Similar to South Korea.
    Japan - An interesting question. But again, strong, well structured military. In the middle of a build up.

    SK, Taiwan and Japan can go nuclear in days, if they choose. Isreal.....
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 4,594
    edited August 19

    moonshine said:

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    Cyclefree is bang on the money here. Trendy types that have bemoaned America being the “world’s policemen” have no idea what they are talking about.

    The world is a dangerous place, with powerful ideologies completely incompatible with the one that lets us live generally pleasant lives in the West. Chinese Communism being one, Wahhabism another. Don’t rule out Russian nationalism either. And there will be more birthed.

    If we are now in an era where America has vacated moral leadership of the world, do not be surprised how little time it takes for someone else to try and fill the gap. Indeed China already is but most remain blind to this. Most pertinently by European governments (including in the UK), who still take a wholly transactional approach to understanding Xi’s China.

    That video Leon played last night (“are we now solely relying on diplomacy with the Taliban?”) was one of the worst clips I’ve ever seen. It showed the US military up as impotent, chaotic and with more than a whiff of the keystone cops.

    I’ve never been more afraid for the world being left to my children as I have this week.
    Europe is well capable of filling some of the gap, if it wants to, and that's also the only arena where Britain will have anything approaching independent input. Britain, France and Germany in combination are well capable of exerting military influence, let alone the addition of Scandinavia, or Mediterranean states, who are now in an unofficial alliance from France to Cyprus.
    A European Army then...
    Yes, and it doesn't have to be in the EU, although Britain hasn't helped itself and others by leaving it.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,209

    Daily Mail Deputy Political Editor:

    Raab wasn't asked to be the ambassador processing visas at Kabul airport

    Raab wasn't asked to be one of the 600 troops deployed to secure the airport

    He was asked to make *one phone call* from his sun lounger to help the translators who served our troops - and he refused


    https://twitter.com/johnestevens/status/1428245637783592962?s=20

    Just because thats from the Daily Mail one wouldn't automatically think that its true..if it is however, its awful.
    I don't even understand how he could be on holiday. AIUI Deputy PM is not really a job apart from when the PM is away on holiday himself (or ill). How on earth can he schedule his holiday at the same time as the PM in the first place, regardless of what went on, and meet his obligations as Deputy PM?
    A very good question.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,043

    moonshine said:

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    Cyclefree is bang on the money here. Trendy types that have bemoaned America being the “world’s policemen” have no idea what they are talking about.

    The world is a dangerous place, with powerful ideologies completely incompatible with the one that lets us live generally pleasant lives in the West. Chinese Communism being one, Wahhabism another. Don’t rule out Russian nationalism either. And there will be more birthed.

    If we are now in an era where America has vacated moral leadership of the world, do not be surprised how little time it takes for someone else to try and fill the gap. Indeed China already is but most remain blind to this. Most pertinently by European governments (including in the UK), who still take a wholly transactional approach to understanding Xi’s China.

    That video Leon played last night (“are we now solely relying on diplomacy with the Taliban?”) was one of the worst clips I’ve ever seen. It showed the US military up as impotent, chaotic and with more than a whiff of the keystone cops.

    I’ve never been more afraid for the world being left to my children as I have this week.
    Europe is well capable of filling some of the gap, if it wants to, and that's also the only arena where Britain will have anything approaching independent input. Britain, France and Germany in combination are well capable of exerting military influence, let alone the addition of Scandinavia, or Mediterranean states, who are now in an unofficial alliance from France to Cyprus.
    A European Army then...
    In practce, that means a proliferation of top brass.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 7,675
    edited August 19
    MattW said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    algarkirk said:


    There has been no sustained direct military attack from a state actor on NATO territory since its inception. (If I am wrong lots of people are going to tell me quite quickly).

    The Falklands were the territory of a NATO nation but Article 6 prevailed.
    Interesting that overseas Metropolitan France is excluded.
    Article 6 exists because the US didn't want to be on the hook for defending the overseas territories of the UK and France.

    There's no such thing as 'overseas Metropolitan France'. The phrase refers to l'Hexagone plus Corse. Les DOM-TOMs are not part of it.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 67,956
    edited August 19
    Quincel said:

    It won't be Israel, there's a bipartisan agreement to almost obsessively have their back militarily/financially. But if I were Taiwan I'd be pretty worried.

