My overall point is that we seem to be stuck into a short (emergency) tour mentality that creates a host of procurement, experience and continuity problems of it own. The British Army is not fighting a war in AFG, it is fighting short tour operations that last 6 months of which there have been 18 to date (give or take). No tour has been the same in terms of threat, location and mission or political interference. As each tour is sent out with very different brigade structures, attitudes and so some extent capabilities; the resulting post tour reports must make very confusing reading. The attitude of different units to the conflict are also important to take into account. Simply put if you change the structure all the time no one is going to be able to tell you what worked best and why. Short tour syndrome results in UOR overkill, the poor MOD (and I use this term carefully), will be at best swamped with new ideas and requirements but, as in our case, will become paralized by conflicting requests. Add to that the political interference, mission creep and media pressure and you will end up with a whole host of vehicles and equipment that meets the last but one tours needs. This, as far as I can see, is exactly what we are getting: Jackal was requested by SF and is now used as convoy protection, Mastiff is now being tried as a manouver platform when is was originally requested as convoy protection and on and on. Units are switching from one platform to another, no retained pool of knowledge is built up and the resultant usage of each platform varies so much that no one is really in a position to say what worked best. As the tours are, effectively, winter and summer the variations this produces are also adding to the confusion. NI lasted 30 years but had from the beginning fixed command structures and units on 2 year tours which were supplemented by emergency tour units. Not ideal either as much experience was lost each time the tours rotated. With NI, eventually, came fixed training and preparation programmes, this I know is happening for current ops but from what I have read much is still ad hoc and put together as Bde assets then disbanded or handed over to the next formation. Each Bde Comd will probable only do one tour in his 2 year stint, much rests on this six months results, with the possibility of needing one big push a tour being the norm. If there can ever be a sensible conclusion to this conflict we may have to consider longer tours, fixed command structures and heaven forbid; a mission!!!!