UK block on Afghan surge riles army chiefs

UK block on Afghan surge riles army chiefs[/b]

By James Blitz in London
Published: April 30 2009 19:27 | Last updated: April 30 2009 23:07
British army chiefs are incensed at Gordon Brown’s decision this week to block a long-term surge in UK forces in Afghanistan, arguing that a troop increase is vital to the success of the mission in troubled Helmand province.

As the UK on Thursday marked the official end of its military mission in Iraq, attention was focused on the completion of the operation in the city of Basra that has cost 179 British lives since the US-led invasion in 2003.

But behind the scenes, this week also marks the end of a cross-departmental battle over Britain’s military operations in Helmand, one which has ended with Mr Brown rejecting a recommendation from service chiefs for 2,000 more UK troops to be sent to the province.
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No surprise
Is it treasonous to call the Prime Minister a ****?
Magdovus said:
Is it treasonous to call the Prime Minister a *?
No, because he is a politician, not her Majesty, her heirs and successors, whom we have sworn to defend.

Although it is her government. And I am sure that sticks in her craw.

Good. I'm considering sending a statement to the papers:

"Wannabe STAB calls the PM a **** and challenges him to a fight"

I think it could be fun.
"All the Army chiefs need to do is ask and we'll provide it for them"........Or words to that effect from Brown and Co.

Mind you, no one believed them.
Can someone please explain the logic behind this decision. Surely we should be ploughing more personnel into this area especially now with the Americans increasing their capability. How do we expect to get the upper hand here if we are limiting our own forces' capabilities. Or are we now relying on the Americans to pick up the slack?
Thursday's Times had similar stories

Military loses battle over Afghanistan troop boost

Gordon Brown has rejected the advice of both his Defence Secretary and military chiefs by refusing to send 2,000 more troops to Afghanistan to boost the permanent British presence in Helmand province to more than 10,000.

Despite pleas from commanders in southern Afghanistan for more “boots on the ground” to help to hold territory won against the Taleban, the Prime Minister has sided with the Treasury and has ruled that the total force must remain at the present level of 8,300.

The decision, after months of wrangling between the Ministry of Defence, Downing Street and the Treasury, has shocked and gravely disappointed military chiefs. John Hutton, the Defence Secretary, also put his full weight behind their recommendation to send long-term reinforcements.

Mr Brown confirmed that the only troop boost he had approved was the temporary deployment of a battalion of 700 soldiers for a four-month period leading up to and beyond the presidential elections on August 20.

“Apparently the Prime Minister thinks that with the planned uplift of 17,000 American combat troops going to Afghanistan, he is able to take the decision to keep Britain’s permanent force to 8,300,” officials said. ...
End of an era as Britain takes a back seat

and a leading article::

Retreat from Afghanistan

The temporary dispatch of only 700 troops to bolster British forces in Afghanistan is the worst of all worlds: sending too few einforcements to achieve the end promised

Gordon Brown gave the Commons a lucid summary yesterday of the threat posed by the borderlands between Pakistan and Afghanistan. “They are the crucible for global terrorism,” he said. They were the breeding ground for terrorists and the source of a chain of terror stretching back to the streets of Britain. He is right. It is, therefore, all the more astonishing that, having spent two days seeing for himself the scale of the threat, Mr Brown should announce the deployment of no more than 700 temporarily assigned troops to Afghanistan to bolster Britain's contingent.

The proposed figure is far below the numbers needed. It falls well short of the reinforcements urged on his Nato allies by President Obama, who is to send an extra 21,000 troops to Afghanistan. And it is less than the total of 3,500 that General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army, told this newspaper three weeks ago had been earmarked for deployment in operations in southern Afghanistan. Indeed, far from underpinning the “enhanced strategic dialogue” that Mr Brown said was needed to tackle extremism in the Afghan-Pakistan borderlands, the two additional infantry companies are to stay only four months until the Afghan election in August. After the vote they will be withdrawn and Britain's Forces will return to a total of 8,300. That will mean abandoning recent gains, withdrawing from Musa Qala and probably also Kajaki. ...
NL's policy is stupid. It's been said for the last 5+ years that we need to hold the ground. It's only then that the locals get the feeling of security that alllows for the reconstruction effort. If that doesn't apppear then we lose the local support. It's not rocket science.
Well done Gorden, all you have to do now is withdraw the troops serving there.
Armies at War are very expensive and this government will not pay the cash required for the troops and above all the equipment.
That TOM pays regularly in Blood, Limbs and Mental health is something that does not appear on the Exchequer.

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