    Bit of a firepower difference in a war between the Republic of China vs the People's Republic of China and Israel vs Syria/Iran/Hezbollah/Hamas
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,576

    - “Researchers concluded two doses reduce the chance of getting the Covid-19 by about 82 per cent for Pfizer and 67 per cent for AstraZeneca.”

    Countries that uses principally Pfizer are going to have a better autumn and winter.
    For some reason you forgot to mention this bit:

    Although Pfizer initially has greater effectiveness, this declines more quickly and after four to five months both vaccines offer similar levels of protection.

    And after six or seven or eight months ...
  • kjhkjh Posts: 4,041

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    A lot of what we do doesn't make a blind bit of difference, but we don't know that at the time and if someone is asking for a call in a war zone about getting interpreters out and you don't know what they are going to say until you speak to them then make the call. He can't make two calls at the same time, but is difficult to believe there was not a point where he could of called.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 25,813

    Very o/t, and one for the geeks:

    A trip around one of the Tunnel Boring Machines currently boring HS2 tunnels under the Chilterns.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izLHTYaJrho

    What surprised me is how clean everything is. True, they haven't driven too far yet, but everything seems remarkably spick-and-span compared to ye olde time TBMs.

    Hope they learned the lesson from this fiasco:

    … halted from late 1997 to 2005, and resulted in large cost over-runs. The project was finished in December 2015, over 23 years after start of construction.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallandsås_Tunnel
    Thanks. I hadn't heard of that one.

    My favourite was Denmark's Storebaelt Link tunnel. The one where they drove it into the seabed (or at least a lens of super-saturated sand), flooding the tunnels.

    "A series of calamities plagued the project from the beginning. Some of the problems encountered were:
    - Because of design modifications the TBMs arrived on site up to 10 months behind schedule and incomplete, and were very late being commissioned.
    - Shortly after they commenced driving the tunnels, impurities in their hydraulic systems caused a malfunction that resulted in the replacement of the cutterhead drive motors.
    - The two tunnels on the Sprogo Island side were accidentally flooded in October1991, inundating the TBMs around 300 metres from the tunnels entrance portals.
    - The bearing seals on the TBM screw conveyors (that removed the excavated muck from the tunnel face) failed, causing 6 months further delay.
    - The cutterheads on the Halsskov (Zeeland) side wore out prematurely due to the extremely abrasive ground, and were replaced at a cost of 9 months delay
    - Ground freezing was required twice in order to repair the TBMs
    - To cap it all, in June 1994 with just 1% of the tunnel left to complete, a devastating fire occurred on Dania TBM which nearly destroyed 36 metres of the concrete tunnel lining closest to the face. Following another long delay required for making safe and repairing the damage, the tunnels were completed with the final segment being placed on 7th April 1995 after nearly 5 years of tunnelling."

    https://sites.google.com/site/constructivedevelopments/storebaelt-tunnels

    When these projects go wrong, they really go wrong. Something Musk will find out sometime.
    I think that anyone who proudly arranges for a video like this one - and has it published - has a healthy, sane understanding of the concept of failure.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvim4rsNHkQ

    As opposed to the belief that 10,000 pages of analysis proves Nothing Can Wrong.
    As opposed to his belief in AI driving (where's the autonomous coast-to-coast drive he promised us back in 2016, for 2017?)

    Musk is a man of contrasts. A hero who can deliver amazing technology. A nasty shyster who continuously lies (Musk time is very often an excuse hiding a lie). A PR supremo who has eschewed traditional forms of PR, who has idiots hanging onto his every word (not anyone on here, obviously).

    IMO Hyperloop and TBC are two projects that are doomed to failure, because he is not as much of a genus as he pretends he is.

    I like him and dislike him for different reasons. At the moment, the dislike is at the fore.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,209
    Sean_F said:

    Sean_F said:

    This is a curious thread. It seems much of the West wants simultaneously the US to be the worlds sole policeman but also resents it playing that role. No wonder the US pivots between playing it and stepping back every other generation.

    Like it or not, the world will always have hegemonic powers, and for all its flaws, the USA has been more benign than any other hegemonic power in history.

    Plainly, the UK has nothing like the resources to be a hegemonic power, and the European nations definitely don’t have the will to be, collectively. But we should at least be boosting our defence expenditure, to something like 3% of GDP.
    Bung up inheritance tax. That’ll delight the base.
    WRT IHT, one can just let rising property prices do the work of dragging more estates into the net. Or alternatively, cut the rates, but abolish most exemptions and reliefs. In reality, it's the most painless of taxes.
    Lovely to know that all that hard-earned wealth mum and dad built up over their lifetimes is going to be spaffed up the wall by The Clown and his little care assistants.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 18,693

    - “Researchers concluded two doses reduce the chance of getting the Covid-19 by about 82 per cent for Pfizer and 67 per cent for AstraZeneca.”

