Dannatt calls for rethink on Afghan resources

#1
From The Times
July 15, 2009

Dannatt calls for rethink on Afghan resources as troop deaths mount

Michael Evans, Defence Editor, and Tom Coghlan in Helmand

A rethink is needed on the resources and troop numbers devoted to Britain’s mission in southern Afghanistan, the head of the Army said yesterday. On a visit to Kabul, General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, said that the high number of deaths in recent days had made people question “what we’re doing [and] how we’re doing it".

“We’ve got to think through the way that we operate, the resources we’ve got, the numbers we’ve got . . . to make sure that we’re giving ourselves the absolute best chance of succeeding, and part of that . . . would then be to minimise our casualties,” he told BBC Radio 4.

Public disquiet over the leap in fatalities — eight in one 24-hour period, 15 since July 1 — has alarmed Washington and the American military in Afghanistan because of the doubts being raised about the campaign and the resources being given to British troops, senior Nato diplomatic sources told The Times.
More on the link

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6711041.ece
 
#3
It seems to me that Gen Dannatt is trying another tack after be shot down after his attempt to assist troops in Afghanistan (with reinforcements) with his comments made at the Dinner hosted by the all party parliamentary group (billed, bizarrely, as a Tory event in most papers even though Labour Ministers were present).

It would appear that the current Government does not wish to engage on any discussions about Afghanistan unless the agenda is set by the first sec of state and managed through the cabinet office. The main effort is the next election, as far as defence is concerned it is an embarrassing side show that is proving difficult to control.

The main thing for the MoD community must surely be to avoid inter-nicene strive. Any arguments between the Services over cuts, reallocation of resources, funding and manpower will divide. What is most important at the moment is an Armed Forces that is united and cohesive. Only this will lead to Mission success in Afghanistan.

I'm in the wrong job!
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
General Sir Richard Dannatt said:
We’ve got to think through the way that we operate, the resources we’ve got, the numbers we’ve got . . . to make sure that we’re giving ourselves the absolute best chance of succeeding, and part of that . . . would then be to minimise our casualties,
In slightly less diplomatic and simpler terms: Man up Mr Brown. Provide those resources, provide the troops you've been asked for, or risk the failure of the mission.

If the mission fails, you can add it to the growing list of personal failures that have cost this country dearly in money, international respect, sovereignty, freedoms, rights and lives.
 
#5
Whilst not a crit of CGS, his words are little without solid government support and action.

Had an interesting debate with the American guys I am working with this week concerning the recent losses and the US public's view of the situation. One summed up neatly with "your politicians don't support and get behind your troops, we can't understand here, your army is left between a rock and a hard place with nowhere to turn."
 
#6
The important point is the CGS has consistently raised these issues and is one of the few senior officers who has put the welfare of his men above the welfare of his own career. (Stirrup take note you waste of rations).

He is a man of honour.

What we need is the threat of mass resignations from ALL senior officers in the forces. This would make Broons position untenable.

Alas, the courage of the poorly paid Toms who risk their lives on a daily basis, is not matched by the well paid yes men at the top who will not even risk their careers in order to save those self same lives.

Still, they write nice eulogies for the boys don't they..

Cowards.
 
#8
The_Coming_Man said:
The important point is the CGS has consistently raised these issues and is one of the few senior officers who has put the welfare of his men above the welfare of his own career. (Stirrup take note you waste of rations).

He is a man of honour.

What we need is the threat of mass residnations from ALL senior officers in the forces. This would make Broons position untenable.

Alas, the courage of the poorly paid Toms who risk their lives on a daily basis, is not matched by the well paid yes men at the top who will not even risk their careers in order to save those self same lives.

Still, they write nice eulogies for the boys don't they..

Cowards.

I just had a beautiful vision of CDS 1SL, CGS, CAS and VCDS marching up to Downing Street to proffer their resignations (after doing it on JPA first of course)
 
#9
ABrighter2006 said:
Well said The Coming Man.

Not sure about the threat of mass resignations though - I doubt that Brown would see beyond the savings to the Treasury.
I was just having a Band of Brothers Moment when all the senior ranks refuse to deploy with Soble...

Oh if only they would summon up the balls...

A bloodless military coup..
 
#10
Sadly, the one eyed ogre really believes we work for him!!!!!!!!


Wankre!!!!!!!!!!

How many days has he got left in office - I feel an ARRSE chuff chart coming on - what about it MODS ??

CHUFF CHART showing the dmise of a Government!!!!!

Rant over

Coat = Taxi..........
 
#11
The_Coming_Man said:
A bloodless military coup..
It's gone too far for that. Meat hooks and lamp posts please.
A proper warning that will stop the next lot getting above themselves.....
 

Command_doh

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Don't fancy his chances of a Peerage if he keeps speaking out against the party line. Dannatt has my respect in that rather than be a toady yes man CoGS, he actually tries to stir things up a bit, unlike his predecessor Jacko.

Bet Jock Strap is apoplectic that he's been shown up (yet again) and that someone has shown a bigger pair of gonads than he has.

