British footprint in Afghanistan after 2014...will there even be one?

Bit of a contentious one this but I've been wondering for quite some time. What role does the army envisage for itself in Afghanistan post 2014 when combat operations are stopped?

I read a quote from Hammond recently that stated that we'll be financially supporting the ANA after 2014 (great) but that...

"We have not yet taken the decision about what if any military footprint we will retain after 2014. That will be a decision we will take later."

Obviously there are a lot of pointers that suggest that we might not even be there as late as 2014 now that the Americans seem to be planning a phase down sooner than expected but then recently a captain and a colonel both told me that it was foolish to think we wouldn't still be fighting there until long after the supposed pull out date.

The more you read about it the further away you seem to get from a conclusive answer. Politicians want to get out sharpish with as little egg on their face as possible but some high ranking officers and elements of the MOD seem to think that a pull out so soon is potentially disastrous and probably won't even happen like the politicians believe it will.

And when you speak to people who've been there and read the reports that are coming back from the country it sounds like an absolutely hopeless situation that nobody seems to have any faith in whatsoever.

So errr.....what's going to happen? I fancy that a fair few people on here should have some good insight into this...
There seems to be little strategic thinking behind the 2014 pullout date, but plenty of political convenience. Anyone who has seen service there - indeed, anyone who even pays attention to AFG - knows and has been saying that the country is nowhere near ready to take on the security burden from NATO/ISAF. Yet despite this, and despite almost daily indicators that the Afghan Government, ANA and ANP are either corrupt, inefficent or untrustworthy (when they're not riddled with Taliban sympathisers), Washington and London keep repeating the mantra about the 2014 pullout. Stupid doesn't even begin to describe this thinking.

Similar threads

Latest Threads