New US commander in Afghanistan wants more British troops

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by singha61, Jun 12, 2009.

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  1. The new US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has signalled that he would like more British troops for the country.
    Gen McChrystal used a BBC interview to suggest he wants more British forces in Afghanistan in the years ahead, putting pressure on Gordon Brown to find more money for the military.

    The Daily Telegraph revealed last month that Mr Brown has blocked a permanent increase on the number of British troops in Afghanistan, rejecting MoD plans for a new deployment that would have taken British numbers to around 10,000.
  2. This topic has come up a few times and I've always contributed by it by replying " Why should Britain send more troops if other European countries in NATO are doing next to little "
  3. Spanny, although i agree with your sentiment, our main effort is the defeat of the taliban.

    If the Eurotrash wont provide extra troops we will have to.

    Problem is we can't afford it.
  4. In his dreams.
  5. The only reason we have not sent more troops is because of the cost it bears.

    It has nothing to do with lack of troop numbers as Iraq has now finished. It also has nothing to do with 'screwing the nut' so we aren't out there every two years as the politicians don't give a flying fcuk. We get paid for it after all.
  6. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    I'm afraid that any request made previously for more Forces in Afgh has been scuppered by an evil combo of the FCO and HMT. I cannot see, in the current climate, this situation changing (The FCO and DfID don't want Soldiers spoiling their 'diplomatic work', and the Treasury don't want to pay).

    However............. If Lord Peter of Fondlebum could be persuaded that it would be good for Him/Labour's election chances/G Brown (in that order) then you never know. He's the power now, the eminence grease, as it were.

    Edited to add - as mentioned above, it's nothing to do with overstretch, understretch, or lack of the right people. No-one outside a very small community (i.e. very few votes) gives a flying feck about this, I'm afraid.
  7. How about the money allocated to "International Development", for some reason a sacred cow amongst politicians Right and Left, being re-allocated to developing Afghanistan in the broadest sense and being used to pay for our troops there.
    At the moment I strongly suspect a lot of it goes on gold bath-fittings and mother-of-pearl cocaine-salvers for various and assorted Third World despots.
    I may be wrong though
  8. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Now that IS opening a bag of worms..... there is enough bad blood already between FCO, DfID, and the MoD with regard to the use/disbursement of the separate "Conflict Prevention Pool" and the Tri-Departmental Peacekeeping Budget". Cn you imagine what toys would be thrown out of prams if aid budgets were used wisely for once? Heavens above :)

    If you want to save money in the general Intl Development budget area, you could start by forcing the FCO and DfID to accept MOD security for their people in fornt-line positions (yes, there are quite a few) rather than their insisting that they are protected by Civvy contractors - who are not, unsurprisingly, cheap.
  9. Because the soldiers allocated to protect them would have to be plain clothes in civilian vehicles, otherwise FCO/DFID would be directly linked to the military which would mean they get targeted when out and about and not able to do their job. Can you imagine the shitstorm that would fly if some soldiers got fragged in a civvy vehicle?

    For this task you would require a reinforced company with all kinds of C2 and lots and lots of training and even then I doubt they'd do the job as well as Armorgroup. There would be no appetite for this kind of work at DInf as there would be insufficient showboating opportunities for Lt Cols and above.

    And they would rotate in and out of theatre too regularly, with R&R and only a 6 month tour, meaning that the FCO and DFID would be fixed while the new blokes got all their excrement in one sock and learned that they were there in a supporting role rather than being the centre of their own little universe.

    Apart from that...
  10. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Hmm, where shall I start? Firstly, the easy answer, then. When you say "Because the soldiers allocated to protect them would have to be plain clothes in civilian vehicles, otherwise FCO/DFID would be directly linked to the military which would mean they get targeted when out and about and not able to do their job" I assume therefore immediately that you have never been in a FOB with a SU/DfID/FCO team present. OF COURSE they are targeted! Anyone who ever, for a single second, thinks that having white westerners in guns - but in civvies - will make a ha'porths of difference as to being targeted has never talked to an Afghan. Even the FCO know this, and still use ArmorGroup simply because they do not want to be beholden to the MoD.

    Next, as for a Coy+ being needed. Now it may certainly be the case that it would be another burden on the troops, but it would not take dedicated forces in most locations - we are talking of activities mainly in the areas around FOBs, not in LKG, which is very much the odd-man-out. I won't go into details, but I've seen it from both sides - and been 'looked after' by both - and frankly there ain't a lot of difference - only that I'd trust Soldiers more than ArmorGroup (even if most are ex-Army) and, oddly enough, on the whole (e.g. where you are keeping 8 ArmorGroup in a FOB to look after 1 or 2 men) Soldiers - who are there already - are much, much, cheaper.

    As for the 'learning curve' - who says they all have to rotate at the same time? Most FCO types are indeed in station there for a year, but it's a pretty damn short year (under their T&Cs, certainly!), and - apart from LKG - it simply does not require a dedicated group of personnel.
  11. Its time for another lend-lease program if they want us to do more.
  12. I bloody hope not, we have only just finished paying off the last lot.
  13. What I've never quite understood about this whole Affers caper is that, because the British Army is there at the behest of the Septics, why said Septics aren't footing the bill.

  14. 1. In Basra, the British Army were routinely escorting in civvie landcruisers. They're no good up close, but less likely to be targeted by IEDs.

    2. Civvie contractors were targeted more (not less) than military patrols. They are a much softer target, and it makes no difference which organisation the 'infidels' belong to.
  15. No doubt.