Tories would back troop surge in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Karl_uk, Sep 28, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. A Conservative government would increase British troop numbers in Afghanistan by up to 2,500 and deliver more helicopters, armoured vehicles and “other key battlefield enablers”, the Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox indicated today.

    Claiming that continued British involvement in Afghanistan was a “national security imperative”, Dr Fox told an audience at the International Institute for Strategic Studies: “A Conservative government would be sympathetic to a request for an increase in the number of British troops to help expedite the training of Afghan security forces.”

    US officials indicated that 2,000 to 2,500 British troops would “substantially speed up” the training of the Afghan National Army in a request that was rejected by the Government earlier this year. Tory officials said that a Conservative government would be "very sympathetic" to a repeat of the request.

    “Above all,” Dr Fox said, “the British Government must ensure that our troops are properly equipped for the crucial operations they are involved in, including the earliest possible increase in the number of helicopters, armoured vehicles and other key battlefield enablers.”
    Related Links

    * British army wants mini-surge in Afghanistan

    * General backs call for surge in Afghanistan

    * Lessons of history: Aghan defiance lives on


    * INTERACTIVE: British fatalities

    * Afghanistan war: special series

    British commanders in Helmand have asked the Government for a "mini-surge" in UK forces in the province to help to train the Afghan Army. This follows additional pressure on troop numbers as a result of Operation Panther’s Claw in central districts of Helmand. About 3,000 British troops are committed to holding ground cleared during that operation.

    General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander of Nato troops in Afghanistan, says that he requires a "bridging force" of up to 40,000 extra troops from the US and its Nato allies to build the Afghan Army and police forces to 400,000 by 2013.

    In an indication of the attitude a Tory government would take to Afghanistan, Dr Fox attacked the Government’s failure “to define our objectives in national security terms” or to resource British forces adequately.

    He warned that a failure in Afghanistan would be a “shot in the arm” for jihadists around the world and would “increase threats to the United Kingdom tomorrow".

    “Be under no illusions – it would fuel latent fundamentalist sentiment within the UK, and other European countries,” he said.

    He also warned that the future of Nato, Pakistani security and wider regional stability in South Asia were all tied to the success of the mission in Afghanistan.

    "Failure is not an option," he said.

    The Conservatives would support plans to develop local auxiliary forces, Dr Fox said. The formation of local militias remains a controversial idea, though a project called the Afghan Public Protection Programme is being piloted in Wardak province. The programme attempts to replicate the highly successful "Sons of Iraq" militia force that was co-opted from Sunni insurgent groups to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    “I’m in no position to work out the mechanics here today for what a similar programme could look like in Helmand but I do know that one would be hard pressed to give an example of a counter-insurgency campaign that has been successful without using local auxiliary forces,” he said.

    Indicating future Tory government support for a long-term commitment to the Afghan mission, Dr Fox said: “Of course, as a politician and especially as Shadow Defence Secretary, I would love to be able to tell the electorate, our brave servicemen and women, and their families that we will leave by a predetermined date and that their sacrifices will soon end. But this would be sadly untrue and it would be irresponsible to do this if we are genuine about the national security implications facing us. It may get worse before it gets better.”


    Interesting article, especially considering the comments. Could this possible lead to a big reduction in the tory vote at the election especially if theres any more big loss's for us out there? :?

    Regardless of that it's good to see them actually saying (whether they do it or not is another story) they'll do what the commanders on the ground say they want and need.
  2. I'm beginning to see the Green Party in a completely different light these days. :X
  3. A surge in the Stan is inevitible; send in as many troops as possible, declare "victory" and hand over the whole pile of sh1t to the Afghans(poor schmucks). Before getting the fcuk out of Dodge ASAP.

    Cynical? Moi? :roll:

  4. Nope!

    Reality good Sir, just reality.
  5. Dr Fox eh?
  6. didn't he host the chart show?
  7. I should have added: less than a year after UK/USA forces leave Afghanistan, Terry will be back in charge. And hundreds of brave men and women will have died for nothing. :evil:
  8. Not forgetting of course that it was the tory party that decimated the number of hm forces last time they were in along with making a complete mess of the medical services,they just taking opportunistic easy cheap shots at the moment.Talk is cheap when the story is good.
  9. Agree entirely, Cameron blithely voted for Iraq and Afghanistan, he can hardly complain about the fallout. These are cheap words with no back up of hard policy.

    Still have hopes for Liam Fox, though I believe his hands are being tied by Cameron..
  10. I'm not :twisted:

    But - there is a sentence mising from the article

    " ........... blasa, blasa, Commanders on the ground, blasa, blasa...... Of course we will still be cutting the Defence Vote!"
  11. Simples from a Tory perspective.

    Get in - big troop surge - take even larger losses over a twelve to eighteen month period - leave prematurely because we have won the peace and the ANA have all these trained soliders - deny responsibility when it then later goes t1ts up - cut the army because of the "peace dividend" - save money on defence budget - job jobbed (Afghan more fcuked than currently, defence capability more fcuked than currently, greater unemployment, less public sector spending on defence, more public sector spending on UB / IB for ex-squaddies).

    God - I am looking forward to a Tory government.
  12. Basic fact of the matter is Army Generals want more troops & the tories are willing to provide more troops.
    At least they are listening to commanders on the ground & willing to provide everything they ask for.
    Not like labour who tried to win this war on the cheap
  13. It was listening to Army Generals that got us into this trouble in the first place. How do we know if these additional troops will be given adequately protected vehicles to drive around in? How many additional helicopters will be required, but not sent to accompany them?

    Normally I wouldn't hesitate to support any such request from military leaders, but the scale of the task of the deployment in 2006 was massively underrated by senior military staffs, who were content to send their troops on an under resourced, under supported questionable deployment, with woefully inadequate equipment.

    I can see the sense in ramping up resources to train up Afghans who will one day (in theory), replace our own troops but I question the judgement of the military establishment that originally sent them there.

    As for the Tories, they have displayed no better judgement in recent years. Maybe we'd be better served waiting for a positive direction from the United States, there is no way the UK is going to single-handedly alter the course of this war and if the US president refuses to provide more troops, we'd be no better for over-stretching a finite resource.
  14. anybody would think the Tories are trying to say what Joe Public wants to hear.
  15. Tories 'would back troop surge in Afghanistan'.

    With hard cash or just words?