General David Richards: Afghan campaign was woeful - Telegraph in an interview for a new book by Sandy Gall. Also includes an indirect sideswipe at Brig Ed Butler now IIRC Ledwidge's "Losing Small Wars", Brit SF (under command Butler) operating in unison with a large well resourced US PRT in Lashkar Gar held and managed Helmand effectively, using a "Hearts & Minds" approach to reduce the risk of talibanisation, support counternarcotics effective, and had community outreach programmes such as MEDCAP "the people would find us through the bush telegraph. Wherever we went, we'd attract a line of burkas two hundred yards long" LSW Ledwidge Page 68 This then led to a larger operation in 2005 that resulted in a report to FCO via MOD PJHQ that later formed the basis of the "Helmand Plan", the initial template for British deployment. Criticism of the diversion from this plan and into "platoon house" has often been laid at Butler's door. To quote Ledwidege again (page 74): "Butler was not the only general, and certainly not the senior general on the spot, who was aware of, and involved in, the discussions and decision making process. A very senior officer, now a three-star general, was present when these matters were fiercely debated in the brigade headquarters. Despite the senior officer's presence, it is Brigadier Butler who has received the blame for what ensued. it is to his lasting credit that he has never sought to evade responsibility, despite the appalling political pressures placed upon him and the lack of any real support. It might convincingly be argued that he was placed in an impossible situation and in the circumstances had little choice" This interview does not come across as the necessary "soul baring" an organisation needs to objectively analyse and make change from, but rather a more general "mistakes were made" (acknowledgement without accountability) and some underhand scapegoating. Thoughts?