    Countries that uses principally Pfizer are going to have a better autumn and winter.
    For some reason you forgot to mention this bit:

    Although Pfizer initially has greater effectiveness, this declines more quickly and after four to five months both vaccines offer similar levels of protection.

    And after six or seven or eight months ...
    Oh, and the important bit - protection against serious disease and death is virtually identical.
  • Daveyboy1961Daveyboy1961 Posts: 1,454

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    I suspect they will end up taking a lot more refugees than we ever will. I'm still not sure what it has to do with VDL. Is she the head of NATO?, no. Does the EU have an Army in the theatre of war? NO. If anything there are Armies from each country or NATO.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 39,648

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    Don’t be ridiculous. It’s August.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 12,156

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    Lol - the EU member states who were involved in Afghanistan were involved as NATO members, not as EU members. Same as us. The EU is not in Afghanistan. Are you saying that prior to Brexit the UK PM/Defence secretary should have deferred to the EU commission with regards to our military?

    Laughable. I know you want to try and find a pro-Brexit angle, but really. As for refugees, check the number taken by non-UK EU states, then how many we have. For all that we have this "crisis" of migration we take far less than France or Germany. As you well know.
    How many Afghan refugees from this crisis has each member state of the EU declared they will accept

    You could start with France
    From a British angle we were subject to the whims of either the US or the EU, and to an extent that should absolve Johnson/Raab from some of the fallout.

    My understanding however is Macron for one saw the writing on the wall and pulled his embassy before the fun started. So when it comes to aportioning blame where were Johnson and Raab when the French saw the light?

    Your defence of Johnson is one of, "but this is Biden's omnishambles", and it is, but I can't vote Biden's incompetence out of office, I can Johnson's.

    I have a certain sympathy for both Biden and Johnson, because to a degree they were made hostages to fortune by Doha. Nonetheless, in both cases utterly shambolic execution of the cluster**** occurred on their watches.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 68,915

    FF43 said:

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    Lol - the EU member states who were involved in Afghanistan were involved as NATO members, not as EU members. Same as us. The EU is not in Afghanistan. Are you saying that prior to Brexit the UK PM/Defence secretary should have deferred to the EU commission with regards to our military?

    Laughable. I know you want to try and find a pro-Brexit angle, but really. As for refugees, check the number taken by non-UK EU states, then how many we have. For all that we have this "crisis" of migration we take far less than France or Germany. As you well know.
    How many Afghan refugees from this crisis has each member state of the EU declared they will accept

    You could start with France
    The "which European country is doing the least for Afghan refugees?" argument appears to another Brexit proxy-war promoted by people who mostly think we shouldn't be doing anything much for Afghan refugees anyway.
    Past performance is not indicative of future results etc, but..


    I do wonder how much a factor difficulty is, in that once you make a short hop into Europe from the meditterannean it's not too hard to work up the energy/wherewithal to press on elsewhere, but coming from Afghanistan once you've made it anywhere relatively 'big' as a draw it may be best to settle, and then that is its own pull factor as others from your nation know there is a community.

    But that being said Australia is not easy to get to, and the numbers for Germany/France and Sweden are so much higher it suggests the above factor is not major. I am surprised even with hostile policies it is that low.
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,009

    FF43 said:

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    Lol - the EU member states who were involved in Afghanistan were involved as NATO members, not as EU members. Same as us. The EU is not in Afghanistan. Are you saying that prior to Brexit the UK PM/Defence secretary should have deferred to the EU commission with regards to our military?

    Laughable. I know you want to try and find a pro-Brexit angle, but really. As for refugees, check the number taken by non-UK EU states, then how many we have. For all that we have this "crisis" of migration we take far less than France or Germany. As you well know.
    How many Afghan refugees from this crisis has each member state of the EU declared they will accept

    You could start with France
    The "which European country is doing the least for Afghan refugees?" argument appears to another Brexit proxy-war promoted by people who mostly think we shouldn't be doing anything much for Afghan refugees anyway.
    Past performance is not indicative of future results etc, but..


