Ten French soldiers killed in afghanistan
August 21, 2008 8:00 AM   Subscribe

Ten French soldiers killed in afghanistan. A ceremony for the 10 soldiers took place today in Paris.. Caught in an ambush, the soldiers have been fired upon during several hours. Nato strikes are told to have been inaccurate. Survivors' testimonies seem to imply that the situation has been dealt with in an awkward way. The President's decision to send more troops in Afghanistan is discussed.
posted by nicolin (19 comments total)
Past tense, present tense, future tense! UNITE!
posted by cavalier at 8:08 AM on August 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

nicolin can you provide a summary of the french links?
posted by Mitheral at 8:16 AM on August 21, 2008

Wow, the terrorists in Afghanistan are really emboldened if they are ambushing soldiers at ceremonies in Paris.
posted by DU at 8:17 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

English isn't nicolin's native language. I'm sure I would not do well composing a post on a French language site. Thanks for the links nicolin.
posted by netbros at 8:22 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

i had not read about this, thanks for the links!
posted by quonsar at 8:25 AM on August 21, 2008

Summary of the "testimonies" link: it was basically a clusterfuck. The Taliban attacked. The French soldiers ran out of ammo. Meanwhile, NATO airstrikes missed their target and killed the French soldiers instead. Radio communications were cut off. There was supposed to be a standby rapid response force, but there wasn't; it took three-four hours for reinforcements to arrive, during which time the Taliban could not only blast away at the soldiers undisturbed but also have ample advance warning of the reinforcements' approach.

Given how bad it was, I'm surprised there weren't more casualties. Still, it's clear that the French are just not good at counterinsurgency at all (see Algeria, Indochina). That's not a bad thing, but it does suggest that the fachos in the UMP should stop waving their Napoleonic dicks around and keep their soldiers at home.
posted by nasreddin at 8:33 AM on August 21, 2008

Just so you know for the future, nicolin, I've been out of the newsloop for a few days and this post was really disorienting until I clicked into a few links finally into this comment section, so that I could see the post title. "The ten soldiers? What ten soldiers? Huh?" But thanks for the post.
posted by bettafish at 9:17 AM on August 21, 2008

No problem. I would be pleased if someone could correct my post, as far as tenses are the concern here.
posted by nicolin at 9:22 AM on August 21, 2008

And yes, I should have written the title once again... sorry.
posted by nicolin at 9:23 AM on August 21, 2008

I nudged it a little to bring the title into the post. Don't sweat the grammar stuff, nicolin, it seems like a fine post aside from the minor formatting confusion.
posted by cortex at 9:37 AM on August 21, 2008

Hi my name's Cav and I'm an asshole who doesn't recognize people posting in their non native language. Thanks for the post!
posted by cavalier at 10:47 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yeah, good post. Thanks!
posted by languagehat at 11:02 AM on August 21, 2008

Last news : looks like the american pilots have actually fired upon the French soldiers. The French president has stated that it was a necessary thing to do to send our troops in afghanistan, so there will be no changes, in spite of the reactions in France. Some specialists, when asked what to think of twenty years old sent to the other side of the world to be torn to pieces, answer that it is quite normal since young men are always the first to die at war since the beginnings of time. The risks were too well known. Two years ago, the French decided to withdraw much better trained soldiers. About the way some help was provided by the french themselves, which has been criticized : a general has stated that some help was sent 25 minutes after the incident, and some more an hour later. He didn't stated when this help arrived on the spot. But he has admitted that "when you're under fire, the way you perceive the passing of time isn't the same". Btw, apart from the ten casualties, 21 soldiers have been wounded. I don't know how the french rate at counterinsurgency but Here are the total casualties for Afghanistan so far (but wiki, so...) with some elements.
posted by nicolin at 12:04 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

This must be a very shocking event for the people of France - thanks for bringing us this clip and these articles, nicolin. I really appreciate getting the info and news on this from someone "on the ground."
posted by madamjujujive at 12:17 PM on August 21, 2008

This was headline news in the rest of the world. I remember switching from BBC to MSNBC, CNN, etc., looking for a mention in the latter. But all they had were headlines about Olympic swimming and gymnastics.
posted by carter at 1:39 PM on August 21, 2008

My heart goes out to your countrymen, nicolin.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:34 PM on August 21, 2008

Thanks, the whole story sounds bad to me. Most of these soldiers were based 20 miles from where I live, and I knew someone who died in Afghanistan with medecins du monde in the eighties. What a waste.
posted by nicolin at 2:55 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Can I just ask - was this not mentioned in the news in other parts of the world? I picked up on this first reading the Guardian online, but it was also mentioned in the radio and print press here in Australia (admittedly not as front page news).
posted by Megami at 7:16 PM on August 21, 2008

Get the fuck out of people's countries, before it was to civilize them now it's to pacify and civilize them. GET THE FUCK OUT.
posted by zouhair at 5:44 AM on August 22, 2008

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