Rising ops tempo in stan?

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
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
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
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.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#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
beerkeg said:
52 Bde's main effort was basically tantamount to babysitting and redevelopment of the country
Was it? I thought we were retaking Musa Qula, I must remember to pay more attention.
 
#7
Trans-sane said:
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.
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. :)
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#8
spaz said:
beerkeg said:
52 Bde's main effort was basically tantamount to babysitting and redevelopment of the country
Was it? I thought we were retaking Musa Qula, I must remember to pay more attention.
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....
 
#12
EX_STAB said:
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.
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
 
#15

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
The_Big_Show said:
Where did you get 106 from?
102 (as the last total) + 4 that were killed by a road side bomb last nightish.

So the running concensus seems to be a change in tactics by Terry and more aggressive use of mines and bombs, combined with a possibly more aggressive patroling by UK forces. I figured it would be something like this but I thought I'd get the opinion of people who know better. Which currently is nearly everyone on this site.
 
#17
In a bluey from my sister last week, she said things had got hotter since the poppy harvest was in and as a result the Taliban had more money. Cant remember exactly where she is (bad me) but shes with 5 scots.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#18
I think that the fighting in Afghanistan now is just as bad as it was wit h12 Bde last year (as was shown in Ross Kemp in Afghanistan and Panorama).
 
#19
To be honest from reading the press reports you can have no idea of the tempo of OP's. 16AA have had a shitty two weeks but the casual observer has know idea why this is. Bad luck I feel is a huge factor, however unless you are there which i'm not you will not know.
 

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