The Sunday Times has learned that the SAS are being readied to return to Afghanistan as part of Donald Trump’s planned military surge.
According to Whitehall sources, “Theresa May is prepared to approve a surge of special forces personnel to hunt down Taliban leaders and the Isis and al-Qaeda militants they are sheltering.”
It seems that we are, once again, walking with eyes wide open into a flawed strategy of night raids and drone strikes.
As General Stanley McChrystal, a former ISAF commander explained: “From a conventional standpoint, the killing of two insurgents in a group of ten leaves eight remaining: Ten minus two equals eight (10-2=8). From the insurgent standpoint, those two killed were likely related to many others who will want vengeance… Therefore, the death of two creates more willing recruits: Ten minus two equals twenty, or more, rather than eight (10-2≥20).”
McChrystal’s insurgent algebra is correct but it is Albert Einstein, author of the most famous algebraic formula of them all, who is alleged to have said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand
A true story of love, service and incompetence.
When Chris Green became disillusioned with his seemingly perfect existence he didn’t buy a sports car, run off with the au pair or snort cocaine from the breasts of prostitutes.
Instead he went to fight the increasingly unpopular war on terror in Afghanistan.
In the process of discovering himself he unwittingly discovers that the courage and heroism of the soldiers he fights alongside are confounded by incompetence and corruption, not to mention “an industrial strength counterterrorism killing machine”.
It’s a world where the dipsomaniac governor is in the pay of the illicit opium trade, the Chief of Police is a pederast and all round bad guy and the locals still haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842, or for the Russian Invasion of 1979. All infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.
Missing his two young sons, unable to influence policy and just a phone-call away from a brawl he can only lose with the elite SAS, Chris dreams of epic powder days in the High Alps a world away from Afghanistan. But before he can return home to a hero’s welcome – and his wife’s divorce lawyers – he must first complete one last mission to Zumbalay, the Taliban Heart of Darkness and an unlikely reunion with an old man in Helmand.
Guaranteed to make you laugh and cry or your money back*, Spin Zhira is a rare insight into the male mid-life crisis. What every woman needs to know and why every man should be careful what he wishes for.
‘Brims with authenticity and dark humour.’
Patrick Hennessey, The Junior Officers’ Reading Club
‘A must read.’
Richard Dorney, The Killing Zone
‘The best book by a soldier concerning the Afghan War that I have read.’
Frank Ledwidge, Losing Small Wars
Doug Beattie MC, An Ordinary Soldier
Dr Mike Martin, An Intimate war
* check the small print first