Sometimes (or is it often?) I despair at the ‘insights’ offfered us by journalists. Or am I missing something vital here? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-21633960 – all about wars being unwinnable.
Ever since the Trojan Horse episode, clever tacticians have managed to thwart the efforts of mere generals by the use of informal methods of warfare. And of course that really gets up the generals’ disrespected noses. They of course always liked it to be predictable – in serried ranks with breaks for tea and unseasonal showers. A favourite tactic was to settle the whole thing with the help of Sir Knight and his trusty lance, while the cannon fodder waited in the wings with their Woodbines, cakes and ale (anachronistically speaking). In more modern times they have been particularly offended by human shields and enemies who refuse to wear uniforms and keep hiding in caves; downright un-British, what?
The fact is that the generations of Grand Old Dukes of York (and no doubt other seats of military learning) have always been reluctant to keep up with the irregulars, and take it as a personal insult when barracks are closed and the regimental goats are served up in the mess and replaced with robots.
Meanwhile, back at the BBC, journalists fail to cotton on to the fact that few wars have ever been ‘won’ in any meaningful sense. Both sides lose. And Afghanistan has regularly delivered proof of the phenomenon.