The Professors passion for "The Science of Deceit" started here...

Employed by the Ministry (in a covert capacity) to help introduce the law ending dishonest politics, you can see his hand all over the posts of past.

Current political circumstances have forced him to reveal himself and as we speak, MPs are signing up to re-introduce The Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill for debate with over 80,000 voters supporting them.

Posts before Jan '08 are purely for the record (with hindsight they make fascinating reading). Posts after May 13th mark the Professor's return.

Meet the Professor

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Taleban Italian Job

The French Military are unhappy, the Italians deny all.

Taking over the usually "quiet" Salobi area of Afghanistan from the Italians, the French quickly found themselves under attack and lost 10 men - only to discover there was a reason for the previous "detente".

The Italians (you can tell by the sunglasses) it seems had been paying protection money to prevent local insurgents from attacking. Once the French had moved in and resumed attacks, quite reasonably the Taleban ("we're businessmen after all") assumed the deal was over with and got back to work - presumably with a view to finding an "accommodation" from the French.

The Italian government have vigorously denied any such underhand activity. Given Berlusconi's current credibility problems (and their infantry's well-known predilection for having 3 reverse gears in their armoured vehicles) they'd be better off spinning it differently and leading from the front,  something along the lines of...


And perhaps they're not wrong. Instead of spending a lot of money sending troops over there, why not cut out the middleman - the Army. Instead of declaring war, simply give the insurgents a few quid to keep themselves to themselves.

Except then they'd have no-one to keep themselves to themselves from.

OK, scratch that. Start the war, get 'em all pepped up, give 'em a few quid to quiet down and then get the hell out. I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair wet etc. but these are, let's face it, fairly minimal losses versus unending years of war. Perfect exit strategy. Now if we'd've had that deal going in Iraq - the gov. could say they've done the right thing and averted the terrifying threat of WMD's, peace has been restored. Job done. No enquiries, no backlash, no questions of illegal war, minimal casualties and we get to save a few quid.

I pointed this out to a Greek friend with a massive holding in a US arms company - he was underwhelmed.
"The military will never go for it, three months of action and then what ?"
"But at the moment we're paying off the enemy anyway and costing us a lot of money and lives by being over there."
"But if we weren't over there in the first place you wouldn't have to be paying off the enemy ."
"I'm talking about exit strategy. I'm not saying a government shouldn't go in to prove a point, get votes, build morale, keep our boys in tip top condition as well as fuel arms development and provide jobs back home... I'm just saying we should manage the exit strategy in a more business-like fashion. Once it looks like things are gonna be tougher than we thought just pay them off and declare victory."
"Then what ?"
"Keep paying - it's still cheaper"
"Another Black Label ?"
"That'll do nicely."
"Promise to stop this line of conversation ?"
"Absolutely. But you've just proved my point."
"How's that ?"
"We've had a disagreement, you buy me a drink, peace is restored and you get to claim a moral victory. Now, you've just gotta keep buying"

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