Troops die as UK holds back Afghan reinforcements

#1
Nato reveals that Britain withdrew an offer of 800 extra troops, reports Michael Smith in Kabul

BRITAIN agreed to provide an extra 800 troops to allied forces fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan but later withdrew the offer, Nato officials disclosed last week.

Lieutenant General David Richards, the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, planned to use the 800-man force as troubleshooters, sending them into any area where fighting broke out.

However, John Reid, then the defence secretary, was so angry at the reluctance of other Nato countries to supply troops that the offer was retracted.

Reid, who famously said that he hoped British troops would leave Afghanistan without firing a single shot, indicated that the UK would send no more troops other than the 3,300 men to be based in Helmand province.

Last week the US general in charge of Nato made the obvious link between the shortage of troops and the casualties faced by the allied forces in southern Afghanistan.

Ministers have repeatedly insisted that they have provided all the troops that the commanders on the ground wanted. But Nato officials said the men they desperately needed were the 800 originally promised by Britain.

The presence of a “tactical theatre reserve battalion”, the quick reaction force which the British had offered to provide, was factored into all the computer generated exercises during which Richards and his commanders prepared to fight the Taliban.

“The next three to six months is a crucial period here,” said Richards yesterday. “We are establishing pschological ascendancy over the Taliban. That has convinced the people that the Nato troops can defeat the Taliban. If I had those 800-1000 troops I could do it by the autumn.”


In full

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2350705,00.html
 
#2
armchair_jihad said:
Nato reveals that Britain withdrew an offer of 800 extra troops, reports Michael Smith in Kabul

BRITAIN agreed to provide an extra 800 troops to allied forces fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan but later withdrew the offer, Nato officials disclosed last week.

Lieutenant General David Richards, the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, planned to use the 800-man force as troubleshooters, sending them into any area where fighting broke out.

However, John Reid, then the defence secretary, was so angry at the reluctance of other Nato countries to supply troops that the offer was retracted.

Reid, who famously said that he hoped British troops would leave Afghanistan without firing a single shot, indicated that the UK would send no more troops other than the 3,300 men to be based in Helmand province.

Last week the US general in charge of Nato made the obvious link between the shortage of troops and the casualties faced by the allied forces in southern Afghanistan.

Ministers have repeatedly insisted that they have provided all the troops that the commanders on the ground wanted. But Nato officials said the men they desperately needed were the 800 originally promised by Britain.

The presence of a “tactical theatre reserve battalion”, the quick reaction force which the British had offered to provide, was factored into all the computer generated exercises during which Richards and his commanders prepared to fight the Taliban.


In full

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2350705,00.html
So Reid had a hissy fit, pictue the scene; Teddies flying every where an him shouting "You misserable frenchies, why won't you help me get out of the poo".

The sooner we have the return of the firing squad the better. What a complete and utter nob, no knowledge of military requirements and only a rudimentry understanding of maths. And yet this country voted inthis show of sh1t.

JJ
 
#3
It's a shame this story hasn't been picked up by TV media outlets - not only is it incontravertible evidence that the government has been lying to us (again!), but it is damning in that it would be entirely reasonable to accuse the government of failing the soldiers it has already sent to Afghanistan.

Come on Aunty Beeb - you were supporting the Army last week, why can't you do it again this week?

It is interesting to note it was John Reid who had the hissy fit - so much for the cool calm guy who took control when the terrorist plot came to public attention in August. Damage his leadership campaign perhaps?
 
#4
Although, unfortunately he does have a point. It seems we and Canada are the only country’s taking our fair shares. With us taking extra, and Canada with a military the size of Timbuktu’s. It is an unacceptable situation, and unless the other Nato nations stop acting like pricks, British troops will either be slaughtered or we will have to make a limping retreat.

Nato is meant to be an alliance of the most militarily powerful nations in the world, and yet the buggers all seem to be afraid to do anything.
 
#5
It's true that Reid was right in saying the others should have put up more. The French could have put together a very useful tactical reserve but as I was told by those officials, there is little point in expecting others to contribute when you know they cant or won't and putting your own troops at risk in the process. There is more from my interviews with particular regard to the position in Helmand on my blog

http://timesonline.typepad.com/mick_smith/
 
#6
I'm amazed that anyone is surprised that NATO is full of spineless wasters.
It seems that everyone has forgotten that every European nation relied entirely on the Americans to stump up the cash required to ensure the demise of the Sovs. During that period, European defence expenditure dwindled year on year. You don't seriously expect them to send real soldiers to fight do you? Anyway, as Scwarzkopf famously said, 'Going to war without the French is like going hunting without your accordion.'
 
