Gen Nick Carter: Offensive is Imminent

#1
British and US poised to launch 'overwhelming' offensive in Afghanistan
British and American forces are poised to launch an 'overwhelming' assault on the last remaining Taliban stronghold in Helmand, according to the UK commander leading the operation.


By Thomas Harding in Helmand
Published: 11:18PM GMT 04 Feb 2010

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Major Gen Nick Carter said it would be the biggest offensive since foreign troops entered Afghanistan eight years ago.

Operation Moshtarak - or Together - will begin with more than 15,000 troops deployed for the attack. In the coming days the aim is to clear out more than 1,000 Taliban from the Marjah and Nad-e-Ali areas of central Helmand where the insurgents rule the "ungoverned space" with their strict interpretation of Sharia law.

In addition to 3,000 British soldiers being used, Special Forces has been pushed into Helmand with troopers from the SAS, SBS and Special Forces Support Group bolstering numbers already on the ground.

"Our expectation has to be that there will be people in Marjah and Nad-e-Ali who are going to stand and fight but we are going to apply a significant amount of combat power to the problem in overwhelming numbers," Major Gen Carter said at his headquarters in Kandahar.

"This operation is bigger than anything that has gone before and yes there will have to be a fight."

It is understood that the air assault will be the biggest since an entire US airborne division was lifted into the Iraqi desert in the 1991 Gulf War and will dwarf last summer's successful Operation Panther's Claw that saw 10 British soldiers killed.

In Camp Bastion men and supplies have been pouring into the base with new Apache attack helicopters off-loaded from C17 air transporters.

Transport helicopters have been gathered across Afghanistan to conduct the "break-in battle" and the sky above the base constantly resonates to the sound of rotor blades.

Villagers living in the Taliban held areas have been prepared with a leafleting campaign and contacts have been made with local elders.

However the Taliban have vowed to defend their territory that holds their bomb factories and opium processing plants.

"We will definitely defend Marjah," a Taliban commander told the New York Times. "It's the only place left for us. We have all of our fighters assembled here to fight against Afghan and foreign forces."

Moshtarak means "together" in Dari and for the first time ISAF troops will be working shoulder-to-shoulder with equal numbers of Afghan security forces.

If the operation is a success it will endorse the new counter-insurgency approach of Gen Stanley McChrystal who has insisted on Afghans taking a lead role and for the Kabul government to endorse the operation.

"The way to defeat the Taliban is to show the people that they are better off being with the government of Afghanistan than they are with what the Taliban have to offer," Major Gen Carter said.

The operation's key focus will be "hot stabilisation" projects immediately repairing village wells, roads and irrigation ditches But Major Gen Carter warned his troops had between eight and 10 weeks to bring in reconstruction projects to win over the local population before the Taliban would return with a bombing campaign.

Asked about preparing the public for further casualties he said: "This is about making the public realise that this is not more British blood being thrown at the problem as the Afghans are taking ownership of this, it's their country."

For the first time Helmand will have enough troops – what commanders call "force density" – to contain the insurgency, with an average of one soldier per 25 head of population.

The operation has the full support of President Hamid Karzai who has been personally briefed by the British general.

"This particular operation has the full resources of everything we have in Afghanistan behind it in terms of trying to deliver an outcome that will stick." Major Gen Carter, 50, who commanded a British brigade in Basra in 2004, will move his division headquarters from Kandahar to Helmand's provincial capital Lashkar Gah for the operation.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...ch-overwhelming-offensive-in-Afghanistan.html
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
jumpinjarhead said:
Villagers living in the Taliban held areas have been prepared with a leafleting campaign and contacts have been made with local elders.

However the Taliban have vowed to defend their territory that holds their bomb factories and opium processing plants.

"We will definitely defend Marjah," a Taliban commander told the New York Times. "It's the only place left for us. We have all of our fighters assembled here to fight against Afghan and foreign forces."
I think they all ready know
 
#8
jumpinjarhead said:
"We will definitely defend Marjah," a Taliban commander told the New York Times. "It's the only place left for us.... .........

We have all of our fighters assembled here to fight against Afghan and foreign forces."
Waddya mean the only place left.......? I thought Terry said they were winning ?

If they have ALL of their fighters and we have ALL of ours it should be one hell of a battle. Maybe the Taliban should watch the battle of Falujah on youtube before yapping off.

Good luck to the US and British soldiers though and may they all return safely.
 
#9
spaz said:
Mr_Fingerz said:
I take it that "surprise" no longer counts....
Not when you want non-combatants to fuck off.
I think one problem is whether the true non-combatants have the option to move out of the way, especially now the Taliban know what is coming. if I was terry I would keep them nice and close to me.
 
#10
spaz said:
Mr_Fingerz said:
I take it that "surprise" no longer counts....
Not when you want non-combatants to fuck off.
No, this is about taking and holding ground and the civilians that live on it. If the bad guys feck off, so much the better, as we won't have to flatten the place and kill a load of civilians. We still get everything we want, and the Taliban who need a habitable base to at least be able to return to once in a while are stuffed. A bloodbath with the Taliban providing the liquid would make a lot of people feel better, and there is always a romanticism associated with a Berlin 1945-esque 'final battle' with the bad guys, but the truth is we don't need it. If they insist, however... :twisted:
 
#11
parapauk said:
spaz said:
Mr_Fingerz said:
I take it that "surprise" no longer counts....
Not when you want non-combatants to fuck off.
No, this is about taking and holding ground and the civilians that live on it. If the bad guys feck off, so much the better, as we won't have to flatten the place and kill a load of civilians. We still get everything we want, and the Taliban who need a habitable base to at least be able to return to once in a while are stuffed. A bloodbath with the Taliban providing the liquid would make a lot of people feel better, and there is always a romanticism associated with a Berlin 1945-esque 'final battle' with the bad guys, but the truth is we don't need it. If they insist, however... :twisted:
Exactly --which is why IMHO they will not let the noncombatants leave.
 
#14
jumpinjarhead said:
parapauk said:
spaz said:
Mr_Fingerz said:
I take it that "surprise" no longer counts....
Not when you want non-combatants to fuck off.
No, this is about taking and holding ground and the civilians that live on it. If the bad guys feck off, so much the better, as we won't have to flatten the place and kill a load of civilians. We still get everything we want, and the Taliban who need a habitable base to at least be able to return to once in a while are stuffed. A bloodbath with the Taliban providing the liquid would make a lot of people feel better, and there is always a romanticism associated with a Berlin 1945-esque 'final battle' with the bad guys, but the truth is we don't need it. If they insist, however... :twisted:
Exactly --which is why IMHO they will not let the noncombatants leave.
I don't think the Tailban will leave either. They can't beat the fresh forces coming, so in the grand scheme of things their best bet is to make this victory costly, and hope it sticks badly in US opinion at home and kills the Crystal plan stone dead. If they do take this line, they'll throw everything they have into this and hope they can coast the rest of the way.
 
#16
Mr_Fingerz said:
I take it that "surprise" no longer counts....
I'm not convinced it ever did.

The day we arrived in Aden in April '66, the dhobi wallah gave us the exact date we would leave in October and the name of the regiment which would be taking over from us.

He was correct on both counts.
 

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