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Afghan fighting - the latest reports.

From the Times..,,3-2251664,00.html

Generals tell Blair: reinforce Afghan mission
By Philip Webster, Michael Evans and Tim Albone in Kabul

BRITAIN’S top generals appealed for the deployment of more planes and helicopters to Afghanistan yesterday, amid deepening alarm over the predicament of British troops there.
Sources close to Tony Blair said that he now considered the situation in Afghanistan to be “very dangerous”

Although the US troop level of 23,000 will be maintained after responsibility for the south of the country has been handed over, the British Government is seeking greater military and political support from its other allies. Ministers say that both Spain, which has just 600 troops in Afghanistan’s relatively safe west, and Germany, which has 2,200 in the north, could do more.

British sources add that the US made Nato’s task far harder by launching one of its biggest military operations against the Taleban only weeks before Nato takes over. Operation Mountain Thrust had wrecked British plans for a hearts and minds campaign to be based on reconstruction.

There is also growing concern that the Nato force is too small and ill-equipped for the task it faces.
From tactical point of view maybe it is a right request but any reinforcement is useless from strategical point of view. Only strong Afghan army is able to defeat Taleban. Tajiks and Uzbeks (their militias) are natural enemies of (mainly Pushtun-based) Taleban. But the militias are in fact excluded from the struggle with Taleban for political reasons.

The main question: what do USA need in Afghanistan: puppet pro-American ruler and decorative 'democracy' or multi-national govermnet with own strong armed forces?


The Whitehouse, not that long ago;

George: "Tony, old buddy, I need to make a gesture real quick or I'm in the shit. Can you folks look after little old Afgun..Afganeestun....**** it, the other rag-head country we conquered awhiles back".

Tony: "I'm not so sure Georgie baby - my people say it could go pear shaped anytime now".

George: "Oh trust me mate, Condoleezza says it's a shoe in and the cocktails in the embassy are first class, if it doesn't work out let me know and I'll think of something else".
Read this Part of an article by Simon Jenkins who reckons we have been handed a pup.

The Sunday Times June 18, 2006

Under the Afghan sun, a dark new reality is taking shape
Simon Jenkins

This weekend an army of 11,000 troops, including Britons, is roaming the mountains of southern Afghanistan trying to kill or capture the Taliban. Their professed aim is “to establish conditions” in which government institutions and NGOs can “begin the real work that needs to be done”. Operation Mountain Thrust is the last American venture in the country before Nato takes over next month under British leadership.
The operation, coming after four such failed endeavours, is a show not of force but of face. When the troops return to the security of Kabul they will leave behind a few hundred corpses, some destroyed villages, a thousand new Taliban recruits and tens of thousands of angered and disillusioned Afghans. There is nothing new under the Afghan sun.

The British deployment to Helmand, in southern Afghanistan, makes no sense and visiting Kabul has only made me sure of it. This is quite different from Iraq, where the British Army is embarked on a delicate exercise of extraction.

Helmand is an exercise of insertion and has already cost a British life. About £1 billion is being spent on a base in the desert. Nobody in London or Kabul can offer a clear mission statement for the 3,300 soldiers garrisoning it, only implausible remarks about “establishing the preconditions for nation building”.

David Richards, the ebullient British general in Kabul, puts the best possible face on things. To emphasise the newness of his strategy he derides the Pentagon’s four-year-old Operation Enduring Freedom as counter-productive and stresses the anarchy into which it has allowed Afghanistan to fall: 80% of the country is no longer under the control of Kabul.

At least American policy had clarity. As Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor make plain in Cobra II, their recent study of the war on terror, to Washington Afghanistan was never like Iraq. It was not about neocon nation building but was a hunt to find Osama Bin Laden, “albeit with the wrong search party”. Once a puppet ruler had been found in Hamid Karzai, America was happy to dump the job of propping him up on Britain and others. It even abandoned poppy eradication as a reward to the drug lords for their (temporary) support. The policy was cynical but it was a policy: punch hard and get out.

Full article,,2088-2230703,00.html
The Times articles are spot-on.

The mission - whatever that is - is mired in contradiction and confusion. Rebuilding was the initial selling point, now it is colonial counter-insurgency following US direction - whether directly or through the Kabul regime. The (Brokeback?) "Mountain Thrust" operation is unlikely to have made the reconstruction environment more benign.

