Browns dithering leads to longer tours to Afghanistan

Gordon Brown's 'dithering' leads to longer tours for Afghanistan troops
British soldiers serving in Afghanistan have had their tour of duty extended because Gordon Brown has not made a decision about deploying more troops.

By James Kirkup and Con Coughlin
Published: 6:40AM BST 07 Oct 2009
The Daily Telegraph has learned that soldiers from The Light Dragoons and other elements of 19 Light Brigade have been told they must remain in Afghanistan beyond the end of their six-month tour, which had been due to end this month.
Meanwhile, units including the Coldstream Guards have had their Afghan deployment delayed.

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The extensions and delays have come about because the Prime Minister has not yet said if he will allow an increase in British troop numbers.
Following a US request for more British troops, UK commanders have drawn up plans for a new deployment, but Mr Brown has been reluctant to back it
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The Government's dithering is having a drastic effect on the morale of our troops in Afghanistan – and on their chance of success, says Con Coughlin.

By Con Coughlin
Published: 7:14AM BST 07 Oct 2009

Gordon Brown meeting British soldiers in Afghanistan in August Photo: PA
For the past four weeks the officers and men of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards have been waiting nervously at their Aldershot barracks for the order to deploy to Afghanistan. They have undergone months of training in preparation for one of the toughest challenges in the regiment's illustrious 400-year history – taking on the Taliban in the killing fields of southern Afghanistan.
When it was announced in the spring that the Coldstreamers were heading off for their second tour of duty in Helmand, they were told to be ready to depart for Afghanistan in mid-September. In several cases, young Guardsmen cut short their honeymoons to be back in Aldershot ready to deploy; like most soldiers, they want to get on with the job they have been trained for. But September has come and gone and the Guards are still kicking their heels in Aldershot because Downing Street cannot make up its mind whether to go ahead with the deployment.
In the meantime, it was announced yesterday that the Light Dragoons, who have been involved in some of the fiercest fighting against the Taliban since British forces deployed to Helmand three years ago, have been ordered to stay a month longer than was originally planned while Gordon Brown decides what troop levels he is prepared to sanction in the months to come.
This inept and incompetent man Brown ought to be removed from office as soon as possible.

How can even the most ardent Labour supporter condone his indecision and the inevitable effect upon unit efficiency and morale?

The man's lack of any vestige of leadership attributes is a disgrace.


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Because the bulk of the most ardent Labour supporters don't give a flying toss about Afganistan, our troops there or anything else.

They are in power, the policies that are being put out make sense to the people that support the government and they are happy. Why would they stop that?
This lack of decision is outrageous. It's one thing for the soldiers waiting to deploy and quite another for the families who can make no plans and who have to go through that awful 'is it the last weekend/friday/football match etc before he goes?' tension time and time again.

It is absolutely iniquitous to put people into that position. And to put those who have been extended into further danger. If a Light Dragoon is now killed in this extension time how much more hideous will it be that he should have been home and it is only Gordon Brown's indecision and complete lack of respect for the Armed Forces that led to the circumstances of that death?

I feel greatly for the families of those who have been extended - for the soldiers it is, to a certain degree, one of those things, but the for the families planning homecomings and who have been aniticipating specific dates in the calendar it must be unbearable. Get a grip Government and pay attention to the human aspect of this issue. How can we be 'led' by such fools?

Its a cheap way to bolster the numbers on the ground, so we come into line with the Yanks and their year long tour.

mick_sterbs said:
Its a cheap way to bolster the numbers on the ground, so we come into line with the Yanks and their year long tour.

And that does make sense for continuity, esp at higher levels, but at least have the balls to be honest about it so that people can decide for themselves if that's a path they are happy to follow. It's the underhand tactics that are so frustrating.... Changing it as they go along just ensures that families back home put pressure on good people, who could find work elsewhere, to leave when they get home.

Also, not sure that this is bolstering numbers as understood that this was just 3 regiments out and 3 regiments in...?
'Rammell, making a guest appearance at a Conservative conference fringe event in Manchester organised by the Sun, said: "I don't think we could get to a situation where we ask ordinary soldiers, given the huge stresses and pressures that they face, to serve for longer than six months'

So why are they having to do so?
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