#7
Perevodchik said:
Anyway, as Scwarzkopf famously said, 'Going to war without the French is like going hunting without your accordion.'
That quote has been attributed to just about every commander that that US has had since 1815. Does anyone know EXACTLY who said it first?
 
#9
It was mentioned in an article earlier that there was a debate in Germany as to whether they should send troops into the south to assist, or keep them where they are.

There are troops there that could certainly do alot for the situation if they only were given the opportunity.
 
#10
The question of additional NATO troops must be coupled with the question of quality of assistance. As I've mentioned in another thread, I've heard from folks who've been over there that while the Brits and the Canadians are exemplary in their aggressive patrolling tactics, some NATO contingents are forbidden to leave the wire, in essence their presence being deemed sufficient by their governments so that they can say, "See, we contributed!"
 
#11
Has anyone else heard about the Danish troops at Musa Qalah, I believe (although I'm happy to stand corrected), who mutinied recently? Apparently it was so bad that the Danish PM had to have discussions with Blair about the affair. The Danes were in the compound, refusing to come out, stating that they were there for "peace-keeping purposes" only and would get shot at if they came out.
 
#12
ruby2shoes said:
Has anyone else heard about the Danish troops at Musa Qalah, I believe (although I'm happy to stand corrected), who mutinied recently? Apparently it was so bad that the Danish PM had to have discussions with Blair about the affair. The Danes were in the compound, refusing to come out, stating that they were there for "peace-keeping purposes" only and would get shot at if they came out.
Not heard about. Seems uncharacteristic of the Danish troops that I know (granted that I only know 3). Is there a link?
 
#13
Sorry, Chief, no link; my son told me about it and he's out there.

I also heard that the three soldiers we lost in one incident a few weeks ago happened because they were going to re-supply the Danes at this same compound as the Danes wouldn't come out to fetch their own supplies. The British convoy got hit very close to the compound and the re-supply didn't happen. The next day, apparently, the Danes had to come out to pick up their supplies, they were contacted and one of them died. So, in effect, the Danes were right.

I'm not questioning the quality of the Danish soldiers but I am saying that some of the NATO troops are not prepared to take the same risks that ours are. Perhaps they're right. If this is true, then we have to question if there's any point sending in other NATO troops who are only prepared to sit in their compounds - with the added risk to some other poor sods who have to resupply them.

I can't verify what I'm saying here, I'm happy to stand corrected, but this is coming straight from soldiers out there.
 
#14
ruby2shoes said:
Sorry, Chief, no link; my son told me about it and he's out there.

I also heard that the three soldiers we lost in one incident a few weeks ago happened because they were going to re-supply the Danes at this same compound as the Danes wouldn't come out to fetch their own supplies. The British convoy got hit very close to the compound and the re-supply didn't happen. The next day, apparently, the Danes had to come out to pick up their supplies, they were contacted and one of them died. So, in effect, the Danes were right.

I'm not questioning the quality of the Danish soldiers but I am saying that some of the NATO troops are not prepared to take the same risks that ours are. Perhaps they're right. If this is true, then we have to question if there's any point sending in other NATO troops who are only prepared to sit in their compounds - with the added risk to some other poor sods who have to resupply them.

I can't verify what I'm saying here, I'm happy to stand corrected, but this is coming straight from soldiers out there.
Thats upsetting to hear Ruby 2 Shoes, its bad enough for our lads without having to doubt the next door neighbours in a tight spot. I saw similar things with UNPROFOR, not good. I hope NATO stamps on this immediately and your son stays safe.
 
#15
ruby2shoes said:
Sorry, Chief, no link; my son told me about it and he's out there.

I also heard that the three soldiers we lost in one incident a few weeks ago happened because they were going to re-supply the Danes at this same compound as the Danes wouldn't come out to fetch their own supplies. The British convoy got hit very close to the compound and the re-supply didn't happen. The next day, apparently, the Danes had to come out to pick up their supplies, they were contacted and one of them died. So, in effect, the Danes were right.

