Letter published today in Edinburgh Evening News
The resignation of Major General Andrew Mackay, Officer Commanding Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England, last week in protest at military equipment and personnel shortages in Afghanistan surely puts into sharp focus the Taleban's most powerful weapon, its support from the native population. The insurgents haven't a fraction of the equipment Major General Mackay had at his disposal and yet they have kept the most powerful armies in the world at bay for eight years now. How can that be?The US and British military high command are fully aware that the overwhelming majority of Afghans deeply resent the presence of an alien army from the other side of the world and have done so for the best part of a decade. It is therefore delusional to suggest that pouring in ever more soldiers and military hardware will alter that basic fact or lead to victory for this unwarranted aggression.That's why the Taleban are winning the war in Afghanistan and why both US General McChrystal and British General Sir David Richards are now openly contemplating defeat.