Helmand Task Force

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
Apologies if there is a more appropriate thread.

With a lot of people gearing up for a trip to the 'Stan, I thought it was worth drawing attention to Tim Ripley's excellent article in the 10 May edn of ' Jane's Defence Weekly'

Unfortunately, as a non-subscriber I cannot replicate in full here but this is an extract:

No easy task in Helmand

By Tim Ripley JDW Correspondent
Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan

US Army officers running the Provincial Reconstruction Team base in the Afghan city of Lashkar Gar symbolically transferred authority of the base to commanders of the British Army's Helmand Task Force on 1 May. Once UK forces complete their deployment later in May combat forces will begin operating from bases in the heart of Afghanistan's heroin-producing region to undertake one of the riskiest UK military operations in recent history.

Standing in the way of the UK government's good intentions are an estimated 1,000 Taliban fighters, who want to restore the old hardline Islamic regime, and much of the province's heavily armed rural population of just over a million people, who depend on the production and export of heroin for their livelihoods.

Every Afghan village and region has some sort of tribal militia and peeling them away from the Taliban and drug industry will be difficult to achieve by military means alone, say UK officers.

Economic reconstruction, humanitarian aid and drug eradication will all play their part and these efforts are organised and controlled by a diverse range of non-military organisations that have erratic funding streams and uneven quality of personnel. Previous forced poppy eradication campaigns led by US contractors and efforts to offer villagers in Helmand payments to destroy their poppy crops have been badly organised and have left many local people feeling the international community is trying to destroy their only way of providing for their families without offering an alternative.

"If we don't get the poppy business sorted from the start we could be in real trouble and could stir up a huge hornets' nest of problems," a UK defence source noted.

On top of all the problems with the Taliban, UK commanders have also to deal with a complex situation of operating in a coalition environment. Former UK Defemnce Sec Dr John Reid has declared that UK troops will not participate in offensive ops, while the Canadian and US troops currently based in southern Afghanistan have a 'combat orientation'. How the two ethoi [sic - new one on me] will be brought together in a coherent op will tax UK commanders severely. One veteran of the UK's Op JACANA anti-terrorist mission in 2002 commented:

" We are working here with a whole different set of people, under a mission that is still a bit vague. "

Tim Ripley JDW Correspondent; Kandahar airfield, Afghanistan

274 of 991 words
Best of luck to 3 Para and all involved - chin up, heads down guys and gals.....


Le Chevre
 
#3
TheAlcotroll said:
ethoi [sic - new one on me]
Plural of Ethos.

Ethos: n. The disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person, people, culture, or movement.
Sorry, it's the teacher in me.
Not, obviously, the Greek teacher... :D

'êthos' is not a second declension noun, which would have the plural 'êthoi.' Instead, it's a contracted third declension noun, with plural 'êthê' or 'êthea.' :!:

Regardless of that, best of luck to everyone out in Helmand and the rest of Afghanistan - do us proud.

sm.
 
#4
What I've heard is that the guys & gals are already piling up the POWs.

I also read an article somewhere the other day (apologies, no link, but it was something like Asia Times Online) that the Taliban reckon they have 40,000 fighters waiting in north and south Waziristan. Ok, they've been known to enjoy a bit of exageration in the past... still a bit worrying though.
 
#5
Years ago, before I found this board I was arguing that Britian needed to get out of Ganistan as soon as possible.
The locals live to fight, they don't care who they fight,they where fighting Alexander and everone who has since passed through.
Brits back, Oh Goody Goody. Now what was the score last time they visited in Great Great Grandads time.
john
 
#6
jonwilly said:
Years ago, before I found this board I was arguing that Britian needed to get out of Ganistan as soon as possible.
The locals live to fight, they don't care who they fight,they where fighting Alexander and everone who has since passed through.
Brits back, Oh Goody Goody. Now what was the score last time they visited in Great Great Grandads time.
john
See your point John, but things are diffrent now. Granted, its still a fcuking dangerous place to be . But we are more wiser & better trained & equipped now. IMHO the screw may now be turning on Afghanistan. Only time will tell, but I,m 100% confident in the guys out there. And so should you be.....

LT.
 
#7
LT, please do not doubt my trust and faith in TOM. He is good, a product of the best SMALL army in the world.
However the locals don't give a Poo on the moral grounds why TOM is there, The opium they work hard to produce is not their conncern when sold on to Infadels, TOM is just another invader and killing this infadel will ensure 'PARADISE' complete with the selfrenewing 70 virgins.
john
Infadel (However you spell it) is not a nice polite term for the unbeliver.
 
#8
jonwilly said:
LT, please do not doubt my trust and faith in TOM. He is good, a product of the best SMALL army in the world.
However the locals don't give a Poo on the moral grounds why TOM is there, The opium they work hard to produce is not their conncern when sold on to Infadels, TOM is just another invader and killing this infadel will ensure 'PARADISE' complete with the selfrenewing 70 virgins.
john
Infadel (However you spell it) is not a nice polite term for the unbeliver.
IMHO , the quicker we "agent orange" these opium fields inconjunction with life sentances for dealers in our own FRONTLINE in Blighty the better. These fcukers are taking advantage of the less educated & even well educated young minds of our country. Smashing the Easts grip on the drug trade is the key as far as I,m concerened. We saw it all in NI when the IRA controlled hash & anthetamine supply in the province. Theres money in drugs & these fcukers know it. Thats where we,ll hit em.... Along with some more substantial ordanance of course.. jonwilly.... I CAN see a diffrent outcome this time..

LT.
 

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