Defence chiefs battle Treasury over Afghanistan troop levels

Defence chiefs battle Treasury over Afghanistan troop levels

Defence chiefs face a major battle with the Treasury over plans to boost British troop levels in Afghanistan.

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent and Tim Shipman
Last Updated: 9:26PM GMT 28 Mar 2009
High ranking officials from Downing Street, the Foreign Office and the Treasury remain unconvinced that a so called "surge" in troop levels is the right strategy for defeating the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.
It is understood that the Treasury is resisting calls to fund further troop increases in Afghanistan even though General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army, and General Sir David Richards, who will take over as Chief of the General staff, fully support the move.

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Chancellor Alistair Darling's resistance to the plan is said to have led to growing frustration among senior Army officers who believe Britain should increase troop levels in line with the US surge.
The Chancellor and David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, want Britain's Nato partners to become more involved in southern Afghanistan, where the majority of the fighting is taking place.
But the military have long accepted that such an intervention by any Nato member, apart from France which is set to rejoin the alliance, is unlikely to occur.
War funding, which is met by the Treasury's reserve and not the defence budget, has soared over the last year and officials believe future costs will increase "exponentially" if more British troops are sent to fig
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I would suggest that neither Darling nor Milliband are fit or the right people to dictate the troop numbers in Afghanistan. Generals Dannatt and Phillips have been tasked by this government to prosecute a campaign in Afghanistan on behalf of the government, and should be given whatever they ask for. We have already seen what scrimping by the bean counters in the treasury can do, just look at what happened to the Nimrod, and our losses due to the Snatch Land Rover.

Additionally finianciers managed to screw up the 10 Chinook order from Boeing resulting in 10 useless airframes which are vital to our troops on the front line. Bliars "promise" to provide whatever is necessary in theatre seems simply to have been just more hot air.

Either fund our troops to carry out what is being tasked to them, or pull them back out. There are no half measures in this game.
According to a number of ARRSE posters who claim to be on the inside with the details at hand, there is NO intention by the military to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. Such comments are found in a number of threads in CA.

So, either Sean Rayment is writing of a split between the MoD and the Treasury that doesn't exist, or the ARRSE posters in-the-know are not so in-the-know as they think. :)

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