Britain to boost Afghanistan force, US Defence Secretary say

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Sep 18, 2008.

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  1. Britain to boost Afghanistan force, US Defence Secretary says
    British troop numbers in Afghanistan may have to increase to deal with the growing threat of the Taliban, the American defence secretary Robert Gates has said.

    By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
    Last Updated: 12:21AM BST 19 Sep 2008

    Robert Gates has admitted that southern Afghanistan had become 'an increasing challenge' Photo: GETTY
    The 8,000 British troops currently in Helmand could be substantially boosted next year, possibly by an extra brigade of up to 4,000 soldiers.
    Military commanders are already in advanced planning to substantially reduce the 4,000 strong force in Iraq to just a few hundred early next year. It is thought that this will free up troops from the overstretched military to be used in Afghanistan.
    The Ministry of Defence has refused to confirm that numbers will increase only saying that the force levels were "under constant review".
    But during an interview with journalists Mr Gates told The Daily Telegraph that "my understanding is that the UK may increase the size of its force there (Afghanistan)"
    More on the link
  2. Wasn't The Original Mistake, that King George II failed to settle the Afghan matter before he insisted on persecuting his Iraq adventure.
  3. Now call me a bluff old traditionalist, but isn't it the accepted norm for the British MoD to deploy our troops, not the Americans??
  4. I have heard this mentioned a few times before elsewhere but the MOD are still denying it. It would make sense, though no doubt with extra troops we would be given a bigger chunk of land to look after.
  5. King George II was an English King.

    You mean Emperor George II :D

    Edited once for Cyrillic Keyboard spelling :oops:
  6. you are forgetting that the past two PM's have been american boot lickers and have the MoD slogan set as "one in the bum; no harm done"
  7. Tish Tosh we must do as the shrub tell us its for our own good you know...

    and breath :x
  8. The last PM who wasn't an "american boot licker" was Harold Wilson, when he hacked off Lyndon Johnson by refusing to commit UK troops to the war in Vietnam. Even Maggie Thatcher occasionally got a lesson in the true power dynamics of the 'special relationship' e.g. the invasion of Grenada and the upgrading of the UK strategic deterrent.

  9. Are you suggesting the US made us take Trident?
  10. RM one of my nightmares is when one, Jeb decides to try to become Brush the Turd.
  11. Must have missed that in Des Browne's Today interview on Radio 4 at 07:30 today. Did hear the "what's needed for the people of Afghanistan is..." quote.

    Given the Undercover Soldier broadcast last night, can imagine that the sweating SoS was glad to divert attention - shame that this point wasn't mentioned, then we could have heard SoS Scotland talk about all the government is doing, to assist 000's of Scottish former employees of RBS. Doh, that next month's upcoming PR plot - sorry, reading too many of Darbs' posts.

    The upcoming Labour Conference, what a great time for concerned Labour Party members to make their voices heard.
  12. We weren't 'made' to take Trident, any more than we were made to take Polaris. We were just desperate to have kit that made really big bangs. The UK simply couldn't finanically and technically go it alone in developing and maintaining a truly independent nuclear deterrent. The only alternative was to jointly develop something with the French, and that was going nowhere... If we wanted something, rather than just deciding to spend the cash elswhere and making CND very happy, we had to go cap in hand to the USA. They sold us what they wanted to sell us, not what necessarily suited the UK. If the US withdrew their active co-operation tomorrow, how long could we continue to run Trident 'independently'?

    Margaret Thatcher was a strong PM internationally who had a good relationship with Regan. But even she had to occasionally acknowledge the reality of the power balance between us and the Americans. Most Prime Ministers kowtow to US power because they perceive it as being in the long term best interests of the UK. All of them remember what happened to Eden because of the Suez crisis. Whilst domestic pressure played a part in his downfall, the attitude of the US government was what really damaged and humiliated Britain on the world stage. From my perspective, this makes Wilson's decision (whatever his other faults) all the more admirable. He risked saying no at a time when the UK economy was largely dependent on US support.
  13. well we could but chose not to do so...
  14. Point 1 - we are truly Independent. No dual key systems, nothing. If you are suggsting we should fight any potential nuclear conflict without the US, that is another matter. WE 177, Polaris etc were indpendent. It was cheaper to buy Trident motors but warheads, decoys etc all UK built. Remember Chevaline?

    Point 2 - what they sold us was the latest technology. Indeed during the TRIDENT build programme the system was uprated from C3 to D5 - that we had to buy because not even the Septics could afford to waste money on two SLBM prodcution lines making different motors.
  15. msr

    msr LE

    How do you take one task away from soldiers, give them another task and then expect them not to remain overstretched?