It begins again

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by StabTiffy2B, Nov 15, 2005.

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  1. From Defenceweb:

    UK Armed Forces begin preparations for Afghan deployment

    Adam Ingram, Minster for the Armed Forces, has announced that British preparations for a possible deployment to Afghanistan in 2006 are to begin.

    Rt Hon Adam Ingram MP
    In a Written Ministerial Statement to the House of Commons on 14 November 2005, Mr Ingram said:
    "As previously announced by the Prime Minister (30 June 2004), the United Kingdom is committed to deploy the Headquarters Group of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps to lead the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from May 2006 to February 2007. In addition, the Secretary of State for Defence has previously informed the House (7 July 2005) of preliminary plans to support the expansion of ISAF by establishing a British-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in the province of Helmand, in Southern Afghanistan. The aim of both would be to help restore Afghanistan as a secure and stable state, and prevent the country again becoming a haven for global terrorists.

    "The ISAF is led by NATO, which is currently planning the expansion of the ISAF into the South and East of Afghanistan. Once these plans mature, individual Allies, including the United Kingdom, will be able to take final decisions on deployment and on the nature of the capabilities that may be required.

    "In advance of this, however, it is sensible to begin British preparations for a potential deployment. These are necessarily based upon national planning assumptions which may need to be adapted in the light of NATO's conclusions and the final positions taken by individual Allies and Partners, including the UK.

    "In the first instance, the tempo of work to prepare the ground in Helmand for a possible British deployment is being increased. These activities are initially likely to involve some 250 troops.

    "Preparations are also underway in the United Kingdom. Some units, predominantly drawn from 16 Air Assault Brigade and the Joint Helicopter Command, will shortly commence collective training on a contingency basis. Similarly, the procurement of certain equipment enhancements that may be needed for a deployment of this nature is underway.

    "These necessary measures are prudent military preparations for a possible future deployment. They do not mean that these units or capabilities will be committed to Southern Afghanistan in 2006. No final decisions have yet been made. Should the United Kingdom decide to commit additional forces to the ISAF in 2006, a full statement will then be made to the House as soon as possible."
  2. My bold.

    Yeah, right. Is that why they have been trawling at my place for the last 9 months or so looking for both specific skills and random volunteers. Also why they want to send part-timers on 2 year FTRS if they learn certain languages Pashtu, Farsi and the other I can't remember all specifically spoken in and around Afghanistan. As we will not be deploying troops to Iran (I hope) or Pakistan, it is pretty obvious where they are going...
  3. Lets hope that some serious lessons were learnt this time in the gulf so cluster f*cks don't happen again but knowing the MOD they will ignore all the advice that they have been given :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
  4. Do you mean deny until the very end that we are going thus preventing the ordering of vitally needed kit 'cos we don't know we are going yet?

    Then we are going and "sorry we did not have enough time to get the kit to you so you'll have to make do with what you have".

    "But we knew for ages we were going."

    "Ah yes but the decision has just been made."
  5. Well, if we have to put a brigade group into Afghanistan, maybe that's why Jack Straw claims we'll be out of Iraq by 2006?? Call me me a realist, your shout!
  6. Cuddles, you are showing wisdom far beyond your years........ STOP IT!

  7. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    Wasn't that what BLiar said when presenting his "dodgy dossier"?... and look where we are now.
  8. Also note the difference between what the govt and the media are saying.

    Virtually every article which talks about this deployment talks about 'cracking down on drug barons' etc.

    The govt never mentions the drugs aspect but focuses on stabilisation. The ISAF role after all, has nothing to do with drugs.

    So this is how I see it panning out.

    We will get there and do our usual excellent work of making it safer for the ordinary people who, although a bit annoyed that we are there will welcome the fact that the roads are a bit clearer of bandits.

    This also makes it safe enough for the journalists to drive around and see how much opium is being grown. Daily Mail headlines will contrast a middle class kid's death from heroin with the ‘inactivity’ of the army in burning poppy fields.

    The govt, fearful that they are looking weak on drugs, will tell us to burn some poppy fields

    The drugs barons, who have until now stayed out of our way rather than push their luck, chivvy up the people to resist the ‘imperialist invaders’

    British soldiers get killed.
  9. A few things that crossed my mind:

    To my knowledge, the only organisation to successfully put a crimp in Afghan poppy growing were the Taliban. The methods they used were somewhat indiscriminate and unlikely to be acceptable for use by ourselves. They had to use, erm, "robust" methods as poppies were virtually the only way a lot of poor farmers could earn a living - no welfare state to fall back on.

    If we believe the BBC drugs are 60% of the economy.
    Remove that without any substitute and people starve - or more accurately grab their AK and head after the latest bunch of foreigners to invade and tell them what to do. When every generation can tell a story about the foreigners they expelled it's quite easy to feel confident. And frankly they don't care if a bunch of - relative to their lives - hugely privileged western teenagers OD. They'd kill for the opportunities we take for granted over here (or hijack an airliner).

    We can spray from the air but then we end up dropping vast quantities of pesticides on top of the locals with undoubted side effects - worst affected will be children and old people as you'd expect. Again, not what we'd feel good about doing. And there's always the risk that the farmer will pop up with a dushka at the end of the field and ruin the pilots day. You can't crop spray from 25,000 ft - it's not like dropping JDAMs. Flying in by helo to burn fields sees the same risks - and as for driving, get real. Seen the size of the place, lousy roads and the numbers we're sending in ?

    The current Afghan govt is trying, but can't push too hard.
    Our best bet to reduce drug production would be to offer farmers the choice to sell to us at market rates - or get their crops wiped out. With their income secure we can then work at changing their crops and introducing other sorts of jobs.

    But that would require a long term commitment, proper planning and money. So I'm not hopeful.

    And if we really wanted to wipe out "drug barons" we'd distribute drugs free to addicts. They have power as they have money. They have money because people want drugs. Cut them out of the loop and they can't last indefinitely.
  10. Mr. Pvr'd presented the case for us controlling opiate production and distribution.

    I'd really like to see a debate started on this issue, and possibly taken up by the wider media, as to why this is wouldn't be possible.

    After all, it's not like we haven't done it before.
  11. My topic, blessed by PTP. It happens so rarely in Current Affairs.

    I've got a bit of a tear in my eye.
  12. Oh f*** , did I? :D

    Just trying to work out whether to start a new thread on controlling opiate production in the 'stan , or rolling it into this one.
  13. I didn't fight in five wars so this sort of thing can go on in government, I did it for hod loads of money and the chance to have operational sex with RAF nurses and military policewomen, uniform optional!
  14. My point is not that we would have the slightest effect on opium production. We wouldn’t. Rather that we would have to be seen ‘to do something’ and that can only lead to problems for the boys on the ground.

    Your idea of buying up opium at market rates makes some sense except, of course, people are growing poppies because they are told to by the local warlords. They don’t have some kind of open market where you can go and give some poor farmer a few quid for his acre of crops because he’ll refuse to sell to you and give it to the local boss man instead (or risk losing his head).

    What you would end up having to do is give Mr Bossman a few million every year. Imagine how that would go down in the Guardian!
  15. msr

    msr LE