Too few British troops to defeat the Taliban, says US milita

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jan 8, 2010.

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  1. Too few British troops to defeat the Taliban, says US military
    Britain does not have enough troops in Helmand to defeat the Taliban in the districts under its command, the American commander in the region has told The Daily Telegraph.

    By Damien McElroy in Lashkar Gah
    Published: 7:00PM GMT 08 Jan 2010
    Brig Gen Larry Nicholson cast doubt on UK military numbers and tactics saying British forces had not matched the success of his troops in recent months.
    He will soon have 20,000 US Marines under his command in Helmand while British troops now number 9,500 regular soldiers plus hundreds of special forces.
    The US force has claimed dramatic progress in recent times but the continuing high levels of attacks against British forces, particularly using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), has dismayed US commanders.
    More
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/6951503/Too-few-British-troops-to-defeat-the-Taliban-says-US-military.html
     
  2. It doesn't need a Brig General to tell us that. Most 'toms' could work that one out! Pointless clearing an area (and losing blokes) only to pull out the following day.
     
  3. No sh1t Sherlock!

    And don't forget, it was just 3 and a bit years ago that some political clowns in London thought ALL of Helmand could be 'won' with a single battle group and puffed-up CSS.
     
  4. Wow 20,000 is more than twice 9,500 . Glad to see my years at school weren't wasted

    I reckon even though it's the second week of January the Telegraph wins the most useless headline of 2010
     
  5. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    You can see why the Septics get frustrated with their Allies sometimes. At least the Cloggies and Canucks took on a reasonable area to run - but no, we (i.e. Mr Blair, for it was he) insisted that we take Helmand (we were offered somewhere else, but it wasn't enough). As with Basra, we soon showed that we simply haven't got the military trousers to go with Blair's political mouth, and we end up losing - losing face with the USA, with NATO, with the Afghans, with the Arabs, with the Pakistanis, with the Iranians, with the Indians and, most of all losing Soldiers. The Military were not helped, of ourse, by some particularly odd political guidance, and by the fact that the Chancellor/PM, Mr Brown, would never ever ever stump up enough cash. What we spend per Soldier in Afghanistan is pathetic compared to the USA.

    Thanks, Mr Blair, and you wonder why Labour are not popular amongst the Soldiery?

    Rant over. We've been fecked over by the Government, and an unnecessary number of good men and women have died - not for nothing, but for less than they should and could have. As in Southern Iraq, the USA has had to come in and finish the job. We've pissed off our Euro allies for cosying up to the Yanks, and pissed off the Yanks by being incapable of doing what we said we would

    What a sad state we've let ourselves get into, and all thanks to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
     
  6. I don't think that it reflects upon the army as much as it reflects upon our politicians. Specifically the government.
     

  7. It will.

    People don't seem to be able to seperate the two. The Americans, militarily speaking, won in 'Nam for example.
     
  8. I am sorry, you are all busy blaming the politicians but our own military leaders came up with the plan (Jackson et al).

    Face the uncomfortable truth. Military "leadership" has become politicised, self-serving and is woefully inadequate.
     
  9. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Too late.

    We no longer have a reputation as THE world-class COIN Army. That suit of emperor's clothes was comprehensively rubbished and seen through in Basra. We are an Ally now with a couple of niche skills, that's all.
     
  10. Hopefully we'll leave without firing a single shot....
     
  11. There is one other thing at play here. Gordon Brown has an election coming up. He is squeamish about loss of life, it has a direct effect on his own political future. Has he deliberately taken British troops out of the firing line to give himself a better chance when he calls that election?

    Sod the reputation of the British Army. Just as he emasculated the military in Basra at ANY cost [reputation], to reduce the flow of bad news from another deeply unpopular war.
     
  12. Does anyone really think that? (Apart from us). Our reputation went west in Basra. Besides which if COIN is fundamentally a political / police campaign (which was the route of Templar's success in Malaya), then having just a world-class COIN army is missing the point, you need a wider civil / political capability in order to run successful COIN campaign. I'm not sure if the US has this; but there is not doubt that we no longer have such a capability.
     
  13. The military leaders came up with a 'plan' based upon two overriding factors:
    1) they were being sent to Helmand as a political guesture,
    2) they were restricted in their effort by a Treasury cap on the number of troops and reseources available.

    Moreover, the original plan was, given the above solid and workeable - within the context of its application. That plan, was ripped up by the politicians within days of the BG's arrival in Helmand.

    The politicians deserve 99% of the 'blame'.

    I do not believe the first accusation is valid. The second two have merit but any 'noble' military leadership will be engulfed by the so-called democratic civil-military relationship currently inforce in the UK.