0630 this morning, British Forces leave Sangin

#4
#5
Good analysis of the mission and objectives provided in the video.

BBC News 20 Sep 2010 said:
...Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said UK troops should be "proud of their achievements".
He said Sangin was "one of the most challenging areas of Afghanistan".
"The level of sacrifice has been high and we should never forget the many brave troops who have lost their lives in the pursuit of success in an international mission rooted firmly in our own national security in the UK," he said...
Amen to that! This gives some idea of their under-reported achievements:

Royal Marine witnesses progress in Sangin
MOD website 27 Jul 2010 said:
Five years after first deploying to Sangin, Royal Marine Captain Marty Adams is back in the town and is witnessing some of the progress made there thanks to the military effort and the civilian 'surge' by the UK Government's Stabilisation Unit...
 
#8
All those who have served there. Well done, good job and crack on doing it to the taliban elswhere. Those who didn't come back. Rest in peace and you will always be remembered by your family, friends and the rest of us who, although we wish it had not happened, do value your memory because you paid with your lives for us.
 
#9
What is the reason for the pull out though?

The kind of things I have picked up from other threads are that the British Army, Royal Marines etc have not lost any of their professionalism, the ability to perform to the highest standards in the most difficult of standards, but that the government and the higher echelons of the Defence Council have failed to evolve COIN out there. The result of which is that the US don’t perceive the British are doing what is required. Is that what is happening here? I don’t have an opinion and am trying to get enough information to form one.

One thing is for sure, rest in peace all those that have given their lives there.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#10
I've been waiting for the inevitable bite -

Plenty of coverage of the MoD official line out there.eg LINKY

ISAF has today announced that British forces in southern Afghanistan have handed responsibility for security in Sangin to US forces.

The transfer of authority, first announced by the Defence Secretary in July this year, is the last move in the current rebalancing of ISAF forces across Helmand. It follows an increase in ISAF and Afghan security forces in Helmand over recent months and will ensure an equal distribution of ISAF forces amongst the Afghan population living there.

Handing over Sangin will allow UK forces to focus their effort in central Helmand where they will continue to deliver effective counter-insurgency operations, working alongside the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

British forces have been in Sangin, a key economic and transport hub, since 2006. Alongside the ANSF, they have provided vital security for the local population on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan, enabling development and preventing the insurgency from using Sangin as a base from which to mount attacks across Helmand.

40 Commando Royal Marines, currently deployed with 4th Mechanized Brigade, have handed over to the US Marine Corps (USMC).

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

"British forces have served in Sangin over the last four years and should be very proud of the achievements they have made in one of the most challenging areas of Afghanistan.

"The level of sacrifice has been high and we should never forget the many brave troops who have lost their lives in the pursuit of success in an international mission rooted firmly in our own national security in the UK.


"We should never forget the many brave troops who have lost their lives in the pursuit of success in an international mission rooted firmly in our own national security in the UK."
Dr Liam Fox


"The handover of Sangin by UK forces represents sound military rationale and reflects the increase of both ISAF and Afghan forces across Helmand over the course of the past year.

"British troops will redeploy to central Helmand in support of ISAF's main effort, where they will continue to lead the fight against the insurgency and assist in building a stable and secure Afghanistan that can stand on its own two feet."

Major General Gordon Messenger, the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Communications Officer, said:

"British troops redeploying from Sangin are handing over a strong, forward-looking operation which has, over the last four years, ensured that the authority of the Afghan Government exists even in an area that the Taliban regard as their heartland.

"Our troops operating in Sangin have been taking the fight to the Taliban and by doing so have reduced the threat of violence spreading elsewhere. The progress and momentum in central Helmand would not have been possible without their endeavour and sacrifice.

"It is and will continue to be a challenging area because of its strategic importance to the Afghan Government, ISAF and the insurgency - that is why ISAF forces will remain there to build upon the progress already achieved by UK forces.

"The transfer of responsibility for Sangin to the USMC is the latest in a series of practical and sensible reconfigurations that have occurred as a result of the significant uplift in ISAF troops in Helmand over the last year.

"It allows British forces, with their Danish and Estonian allies, to focus their efforts in the critical central Helmand area, building on the strong momentum that has already been achieved there."

Major General Richard Mills, Commander of Regional Command (South West), the military headquarters responsible for Helmand and Nimruz provinces, said:

"UK forces have carved out a solid security bubble that we are moving US forces into. They are leaving solid professional relationships with the people and the ANSF in Sangin.

"We will continue to build on the successes and continue to work with the local population and forces there."

As well as being an economic and transport hub, power lines route through Sangin, supplying power from the Kajaki hydroelectric station to central Helmand and Kandahar, and Sangin is one of the most fertile areas in Helmand. Building and maintaining security and governance in Sangin is therefore vital for the long-term stability and development of Helmand and the wider region.


"It's been a hard fight for 40 Commando Royal Marines in Sangin, but we have achieved much ... we are confident that our American partners will build on what we have achieved."
Lieutenant Colonel Paul James RM


Sangin has moved forward since 2006 with:

• the reform of Sangin's district governance with a new District Governor and senior staff appointed in March 2010. The new Governor is actively working with members of the UK-led Provincial Reconstruction Team and local community leaders to improve governance in Sangin and win the support of local tribal groupings, some of whom have previously supported the insurgency;

• over 850 shops trading in Sangin's bazaar, twice as many as summer last year;

• the improvement of Route 611 from central Helmand through Sangin to Kajaki - increasing access to agricultural land and markets for local people;

• local administrators, supported by the Provincial Reconstruction Team, working to distribute grain and promote the production of legal alternatives to narcotics;

• trained Afghan medics at the new health clinic, which opened in October 2009, treating 300 patients per week - men, women and children from Sangin and its surrounding areas.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer of 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"It's been a hard fight for 40 Commando Royal Marines in Sangin, but we have achieved much. We have sought to protect the local people and have worked hard to support the Afghan National Security Forces.