Parliament rises in 6 days. After that, there will be no effective scrutiny of government decision-making until October - other than the media.

What are the chances of mission creep or "reinforcing failure"?
"Liar" John Reid's comments about leaving with no shots being fires can be seen as truly deceitful, as usual.
I wrote to the Defence Committee in March and told them that I thought the Afghanistan Deployment had all the hallmarks of a badly thought through operation at a time of severe overstretch in the Armed Forces. Ingram reassured the Committee that it had been meticulously planned over many months. Well, it appears that General Richards is already asking for more men, rotary and fixed wing assets and he hasn't even taken control yet. You couldn't make it up..... This was the response from the Govt when asked about the situation deteriorating.

HCDC: We are concerned that, should the security situation in the South prove worse than anticipated, the UK will be called on to provide additional forces. The UK has already committed significant numbers of troops and assets to ISAF stage 3. NATO should call on the military assets of other countries before approaching the UK for further contributions. (Paragraph 34)

MoD: 9. The UK has made a substantial commitment to Afghanistan, and we believe the force package we are sending is sufficient to match the threat as currently assessed. We keep the size and make-up of our commitment under constant review, and will adapt our planning if necessary. 10. Should a need for additional troops or equipment for the South arise, the UK will work with NATO and other Allies to identify the most effective and appropriate solution. We aim to ensure that NATO and other troop contributing nations take on their share of the burden, and work to encourage appropriate force contributions from our Allies through the NATO Force Generation process.

Anyone imagine the Belgians coming to our rescue in Afg?
I've changed the title of this thread so it can reflect the latest reports coming out of Afghanistan.

An excellent dispatch from Sunday Times reporter.,,2089-2252723,00.html
'Have you ever used a pistol?'

ST war reporter cornered with paras in fierce Taliban ambush

''I hurled myself into an irrigation ditch and crouched amid the tall reeds, the soil just above me flying up as bullets landed all around. Then firing started coming from behind too. The Taliban had us from three sides. ''
Especially the end paragrapth concerning the event being ignored by the MOD. Good to see some real journalism. A remarkable woman.
We knew it then and Joe Public understands a little better now. This story, together with the news of the awful events unfolding this morning, must surely bring home to all the God awful mess which this intervention is becoming. I have always respected the poltical views of John Reid, but his unfortunate statement that he hoped the troops would be back from this foolhardy enterprise without a shot being fired rings pretty hollow now.

If we're going to do it, give us the tools to do so. Otherwise get the hell out and save brave soldiers' lives now.
They should leave right now, the mission in the Afghanistan was****ed up three/two years ago, NONE of the aid money has either arrived or has been spent correctly. A huge opportunity has been wasted by incompetance and penny pinching. The locals see that nothing is happening and after five years they are not going to believe any 'hearts and minds' crap. The boys out there have been set up.


Good story, good reporting - Page 2 is a good balancer between the firefight and the overall mission, and they get some good digs in about equipment and support levels. When the Press get it right, they do a really good job, it's when the armchair "specialists" do it that it goes pear-shaped.

The image of the Paras on an "Aggressive picnic" will now be stuck in my mind!


Again this just shows how the labour government have no idea whats going on.

There are men dying because of their ineptitude.
The pics in the hard copy enhance what is already an excellent report. The problem is that the majority of the public will not look at timesonline or buy the Sunday Times, hence it will pass them by and they WILL read reports about British troops being murderess.


Christina Lamb went out to Afghanistan as a newbie reporter then went back out after the Taliban were kicked out and IMO wrote a very good book about her experiecnces which she alludes to in her piece:

The Sewing Circles of Herat


armchair_jihad said:
They should leave right now, the mission in the Afghanistan was****ed up three/two years ago, NONE of the aid money has either arrived or has been spent correctly. A huge opportunity has been wasted by incompetance and penny pinching. The locals see that nothing is happening and after five years they are not going to believe any 'hearts and minds' crap. The boys out there have been set up.

It was fecked up before we even got there, look at the at history of Afghanistan..... then
shit yourself.
Good open and for once honest journalism. Well done in providing support to the guys on the ground. Stay safe lads.



Christina........get the CSM to teach you yo use a pistol. You never know when it might come in handy!