UK aims to start Helmand handover next year

#1
UK aims to start Helmand handover next year
By James Blitz in London
Published: November 10 2009 18:52 | Last updated: November 10 2009 18:52
Gordon Brown revealed on Tuesday that Britain was seeking to hand control of two districts in Afghanistan’s Helmand province to the Afghan national army over the next eight months.

The prime minister disclosed that the UK hoped the Afghan forces would take control of the districts by the middle of 2010, as he prepares for Barack Obama, the US president, to outline his new strategy for Afghanistan.

Whitehall officials have not identified the districts that might be run by Afghanistan’s own forces next year but there is speculation that they could include the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, where the British task force has its headquarters.

Mr Brown said at a Downing Street press conference: “We want to be in a position where a number of the districts of Helmand over the course of the next year are not only filled with Afghan forces able to do the job, but that we transfer political control . . . [to] the Afghan people.”

Mr Brown added: “We think by mid-next year probably two parts of Helmand can be transferred from our side, from our responsibility, and of course the Americans will be thinking likewise in the areas for which they have responsibility.”
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#4
Spanny said:
Ah but is the ANA up to stopping terrorist training camps being built
Are the ANA up to unloading without NDing?!
 
#5
Assuming that the ANA are of a decent enough quality and maturity to do the job then this has to be a good thing. Let them handle the quieter areas whilst we concentrate on the more Taliban heavy ones. Although the cynical part of me does notice that this would of course be happening right before the next general election has to be held. I'd like to see some decent reports from commanders on the ground that this is a proper move and not something being nudged along by the government for outside interests. Providing that the professionals say it's a realistic idea then two thumbs up from over here.
 
#8
So dodgy deals with the local insurgents, we withdraw, the ANA go back in a year later and we have to surge back out and hastily establish mentoring groups after they've cracked it already, with the world accusing us of cowardice, and then a quick handover to the septics. Textbook!
 
#9
So I guess we won't really need those helicopters now?
 
#10
LAIT said:
Hell's bells - a veritable seam of crap.

broken_man said:
So dodgy deals with the local insurgents, we withdraw, the ANA go back in a year later and we have to surge back out and hastily establish mentoring groups after they've cracked it already, with the world accusing us of cowardice, and then a quick handover to the septics. Textbook!
Garbage. The suggestion that 'dodgy deals' are being conducted between UK forces and the enemy is as insulting to the memory of the 200-odd dead UK servicemen and women as it is utterly and completely wrong. UK policy has always placed diplomatic intervention to the fore - you would prefer full-on war? 'Jaw jaw, not war war'.
I'm not saying they are in Afghan, just that that is the widely held belief of what happened in Basra in 2007.
 

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