I'm not questioning the quality of the Danish soldiers but I am saying that some of the NATO troops are not prepared to take the same risks that ours are. Perhaps they're right. If this is true, then we have to question if there's any point sending in other NATO troops who are only prepared to sit in their compounds - with the added risk to some other poor sods who have to resupply them.

I can't verify what I'm saying here, I'm happy to stand corrected, but this is coming straight from soldiers out there.
I won't dispute it. If your son says so, then it's probably true.

One image burned in my mind recently was an AP photo of Danish troops in Iraq carrying wounded Brit squaddies from a burning Land Rover.

Regardless, it's a pity to hear when individuals don't carry their weight.
 
#16
Thank you, A-J, for your kind thoughts.

On the plus side, the Canadians liberated him from the hellhole that is Sangin... when he was starving, I might add. And he works constantly with the Americans. He holds both of those nations' troops in high regard.

He talks to me about what he does out there and he moves around a lot and yet he very rarely talks about what any of the other NATO troops are doing.

Reading this thread made me wonder what exactly they are doing. We hear occasionally about the Germans in the east and I know they've suffered some losses; they certainly appear to be carrying out ops.

Where are the rest of the 36 (if I remember correctly) countries? I've heard one or two things about French SF (who have lost at least 4, by the way) and French air support. The Dutch are around somewhere but I've heard nothing about them in the south. The Estonians trained with the Paras at Salisbury and yet they're never mentioned. So what are they all doing?

Any idea where the Aussies are, anyone? I'm seriously not questioning their integrity, by the way! Completely sound troops but where are they based?

I heard elsewhere too that other NATO nations had promised more helicopters which haven't materialised.
 
#17
I believe that at least in some cases, it's not a matter of willingness on the part of the troops, it's a matter of restrictions placed on the troops by governments who are scared sh!tless of bodycount reports on the local news.

I've heard some countries mentioned specifically as being less than useful/cooperative; these accounts however are anecdotal and I'll not mention those countries without having solid sources with which to back up otherwise baseless slanders.
 
#18
I have always had lots of time for Canuks, however some of our European comrades do leave much to be desired.
I do not doubt they would fight to defend their homelands and do so couragously.
However being a Soldier demands much more and the more left wing elements of Europe have slowly indoctranated modern youth to so convince them they have rights.
As one US President said " Ask not what your country came do for you but what you can do for your country" or words to that effect.
Thats the only Universal Right/Duty responsibility to your country.
I do wonder what this 'Proposed' Euro Army that Blur seems to be secretly planning for, what objectives will it have.
Will it revert to socialist methods of discipline a'la Uncle Joe, or their modern ideas with 'counselors'.
john
Got out at the right time.
 
#19
Chief_Joseph said:
One image burned in my mind recently was an AP photo of Danish troops in Iraq carrying wounded Brit squaddies from a burning Land Rover.

Regardless, it's a pity to hear when individuals don't carry their weight.

If they're at least carrying out vital rescue or even medic duties, then that's something and thank you for telling me about that incident in Iraq, which I didn't know about.

Is it really a case of them not carrying their weight though? Perhaps they have been sent in there with a different mission to our soldiers. Perhaps what happened with the Danes was because they hadn't been prepared for the situation they found themselves in and were rightly aggrieved.

I know our soldiers were prepared which is why I've said elsewhere that all of this "oh we didn't realise it was going to be so bad" from the politicians on the TV is complete crap. My son said before he went that it was going to be extremely bad and he's been in plenty of bad scenarios before.

I'm not sure if I'm questioning the quality of the other NATO troops or their various governments' intentions. Does that make sense or am I talking drivel?
 
#20
ruby2shoes said:
The Estonians trained with the Paras at Salisbury and yet they're never mentioned.
In defence of the Estonians, they only have a few there and as such a small Country (1.3 mill) they are sensitive to casualties, however like all the Balts WWII only ended for them when they were allowed to Join the EU & NATO and so take the mission very seriously. As a matter of grave National pride, I cannot see them backing down from a scrap.

The Aussies as always and as all members of the 'Anglosphere' will be in the thick of it - I think they are in the East with the Yanks, but I'm not 100%.
 

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