    And yet Big_G and his ilk seem utterly convinced that the UK is awash with refugees unlike anywhere else. In reality the reverse is true. THIS is the real hostile environment.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 88,963
    Taiwan is largely a creation of the Chinese civil war and the last haven of the Nationalists so if the Communists took there I doubt the US would intervene.

    However if the sovereignty of independent Japan or South Korea were threatened then the US would have to intervene or the whole of the Far East would be under threat.

    Israel as it has shown before can support itself, though the US would be more likely to intervene to protect Israael than Taiwan.

    Taiwan would likely need nuclear weapons to support itself
  • felixfelix Posts: 13,692

    - “Researchers concluded two doses reduce the chance of getting the Covid-19 by about 82 per cent for Pfizer and 67 per cent for AstraZeneca.”

    Countries that uses principally Pfizer are going to have a better autumn and winter.
    Nope. The rest of the article which you didn't quote says that after a short time the two give very similar protection with the AZT one lasting longer. Both are very good vaccines, reducing infection considerably and serious illness quite dramatically. Howver, the clinically vulnerable and immuno-supressed are much less well protected by any vaccines.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 9,983

    Sean_F said:

    Sean_F said:

    This is a curious thread. It seems much of the West wants simultaneously the US to be the worlds sole policeman but also resents it playing that role. No wonder the US pivots between playing it and stepping back every other generation.

    Like it or not, the world will always have hegemonic powers, and for all its flaws, the USA has been more benign than any other hegemonic power in history.

    Plainly, the UK has nothing like the resources to be a hegemonic power, and the European nations definitely don’t have the will to be, collectively. But we should at least be boosting our defence expenditure, to something like 3% of GDP.
    Bung up inheritance tax. That’ll delight the base.
    WRT IHT, one can just let rising property prices do the work of dragging more estates into the net. Or alternatively, cut the rates, but abolish most exemptions and reliefs. In reality, it's the most painless of taxes.
    Lovely to know that all that hard-earned wealth mum and dad built up over their lifetimes is going to be spaffed up the wall by The Clown and his little care assistants.
    IHT is a rounding error.

    It raises about £5bn a year. That is approx 0.6% of UK Govt tax raised.

    By comparison £30bn a year is spaffed each year on making house price rises into free money for the house owners.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,576

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    Lol - the EU member states who were involved in Afghanistan were involved as NATO members, not as EU members. Same as us. The EU is not in Afghanistan. Are you saying that prior to Brexit the UK PM/Defence secretary should have deferred to the EU commission with regards to our military?

    Laughable. I know you want to try and find a pro-Brexit angle, but really. As for refugees, check the number taken by non-UK EU states, then how many we have. For all that we have this "crisis" of migration we take far less than France or Germany. As you well know.
    How many Afghan refugees from this crisis has each member state of the EU declared they will accept

    You could start with France
    From a British angle we were subject to the whims of either the US or the EU, and to an extent that should absolve Johnson/Raab from some of the fallout.

    My understanding however is Macron for one saw the writing on the wall and pulled his embassy before the fun started. So when it comes to aportioning blame where were Johnson and Raab when the French saw the light?

    Your defence of Johnson is one of, "but this is Biden's omnishambles", and it is, but I can't vote Biden's incompetence out of office, I can Johnson's.

    I have a certain sympathy for both Biden and Johnson, because to a degree they were made hostages to fortune by Doha. Nonetheless, in both cases utterly shambolic execution of the cluster**** occurred on their watches.
    A quick google suggests France is in pretty much the same position as other western countries in Afghanistan.

    Though I suspect they have fewer people there and were under fewer delusions about the merits of the Afghan army.
  • felixfelix Posts: 13,692
    kle4 said:

    I do hope everyone is poised tomorrow for the results of today's vital election?

    Thst is, the rerun of the Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner election.

    When is the exit poll? :smiley:
  • MattWMattW Posts: 9,983
    edited August 19
    Dura_Ace said:

    MattW said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    algarkirk said:


    There has been no sustained direct military attack from a state actor on NATO territory since its inception. (If I am wrong lots of people are going to tell me quite quickly).

    The Falklands were the territory of a NATO nation but Article 6 prevailed.
    Interesting that overseas Metropolitan France is excluded.
    Article 6 exists because the US didn't want to be on the hook for defending the overseas territories of the UK and France.

