Gov Mangal sacked - what hope now for Helmand?

Discussion in 'Afghanistan' started by OldSnowy, Sep 24, 2012.

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  1. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    It's not been reported that widely (well, I saw it on the BBC anyway), but last week Governor Gulab Mangal has been sacked. He was, it always seemed to me, only kept in place by the efforts of the FCO and the UK Govt. Now that he's gone, replaced by a Major General, I can only assume that there has been a massive reduction in UK influence in the Province - and that as we are on the way out, of course.

    Will this affect our withdrawal? Will it increase the rate of security transfer? Anyone know anything of the new chap, a former Afghan spook?
  2. There seems to be a belief that he, like everyone else, was on the take, at least by Afghans I've met back in UK with his extensive property portfolio being mentioned.

    As these rumours come from Afghans they lack credibility to be honest.

    Gov. Mangel was never popular in Kabul.

    We're off soon. Who cares? Not I, and I deploy soon.
  3. You say that like there was ever hope for Helmand.
  4. There was relative hope back in November 2005 when Helmand Governor was Sher Mohammad Akhundzada, the Devil we knew.

    His sacking by UK politicians / diplomats back in December 2005 was the moment we lost the Battle for Helmand. Anything since has been like pissing in the wind.
    • Show again braincell Show again braincell x 1
  5. We "lost" the "Battle for Helmand" c1800s.

    Go away and read An Intimate War before spouting off any more chutney.
  6. Anyone thought to call Jose
    He's looking for work.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. We lost the Battle for Helmand 200 years before it started? Have you popped your disco biscuits early this christmas?

    Any justification for that assertion other than telling me to read more? My assertion is based on the Government Reports i have linked to, interviews with those there at the time, info in 'Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan' by Frank Ledwidge and many other sources.

    Principle claim I refer to from that book are reports of the SAS / UKSF activities in 2002 to 2005 and their positive results & engagements (talking, not shooting). And then political fat fingers pissed off the most powerful man in the Province resulting in 3000 fighters joining the Taliban in December 2005, just before we sent our 'shock troops' in to occupy the most powerful man in Helmand's home town, Musa Qala.

    Now you tell me why you think we lost the recent conflict in Helmand due to something that happened in the 1800s.
  8. Because we entered a centuries old pissing match between a series of tribes that have generally used "outsiders" (which is basically anyone who isn't based in south Afghanistan) as a proxy to continue their fights. It is about land, power and wealth. Seriously, read "An Intimate War".

    Mike Martin - An Intimate War | Army Rumour Service
  9. IIRC he was the MoD's own researcher, but was too good & too honest for the MoD so they sacked him, so yes the book has very good credentials.

    Speculating on the contents I'd suggest that the Battle for Helmand wasn't specifically lost 200 years ago, more that in 200+ years the British Military has failed to learn from history, or does Mr Martin say otherwise?
  10. In effect, there is no "battle of Helmand", Helmand is in a continual state of flux between the various power groups. They've been like that since before we arrived for the first round of fun, and it was like that for the Russians, Saudis, Pakistanis, Americans and us as well.
  11. Are you on crack cocaine?

    SMA was the reason why we had an insurgency in Helmand. That and dropping 3 para into Helmand to create as much unnecessary sh*t as was humanly possible.

    SMA was great at telling us that his enemies were Taliban.

    SMA was sacked because PJHQ finally understood that he was a liability.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. You either don't know what you're talking about or are deliberately lying.

    Or maybe both. I'm going to go with 'I couldn't give a ****' because I've got all I need from here, ****-you-very-much.
  13. Our failures in 2006 set the scene for an unnecessarily hard time.

    3 para were the wrong troops to task and our initial support for SMA alienated us from the local population.

    We turned so many corners out there we were back to the start point by the end.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. We had sided with the biggest Warlord in town, as was the operation policy from the outset.

    ISAF employed the biggest **** of a Warlord of them all, General Dostrum, in November 2001, and despite massacres, political murders, heroin production, etc since he is now Vice President.

    The Brits deciding to 'tackle' Helmand in 2005 by breaking with the established policy of siding with the local hardmen might have been a bit of a Lone Rangeresque heroic dead, but we had nothing to back it up with - no-one feasible to replace him with.

    Hence we left Musa Qala in borrowed cattle trucks, had to be rescued from Sangin and spent the next three years fighting pointless battles. That's why ISAF took responsibility for North Helmand off us - because we fucked it up.
  15. What is your agenda, out of curiosity?