"Our partners in the ANA and ANP [Afghan National Police] have improved tremendously. They have provided the security for the District Governor to spread the influence of the Afghan Government.

"The bazaar itself, central to the economy of the area, is thriving and a much more bustling place than when we arrived with new shops opening all the time.

"There is still work to do, and we are confident that our American partners will build on what we have achieved. We have lost brave Marines, but we will do them proud and return home with our heads held high."

British forces will redeploy to central Helmand where they will join their British colleagues who are operating alongside Afghan and other ISAF forces and where the UK-led Provincial Reconstruction Team is carrying out major governance and socio-economic development projects.

District Governor of Sangin, Mohammad Sharif, said:

"The attitude, service and sacrifice that has been paid by the Royal Marines has been exemplary and has set a very good example for the people of Sangin. As 40 Commando goes, they will be missed by the people of Sangin and they will be in our thoughts and minds forever as we will always remember their hard work and efforts."
 
#11
I am delighted that our people are out of there.
I have little expectation that the US will do better, but that's high-level stuff.

As rgjbloke said in different words ...
God Bless The Fallen, and congratulations for an awesome effort to all those who served there.

Come home safe, everyone who is still out there.
 
#13
Nice sentiment,totally agree.Local comment was "Worried because Brits were too nice to fire at Taliban in case they hit innocent civilians-USA don't care"!!
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
A positive appraisal of the British Army's effort in Sangin by Michael Williams in the Guardian: How the British presence in Sangin restored trust in government | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Sangin should have been the easiest place in all of Afghanistan for the Taliban to hold. It is extremely isolated, and its people are incredibly impoverished, poorly educated and dependent on the narcotics industry. They have historically fiercely opposed any foreign presence (including Afghans from other parts of the country). Instead, thanks largely to the efforts of British troops, it is very much in play – if the Afghan government wants to look after it.
I am so very proud to have served there as a combat Infantryman and proud too of all we achieved in that place. Sometimes I read all the negative, defeatist posts on this forum about our war in Afghanistan and it just depresses me. I'm glad that there is at least someone else on this planet who thinks we did good things there and that our friends didn't die and become maimed in the cause of absolutely nothing.
 
#15
Seconded.

Unfortunately, the insurgents will present this as the Basra Mark II
And why shouldn't they for there has been no great victory yet we are leaving. The level of corruption in The Afghan SF is on the increase and sooner or later the area will slip back in to tribal rule without foreign influence.

This (And Basrah alike) are why I think all troops should be withdrawn yesterday. There is no tactical victory that troops can achieve which will make a good enough difference. Indeed we still do not have a clear idea of why we are there. As it stands Afghanistan is a training area which is sapping money and lives keeping our soldiers operationally experienced and competant for when the future campaign arrives with a need for decisive, conventional military action. Our COIN strategy doesn't work and considering we're not changing it isn't going to start working any time soon.

Sacking it is the only sensible option really so today is a good start.

Editted to clarify: I wish I could be the optimist but the disgrace that was the handing back of Basrah opened my eyes to how these campaigns really end. I got a tiny taste of how the yanks must have felt post Vietnam. As soon as that happened I knew what was going to happen in Southern Afghanistan eventually. Its pathetic but I will cough to being one of the defeatists however I am basing it not only on our recent history (See The Peace Process in NI aswell as Basra) but also Afghanistans history with foreign invaders (Sorry Peace Keepers).

Building a bridge/school or making friends with a farmer will not, a COIN war, win.
 
#17
Heartfelt thanks to our UK comrades in arms (and especially our brother Marines) for the good work and tremendous sacrifices in dealing with this area. I am sure that due to these efforts the USMC will have a much less difficult job ahead. Let us all hope that the job can be done with as few casualties as possible.
 
#18
Nice sentiment,totally agree.Local comment was "Worried because Brits were too nice to fire at Taliban in case they hit innocent civilians-USA don't care"!!

I cannot control the perceptions of others but I can say categorically that this statement is not only ridiculously overbroad but false in its premise.
 
#19
And why shouldn't they for there has been no great victory yet we are leaving. The level of corruption in The Afghan SF is on the increase and sooner or later the area will slip back in to tribal rule without foreign influence.

This (And Basrah alike) are why I think all troops should be withdrawn yesterday. There is no tactical victory that troops can achieve which will make a good enough difference. Indeed we still do not have a clear idea of why we are there. As it stands Afghanistan is a training area which is sapping money and lives keeping our soldiers operationally experienced and competant for when the future campaign arrives with a need for decisive, conventional military action. Our COIN strategy doesn't work and considering we're not changing it isn't going to start working any time soon.

Sacking it is the only sensible option really so today is a good start.

Editted to clarify: I wish I could be the optimist but the disgrace that was the handing back of Basrah opened my eyes to how these campaigns really end. I got a tiny taste of how the yanks must have felt post Vietnam. As soon as that happened I knew what was going to happen in Southern Afghanistan eventually. Its pathetic but I will cough to being one of the defeatists however I am basing it not only on our recent history (See The Peace Process in NI aswell as Basra) but also Afghanistans history with foreign invaders (Sorry Peace Keepers).

Building a bridge/school or making friends with a farmer will not, a COIN war, win.
I'm not arguing with you
 

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