The financial cost of the Afghan mission...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by whitecity, Sep 13, 2009.

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  1. I'm a bit late out of the box with this, sorry, but estimates for the cost of military operations in Helmand for 2009-10 are noted at £3.5 billion. Forcasted cost for 2008-9 is/was £2.5 billion and actual cost for 2007-8 was £1.5 billion.

    The runaway train went over the hill and she blew,
    The runaway train went over the hill and she blew,
    The runaway train went over the hill and the last we heard she was going still,
    And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

    All this is part of the MoD request for a tad under £40 billion for the year!
  2. Compared to the 6 billion spent on the benefit system it's not too bad. If the money didn't go to us it'd just go elsewhere.
  3. The aid and restructuring costs will dwarf those figures as well.
  4. Quite the contrary as you will see if you browse through the FCO and DfID reports. That's part of the worry. How can you "clear, hold and build" if there's little effort being put into the build.
  5. For example:

    So, MoD plans to spend the bulk of £3.5 billion supporting the effort in Helmand, DfID offers up £18 million.

    Seems like a CLEAR, hold, build mission to me....

    I think this analysis is quite appropriate:
  6. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Good points w-c, the FCO/DfID show a startingly reluctance to get involved in "building". There is a massive discrepency between statement and action.

    I have argued in the past, and will continue to do so, that we need a uniformed Civil Development Force or Disasters and Emergency Corps, organised along military lines, analogous to the german THW, or even the Peace Corps.

    A Corps of c2-5000, with a reserve force, trained in development engineering, health, reconstruction, civil development etc etc.

    During our Imperial Age Colonial officers underwent a training program at Oxford c. 6mths, which versed them in aspects of Civil Administration, Engineeering Public Works, language etc etc.

    We need to create something similar, utilising the experinces of both the military and the NGOs, establish a central school, think Catterick/Sandhurst where they will recieve in depth training, those who do not join the CDF/DEC go on to work in the Aid Industry, the training would provide high skill levels and interoperability across the board.

    Soft Power is seriously underated, a CDF/DEC would be a superb Foreign Policy weapon.
  7. Peanuts. Last year people in the UK spent £4.6bln on video games.
  8. Peanuts to a government hell bent on bankrupting the country by borrowing 1.5 Trillion. Not peanuts to a beleaguered tax payer who has to pay this loan back. £3.5 Bn is 10% of the defence budget.
  9. My concerns are not about the headline cost itself but whether it is being spent wisely.

    Did you bother to read my subsequent posts, or did you deliberately ignore them and assume this was another simple knock on New Labour which required your automaton-like rebuttal service?
  10. We should be spending more on reconstruction, but frankly I'd wait for the new US troops to arrive in theatre before we start trying to build what we (nor anyone else) can protect.
  11. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Sorry, nice idea, but nonsense for several reasons. Firstly, 'Building' given the context of Helmand - which has pretty much Zero infrastructure in 99% of its area - would be far too expensive for anyone - UK, US, UN, whole lot combined - to do. Reconstruction is of course not even a starter, as you need something to have been there in the first place to 'reconstruct'. Iraq it is not.

    Secondly, it's not safe to do so, nor practical for the Afghans to get too involved in most areas. Until the Clear and Hold bits are working, there will be no Afghan Govt presence there - and without that, 50,000 Uniformed or Peace Corps or VSO experts building and rebuilding would be wasting their time. Look at Kajaki - we ensure the electricity flows (when it does) but the Talibs tax the locals, who pay nothing to the Govt for their electricity supply. The result is that we get the blame when there is no power, and the Taliban get the money when there is.

    In truth the FCO-DfID team in the PRT are doing a pretty good job in the circs - and the circumstances are, that there is not a lot of 'Held' area in which to work. They aren't stupid, or windy, or ignorant - they are a large group of professionals in many fields from all over the world - UK, US, Denmark, and several other Nations - who are doing all they can, often at considerable risk to themselves. Easy to criticise, harder to improve on.

    Until ground is truly 'Held', anything built will be taken over/used to the benefit of /destroyed by the Taliban, as the Afghan Govt presence isn't there - and it won't be until things are more peaceful. You wouldn't get UK Local Govt officials working in a War Zone (parts of the UK excepted), and should not expect it of Afghans. THey simply are not paid enough for that sort of sh'it.
  12. It is worth remembering that the UK mission to Helmand was planned to last 3 years. That date has already passed and yet you think the lack of security is something that can be used in defence of abysmal policy and strategy.

    I suppose it's a roundabout way of admitting that New Labour policy and strategy in Afghanistan has failed. Efforts now are simply to achieve something - anything - that can be proclaimed a 'success'.
  13. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Blind stupidity then. Good weekend sven? Dull as fcuk as usuall. Wouldn't want you to break into a sweet would we, fat boy....
  14. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Ta for that, good riposte, not much to really argue against there. I certainly agree with the issue of holding the ground, which is key. I suppose it is pertinent to add that we missed the boat in the early years when we first went in, we were under resourced and under manned.
  15. Or, for those of us in the reality based community, it might be suggested that when things don't go to plan we alter the plan, as opposed to stomping off in a huff when the egg-timer goes off.