Why Can’t The West Win Its Wars Any More?
After 9/11 the West invaded Afghanistan and Iraq to remake them as friendly, terror-free liberal democracies. But the unintended consequences were historic disaster, countless dead and the humbling of Western power, symbolised by the shameful evacuation of Kabul in 2021. How did we get it so catastrophically wrong?
Arthur Snell, who served in Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province, explores the flawed thinking that generated the very insurgencies the West was trying to suppress. Has the West built a world of forever wars that it can’t win?
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• “Every way you look, the Western way of war burns through cash. And that creates incentives for warlords, generals and Prime Ministers.” – Arthur Snell
• “When we went to Helmand I really thought we were going to get this right… And over several command meetings I started to think, Do we really know what we’re doing?” – Frank Ledwidge
• “Having invaded these countries and toppled their governments, we didn’t know what to do next.” – Arthur Snell
• “She told me, the Afghan people hate you. They hate you because you make promises you don’t deliver on.” – Frank Ledwidge
• “No-one said ‘You can’t do counter-narcotics, and take away people’s livelihoods, in the same place you’re supposed to be winning hearts and minds.’” – Mike Martin
• “One of the reasons we crashed into Helmand was internal military politics. It suited the army to go in, to preserve its force structure.” – Mike Martin
DOOMSDAY WATCH was written and presented by Arthur Snell, and produced by Robin Leeburn – with assistant production from Jacob Archbold. Theme tune and original music is by Paul Hartnoll. The group editor is Andrew Harrison. DOOMSDAY WATCH is a Podmasters production.