Obviously the political mandarins won't care one jot, they would rather see this thing through on minimum invesment and casualties be damned, just to pay lip service to the Septics. Then they can run away with their tails between their legs at the inevitable and predictable failure this disaster of a War will become, having said 'we tried to help out, it was helping out uncle sam against AQ'.
 
#13
Does it need to be pointed out to HM Government that HM Forces are on the same side as them against the baddies in Afghanistan.....
 
#14
“Things are much clearer if you flip the coin and look at the other side and ask yourself the question: what if we were to pull out unilaterally, what if we were to just come out of this mission?” he said. “Frankly, the consequences of that are appalling. So we will succeed, we must succeed.”
And what namely would happen? Nothing special I suppose. Or maybe bearded Talibs would overcrowd London and Manchester?
 
#15
KGB_resident said:
“Things are much clearer if you flip the coin and look at the other side and ask yourself the question: what if we were to pull out unilaterally, what if we were to just come out of this mission?” he said. “Frankly, the consequences of that are appalling. So we will succeed, we must succeed.”
And what namely would happen? Nothing special I suppose. Or maybe bearded Talibs would overcrowd London and Manchester?
Conversly, why didn't Russia just pull out of Chechnya?
 
#16
Shhhh! They have.

Back to the CGS, it must be difficult for him to be the first in post to announce the defeat of the British Army on two occasions. I do not mean defeat as in Singapore or Dunkirk, and I am not criticising the units doing the job, but at a Strategic level a defeat as aims were never set in the first place, resources were not allocated and no-one knows how to define victory.
 
#17
BPS666 said:
KGB_resident said:
“Things are much clearer if you flip the coin and look at the other side and ask yourself the question: what if we were to pull out unilaterally, what if we were to just come out of this mission?” he said. “Frankly, the consequences of that are appalling. So we will succeed, we must succeed.”
And what namely would happen? Nothing special I suppose. Or maybe bearded Talibs would overcrowd London and Manchester?
Conversly, why didn't Russia just pull out of Chechnya?
It has been done according to the Khasavyurt agreement signed 31 August 1996.

And note Chechnya was a part of Russia. It is a very important detail. As I'm aware Afghanistan is not a part of the UK.

In 1999 the Chechen fighters crossed the border of Chechnya, there were exposions of residential buildings im Moscow. So the only way to resolve the problem was military one.

Now insurgency in Chechnya is almost invisible and the majority of Federal troops were withdrawn.
 
#18
The biggest mistake was the initial deployment in 2006, they were just parachuted in without specific aims or strategies. For that military planners are just as much to blame as Government.

We are all now reaping the effects of that initial deployment. What is the end state of this current operation? Will ground gained at terrible cost be given up once more?

Of course....this is Afghanistan an under resourced embarrassment of a war.

Dannatt was there at Wootton Bassett last week, I would have shaken his hand if I'd been there, but he is no doubt feeling the responsibility. He should look around at his fellow brass hats for jumping at the chance to kick ass in Afghanistan..
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
Western - extremely good post.

That is the crux of the issue for members of this site.

We can see that the boys (and girls) from all services are working bl00dy hard and are achieiving success at a tactiacl and operational level. But exactly as Western says - there is no coherent strategic endstate.

Mission Creep in both Iraq and AFG has been the cause of strategic failure, both directly attributable to political expediency.

Radio 4 summed it up when Millimong was defending our presence in AFG as denying safe haven for terrorism, however 3 years ago it was removing the Taliban in power, the drugs war and as a by-product it denies safe haven for terrorism. Mission creep is with us as long as this Government is in power and probably the next Government as well (irrespective of party).

Mission creep and not resourcing the operation have set the conditions for irreversible strategic failure. It is a very uncomfortable truth.
 
#20
KGB_resident said:
BPS666 said:
KGB_resident said:
“Things are much clearer if you flip the coin and look at the other side and ask yourself the question: what if we were to pull out unilaterally, what if we were to just come out of this mission?” he said. “Frankly, the consequences of that are appalling. So we will succeed, we must succeed.”
And what namely would happen? Nothing special I suppose. Or maybe bearded Talibs would overcrowd London and Manchester?
Conversly, why didn't Russia just pull out of Chechnya?
It has been done according to the Khasavyurt agreement signed 31 August 1996.

And note Chechnya was a part of Russia. It is a very important detail. As I'm aware Afghanistan is not a part of the UK.

In 1999 the Chechen fighters crossed the border of Chechnya, there were exposions of residential buildings im Moscow. So the only way to resolve the problem was military one.

Now insurgency in Chechnya is almost invisible and the majority of Federal troops were withdrawn.
And in comparrison, Britain assisted in the removal of the Talib regime shortly after 9/11. We left, the Talib came back. Terrorism (suspected AQ) surfaced in London. The Talib were shown to be mutually rubbing AQ's back. If we pull out of AFG then the Taliban resurface as the dominant grouping in AFG ergo AQ get a safe haven in which to conduct preparation for terrorist activities. I am sure that this very rudimentary explanation is not lost on you?
 

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