    There's no such thing as 'overseas Metropolitan France'. The phrase refers to l'Hexagone plus Corse. Les DOM-TOMs are not part of it.
    Thanks for the correct phrase - I think we know what we mean.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,043

    Sean_F said:

    Sean_F said:

    This is a curious thread. It seems much of the West wants simultaneously the US to be the worlds sole policeman but also resents it playing that role. No wonder the US pivots between playing it and stepping back every other generation.

    Like it or not, the world will always have hegemonic powers, and for all its flaws, the USA has been more benign than any other hegemonic power in history.

    Plainly, the UK has nothing like the resources to be a hegemonic power, and the European nations definitely don’t have the will to be, collectively. But we should at least be boosting our defence expenditure, to something like 3% of GDP.
    Bung up inheritance tax. That’ll delight the base.
    WRT IHT, one can just let rising property prices do the work of dragging more estates into the net. Or alternatively, cut the rates, but abolish most exemptions and reliefs. In reality, it's the most painless of taxes.
    Lovely to know that all that hard-earned wealth mum and dad built up over their lifetimes is going to be spaffed up the wall by The Clown and his little care assistants.
    But, still preferable to an increase in VAT, NI, or Income Tax.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 68,915
    felix said:

    kle4 said:

    I do hope everyone is poised tomorrow for the results of today's vital election?

    Thst is, the rerun of the Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner election.

    When is the exit poll? :smiley:
    I think they thought commissioning one it then decided - it's Wiltshire, even in the circumstances of why there's a rerun, just call it for the Blues.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 33,225

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    Lol - the EU member states who were involved in Afghanistan were involved as NATO members, not as EU members. Same as us. The EU is not in Afghanistan. Are you saying that prior to Brexit the UK PM/Defence secretary should have deferred to the EU commission with regards to our military?

    Laughable. I know you want to try and find a pro-Brexit angle, but really. As for refugees, check the number taken by non-UK EU states, then how many we have. For all that we have this "crisis" of migration we take far less than France or Germany. As you well know.
    How many Afghan refugees from this crisis has each member state of the EU declared they will accept

    You could start with France
    From a British angle we were subject to the whims of either the US or the EU, and to an extent that should absolve Johnson/Raab from some of the fallout.

    My understanding however is Macron for one saw the writing on the wall and pulled his embassy before the fun started. So when it comes to aportioning blame where were Johnson and Raab when the French saw the light?

    Your defence of Johnson is one of, "but this is Biden's omnishambles", and it is, but I can't vote Biden's incompetence out of office, I can Johnson's.

    I have a certain sympathy for both Biden and Johnson, because to a degree they were made hostages to fortune by Doha. Nonetheless, in both cases utterly shambolic execution of the cluster**** occurred on their watches.
    From the House of Lords select committee I mentioned earlier (Jan this year):
    ...The ongoing presence of UK troops in Afghanistan depends on the deployment decisions of the US. We were disappointed by the lack of analysis of the implications of the planned US withdrawal from Afghanistan provided by ministers in their evidence. We ask the Government to provide to us its assessment of the US’s policy.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 39,648
    What I hope comes out of this debacle is greater realism on the part of the UK government. That means:
    Accepting that the US is no longer the reliable friend it was pre Trump.
    Accepting that as a result NATO is a busted flush and can no longer be the central strand of our defence.
    accepting that we therefore have to look to our own capabilities, however restricted these might be.
    Accepting that we have to operate within those restrictions.
    Accepting that what we think is of very little importance to anyone else and vice versa. Focus on our real interests, act rarely but make sure when we do it is within our capabilities.
  • felixfelix Posts: 13,692

    moonshine said:

    These are all legitimate questions but the answer is we really do not know

    The one thing we do know is that the UK acting as the world's policeman is over and that NATO seems to have become wholly impotent

    Everything has changed in a matter of a few days, and maybe it is a good thing that the UK has to accept that it must avoid foreign interventions and invest in its intelligence and security services at home

    I would assume any future military intervention in Afghanistan, if it was necessary, would be from a distance and by precision bombing. Re entering Afghanistan is just not going to happen

    Cyclefree is bang on the money here. Trendy types that have bemoaned America being the “world’s policemen” have no idea what they are talking about.

    The world is a dangerous place, with powerful ideologies completely incompatible with the one that lets us live generally pleasant lives in the West. Chinese Communism being one, Wahhabism another. Don’t rule out Russian nationalism either. And there will be more birthed.

