Is UK ISAF policy working?

#1
Ok we all know why we are here and that it is better now than it was(?), but is the long term policy likely to work? If we succeed in taming Helmand all the way past Kajaki, what will Terry do? Find a softer target or simply change tack and take on the next best option?
 
#5
Unless we can field a division in Helmand I doubt we'll ever succeed.
Give it 6 to 8 months :!:

My main worry is what would be left even after we leave Iraq. 8-9 btns leaves only 12 of 39 free. That being said, 5 are already there - 8,200 troops is a big brigade, and we're at the limit of what we can do before we'd need to bring in another brigade HQ and presumably a division HQ on a perminent (as opposed to rotational) basis.
 
#6
combatintman said:
Unless we can field a division in Helmand I doubt we'll ever succeed.
Helps if you define "success" first. :wink:
 
#7
whitecity said:
combatintman said:
Unless we can field a division in Helmand I doubt we'll ever succeed.
Helps if you define "success" first. :wink:
I don't think he'd envisaged rethinking our policy to that extent. :D

I think we're failing in one crucial area. We're not convincing the ordinary Afghan that the Taliban, the warlords and their fellow-travellers are going to go away, ever. They're not going to be even passively on our side until we can convince them there's light at the end of the tunnel. It's simply too much of a risk for them.
 
#8
smartascarrots said:
whitecity said:
combatintman said:
Unless we can field a division in Helmand I doubt we'll ever succeed.
Helps if you define "success" first. :wink:
I don't think he'd envisaged rethinking our policy to that extent. :D
There is a policy? Gosh! Tell me more. :)

I thought we were just drip-feeding ever increasing numbers of troops to the region as a default response to increasing insecurity.
 
#9
whitecity said:
combatintman said:
Unless we can field a division in Helmand I doubt we'll ever succeed.
Helps if you define "success" first. :wink:
Success - yes that is the key and a definition that seems to be lacking in the policy!

Given that despite the increase in boots on the ground since I was there (Oct 06 - Apr 07) there are still parts of Helmand we still haven't been to for any length of time (if at all) I'd say we're going to struggle with anything less than a Division.
 
#10
Not only does the ISAF policy leave alot for the imagination in terms of clarification but the main question i would have about it all is do the soldiers on the ground believe it is working....rising numbers of troops signing off and choosing to risk that old mcdonalds kitchen than the insecurity and ever rising demands of those siting behind desks. One task after another without any real sense of "job done" and lossing friends daily,,,gah
 
#11
parapauk said:
Unless we can field a division in Helmand I doubt we'll ever succeed.
Give it 6 to 8 months :!:

My main worry is what would be left even after we leave Iraq. 8-9 btns leaves only 12 of 39 free. That being said, 5 are already there - 8,200 troops is a big brigade, and we're at the limit of what we can do before we'd need to bring in another brigade HQ and presumably a division HQ on a perminent (as opposed to rotational) basis.
Or split the AO with the Yanks.
 
#12
The real problem it seems is that Helmand itself is not the only issue and that whilst terry chooses to attack us there, we seem not to be working towards a single and united policy.

Even when the ARRC was in charge the policy was poorly defined and left largely as a kind of grand scheme based on showing the people the errors of their ways by engaging in many cups of tea etc.

There continues to be a need for hard operations because terry remains convinced that he can win simply by persisting in killing us (one at a time - bad press, national will etc) and terrfying the local population into supporting at best or not being against at worst the whole idea of a Taliban takeover.

There are over 100, 000 Foreign Troops on the NATO operation. What we need is a unified, competent and aggresive policy that focusses all available resources on the main objective of destroying the fighting ability of terry whilst showing that their preferred form of government is abhorrent.
 
#14
If the Euro Governments will not pay for the war let alone that the UK Government does not pay for the War which they have said will last 30 years just how is Tom supposed to do the task he has been given.
john
 
#15
Outstanding said:
There are over 100, 000 Foreign Troops on the NATO operation. What we need is a unified, competent and aggresive policy that focusses all available resources on the main objective of destroying the fighting ability of terry whilst showing that their preferred form of government is abhorrent.
Why? That's their system of government. It isn't ours and any attempt to force a more 'politically correct' system on them is going to fail.

The locals don't want us there. That's why they are fighting us.

msr
 
#16
Reports today that ex-boss 16 Bde has now said it loud and clear that we cannot win this one. There will always be armed bands wandering about. IN previous theatres this sort of declaration from the military commander has led to increased political effort to achieve a non-military solution. I see the problems will come from the USA where their anti-terrorist plans are based on fighting far away from US soil. We need to find some solution; their war of attrition against us is more expensive in morale etc. terms than what we are doing to them. The emergency state in UK has been described as severe which some police have said means attacks must be expected. There would seem to be little chance of real progress at reconciling Islamic attitudes amongst the UK population all the while we are fighting in Afghanistan. Whether we are well-supplied or not, there can be no question that our effort out there uses money that could be put to better use elsewhere.
 
#17
msr said:
Outstanding said:
There are over 100, 000 Foreign Troops on the NATO operation. What we need is a unified, competent and aggresive policy that focusses all available resources on the main objective of destroying the fighting ability of terry whilst showing that their preferred form of government is abhorrent.
Why? That's their system of government. It isn't ours and any attempt to force a more 'politically correct' system on them is going to fail.

The locals don't want us there. That's why they are fighting us.

msr
The locals never want you there; but it's not why they're fighting us. It's because they believe they'll be better off without us than with us, and that's the key to winning.

I had this discussion last week. Just because an individual likes ISAF doesn't mean they won't put a bomb under your car. If you need to feed your family and Terry offers you $50 to do it, doesn't matter who you like or support, family comes first.
 
#18
msr said:
Outstanding said:
There are over 100, 000 Foreign Troops on the NATO operation. What we need is a unified, competent and aggresive policy that focusses all available resources on the main objective of destroying the fighting ability of terry whilst showing that their preferred form of government is abhorrent.
Also, what you're talking about their is the enemy-centric approach to COIN. The Yanks tried that mostly in Vietnam and it didn't work. The comprehensive approach doctrine shows how it should be done population centric, shame nobody reads it!
 
#19
Nickhere said:
msr said:
Why? That's their system of government. It isn't ours and any attempt to force a more 'politically correct' system on them is going to fail.

The locals don't want us there. That's why they are fighting us.

msr
The locals never want you there; but it's not why they're fighting us. It's because they believe they'll be better off without us than with us, and that's the key to winning.

I had this discussion last week. Just because an individual likes ISAF doesn't mean they won't put a bomb under your car. If you need to feed your family and Terry offers you $50 to do it, doesn't matter who you like or support, family comes first.
The irony is that the tribesmen do not support the war on terror. They simply want to keep all outsiders - the Americans, the Pakistanis and the Taliban - out of their remote and lawless land.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4882416.ece

msr
 

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