Rising ops tempo in stan?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Trans-sane, Jun 18, 2008.

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  1. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    Over the last ten days, nine british soldiers (one possibly the first woman) have been killed in Afganistan in three separate incidents. According to the media another two have been critically injured in those same incidents. There has also been the jailbreak in Kandahar and the CO or 5Scots has been injured badly enough to warrent evacuation back to blighty.

    These are just the incidents that have made the mainstream news.

    My question is this: Why does there appear to have been a increase in insurgent attacks on British forces? Or if the number of attacks has remained similar (I have no data either way) why do they appear to be suddenly far more effective?

    Some basic number crunching here...

    9 / 106 x 100 = 8.4% of British fatalities in the last ten days

    So what has changed? Why are more soldiers being killed now than anytime in the last seven years?

    Naturally I don't want ops details. OPSEC and all that.

    So, please discuss and enlighten me.
     
  2. Ignore
    Edited for stupidity
     
  3. i believe there will always be times when an unfortunately high number of deaths occur in a short period of time. It may also be of consideration that 16 AA are now in the chair. 52 Bde's main effort was basically tantamount to babysitting and redevelopment of the country, where as 16AA have gone over there with the deliberate intent to take the fight to the TB. Many people see this as being an incorrect move, but it is not coincidence that 52 Bde were there over the quieter winter period, 16AA now there in the usually tougher summer months.

    Any death of a serviceman or service woman is always absolutely devestating to family, friends and the nation, but I do not believe that there has been a dramatic rise in attacks solely on British Forces. The enemies tactics and drills and skills are being honed on a monthly basis, and despite some people saying they are crude, backward and inefficient, the truth is that they are skilled fighting forces. In the same way it took many modern armies to perfect their own drills and skills, the enemy out on in Areas of Operations also are perfecting those. The dire consequence of this is undoubtedly an increase in effective attacks by them on our forces. Lest we not forget that there are also many other nations, in particular the Dutch/Scandanavian countries that are losing many service men as we are.

    My deepest sympathy goes out to all those we have lost loved ones and dear friends
     
  4. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    They've changed their methods in two of the attacks and got lucky. We'll now change our ROE in Afghan to negate that risk as much as possible.

    The third attack - not sure what was used, whether a mine or an RPG.

    Things have historically got a lot more intensive during the summer months, both in Iraq AND Afghan, so in answer to your question, I would think that things are now getting more intense.

    It's been an appalling week for British forces, and my thoughts are with the guys out there, and the families back home.
     
  5. I would guess that the tempo has remained the same as it was when 12 Bde were there. It's the summer and has already been stated it does get more cheeky in the summer.

    I would also guess that the Taliban have decided they won't be able to beat us in head to head fights, so have started to switch towards a more Iraq style insurgency
     
  6. Was it? I thought we were retaking Musa Qula, I must remember to pay more attention.
     
  7. Hit a hornets nest with a large stick and you do a lot of damage, they then become extremely angry and look for any movement to retaliate.
    Grasshopper. :)
     
  8. You must remember that those of us who don't wear funny coloured hats, don't warrant the same press coverage.
     
  9. Tragic though any individual deaths are, we're not losing that many troops considering the level of fighting that is taking place. I understand that in Helmand alone we have killed over 7000 Taliban. To do so for the loss of just over 100 personnel (through all causes) strikes me as quite remarkable. Over the 7 years we've been in Afghanistan we have lost an average of 15 a year. Over thirty years fighting the IRA and Co. we lost 716 or nearly 24 a year.

    In both conflicts, casualties occurred at different rates at different times and clearly we had a bigger army back then but I think the numbers are worth considering. We certainly didn't inflict anything like the damage to the IRA that we have done to the Taliban.

    I'll happily stand corrected on the NI casualty figures if someone has a better source than Wikipedia (Which was quick and easy)

    Naturally, I have every sympathy for the bereaved and wounded.
     
  10. As I alluded to in the RIP thread, there seems to be a seasonal pattern for fighting in the 'stan...

    From Oct to May the weather is really against everyone and there is work, such as it is, to be done in the fields.. Poppys have to be irrigated and the capsules scarified after flowering to make the juice run. It is the dried juice that is opium.

    From the end of the harvesting time in May/Jun onwards to Sept seems to be the time when things kick off - wadies are dry and routes across the mountains are navigable. It is too hot to work during the day, so most commercial activity shuts down and activity shifts to the evening....
     
  11. I'm starting to see your point mate.
     
  12. I think this may be more accurate than wikipedia.
    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/tables/Status.html
    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/chron/index.html
     
  13. Using Cain I make that 958 uniformed loss of life in NI.
     

  14. Not the best day for NATO/ISAF in Afghanistan. It does sound like the Taliban are getting more lively and causing more grief with their Iraq style tactics.

    Condolences to the families of those soldiers.