    If we are now in an era where America has vacated moral leadership of the world, do not be surprised how little time it takes for someone else to try and fill the gap. Indeed China already is but most remain blind to this. Most pertinently by European governments (including in the UK), who still take a wholly transactional approach to understanding Xi’s China.

    That video Leon played last night (“are we now solely relying on diplomacy with the Taliban?”) was one of the worst clips I’ve ever seen. It showed the US military up as impotent, chaotic and with more than a whiff of the keystone cops.

    I’ve never been more afraid for the world being left to my children as I have this week.
    Europe is well capable of filling some of the gap, if it wants to, and that's also the only arena where Britain will have anything approaching independent input. Britain, France and Germany in combination are well capable of exerting military influence, let alone the addition of Scandinavia, or Mediterranean states, who are now in an unofficial alliance from France to Cyprus.
    A European Army then...
    Yes, and it doesn't have to be in the EU, although Britain hasn't helped itself and others by leaving it.
    An EU army would need to be rather quicker on the uptake than we saw with the vaccine rollout...
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 44,967
    FF43 said:

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    Lol - the EU member states who were involved in Afghanistan were involved as NATO members, not as EU members. Same as us. The EU is not in Afghanistan. Are you saying that prior to Brexit the UK PM/Defence secretary should have deferred to the EU commission with regards to our military?

    Laughable. I know you want to try and find a pro-Brexit angle, but really. As for refugees, check the number taken by non-UK EU states, then how many we have. For all that we have this "crisis" of migration we take far less than France or Germany. As you well know.
    How many Afghan refugees from this crisis has each member state of the EU declared they will accept

    You could start with France
    The "which European country is doing the least for Afghan refugees?" argument appears to another Brexit proxy-war promoted by people who mostly think we shouldn't be doing anything much for Afghan refugees anyway.
    I think we should be welcoming far more than 20,000 over 5 years and your response is a deflection
  • boulayboulay Posts: 92

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    I suspect they will end up taking a lot more refugees than we ever will. I'm still not sure what it has to do with VDL. Is she the head of NATO?, no. Does the EU have an Army in the theatre of war? NO. If anything there are Armies from each country or NATO.
    And yet the EU are not quiet about bigging up “their” manufacture and distribution of vaccines, when the EU doesn't actually manufacture vaccines in the theatre of pharmaceuticals and they aren’t afraid of opining on sports “success” of the EU - if anything there are teams from each country in the olympics....
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 42,181
    Mask report:

    On the 9.33 from Salisbury to Portsmouth. Can only see one person not wearing a mask and the train is fairly full.

    No sign at all of the PCC elections in Salisbury. Sorry @kle4
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,870
    edited August 19

    Ben Wallace on R4 stoutly defends Raab - "a phone call on Friday would not have made a blind bit of difference".

    Well that clears that up.
    Raab clearly was wrong, but also Biden was on holiday and took days to appear, and just as a matter of interest UVDL seems to have disappeared altogether.

    Has anyone heard from the EU who I understand now have a problem of refugees crossing into the EU from Belarus
    As the EU does not have any skin in the game in Afghanistan what specifically do you think she failed to do?
    One of the biggest security crisis in the world and you try to excuse the EU from any responsibility takes the biscuit

    How many EU members were involved in Afghanistan by the way and more importantly just how many EU countries are going to accept refugees, how is the commission going to organise that, and how are they going to deal with the mass arrival of Afghans at their borders
    Well EU FMs have met and issued a statement, which is essentially a holding position. But there are some intentions noted in the final paragraph. I think this is more than the UK has done, bearing mind immigration and asylum is a national competency, despite the UK being more directly involved in Afghanistan.

    https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/08/17/afghanistan-declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-european-union/
  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 15,541
    HYUFD said:

    Taiwan is largely a creation of the Chinese civil war and the last haven of the Nationalists so if the Communists took there I doubt the US would intervene.

    However if the sovereignty of independent Japan or South Korea were threatened then the US would have to intervene or the whole of the Far East would be under threat.

    The Senkaku Islands are kind of a weird case in a slightly similar way that Taiwan is weird in that officially the American's don't have an opinion on whether they belong to China and Japan. However they are pledged to defend Japan's - um - administration of them if they're attacked.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,244

    This is a curious thread. It seems much of the West wants simultaneously the US to be the worlds sole policeman but also resents it playing that role. No wonder the US pivots between playing it and stepping back every other generation.

    On the money.
This discussion has been closed.