MoD institutionally incapable of succeeding in Afghanistan

#1
The former commander of Britain’s military operation in Helmand province has warned that the Ministry of Defence is “institutionally incapable” of succeeding in the conflict in Afghanistan.

Major-General Andrew MacKay said the MoD had failed to adapt to 21st Century wars, instead issuing messages from London that often had “no relevance at ground level”.

He said the British Army had “consistently failed” to understand the motivations of local Afghans and called for a fresh “hearts and minds” strategy focusing on the local culture and economy.
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#3
He makes a good point - and also a worrying one. The army was forced to change in all sorts of ways in Northern Ireland in order to bring about any measure of success and to do so whilst the campaign was on-going. The difference, of course, is that withdrawal was not an option; there was no choice but to dig in for the long-haul and implement the necessary changes. With Afghanistan, any Government could decide to pull out tomorrow, spin the illusion of success (as with Iraq) and leave lessons un-learnt which could well doom - or at least hinder - any future counter-insurgency operation. Just as in Iraq, the Government seems to want to mark-time until change magically appears and withdrawal can begin, rather than take difficult (and expensive) decisions aimed at bringing about success.
 
#4
Problem seem to me the Government can't make it's mind up wether it wants the Army to be a 'Kill people and break things' institution or a 'peacekeeping and reconstruction' one.

The danger as I see it, is that if the Army is translated to the latter, it will no longer have the tools to do the former. The Government is already looking at that with the thoughts on removing much of the Armies heavy hitting shock capability, less Challys and AS90's.

And sooner or later, we're going to need that 'kill people and break things' capability again.
 
#5
Going down the softly softly route is becoming a bit of a problem in Helmand at present. I can't really go into more detail as much of the info coming back from theatre isn't for a public forum. Let's just say more soldiers are dying due to the enemy not getting spanked as much as they were on earlier Herrick tours.
 
#7
Well said Wedge, the shower currently running the country have no empathy with or understanding of the armed forces because most of them belonged to the loony left as younger men and women. They're disgraceful.
 
#8
Fallschirmjager said:
Going down the softly softly route is becoming a bit of a problem in Helmand at present. I can't really go into more detail as much of the info coming back from theatre isn't for a public forum. Let's just say more soldiers are dying due to the enemy not getting spanked as much as they were on earlier Herrick tours.
Well it's obvious enough that if they are being deployed to do the 'hearts and minds' stuff they're not going to be able to do much in the way of severe stonking at the same time. Maybe a lot more stonking is needed until 'minds' are changed, or at least rendered more co-operative. Frankly this is the result of appalling political decisions. Who determines when it is safe to change policy?
 

asr1

War Hero
#9
The same force can do smashing stuff up and subsequently hearts and minds. The biggest problem the UK has in Afghanistan is troop numbers. There has never been enough to transition from clear to hold, let alone to build, in the Helmand valley from N of Gereshk upwards.

Trying to pretend that just because you have a puppet district governor and are doing some construction projects means that you have transitioned is retarded. The UK needs to look around at the force levels required to meaningfully displace the bad guys elsewhere in Helmand and do the same. At the moment we are fighting the same battles we fought 3 years ago on the same pieces of ground. The only progress we are making is in producing more dishonest press releases trying to justify why we are treading water and just keeping our heads above the surface.
 

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