US pushes UK troops for year long tours

Britain, US differ on Afghan mission Published: Tuesday, 19 February, 2008, 01:34 AM Doha Time

By Kim Sengupta
Camp Bastion, HELMAND: Britain and the US are at loggerheads over key aspects of their strategy against the Taliban, in fresh evidence of discord over the future of Nato's troubled mission in Afghanistan.
Washington wants a permanent command in the south of the country, where the fiercest fighting is taking place, instead of the current policy of rotating the post between contributing countries. The US has also asked for the length of time troops from other countries serve in Afghanistan to be significantly raised to match the lengthy American period of deployment.
More on the link
after reading the article i didnt see any reason why we should go along with in what my mind in a flawed method 6 months is hard enough 12 months 15, we wouldnt have a army left.
Why are they so concerned over the length of another nation's tours, provided the positions are filled?

Are the yank troops whinging and their hierarchy don't know how to deal with it?
dingerr said:
Why are they so concerned over the length of another nation's tours, provided the positions are filled?

Are the yank troops whinging and their hierarchy don't know how to deal with it?

What he said!

Given that the manning remains, it's up to us to administrate it, not USA.

Wouldn't want to be an American soldier these days.
While you chose to feed the usual hunger for American bashing on Arrse, you left out the fact the Gates was also calling out the rest of NATO match the resolve of Britain, Australia, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands.

There's no doubt that longer tours help get the 'lay of the land'; you know your territory and the locals much better.

But I agree with most of you, these are volunteer armies and this isn't a national struggle like WWII. You can't sustain these length of tours forever and maintain the force.

It's a double-edged sword.

Longer tours, Afghan solution bring peace: U.S. troops

But in the east, U.S. troops tout their success in stemming violence in what were once Taliban strongholds.

While there are big differences in geography and Taliban strength in the south and the east, the differing approach and sheer resources of U.S. troops have made the contrast between violent south and increasingly quiet east ever more great.

The biggest difference is the amount of time troops spend on the ground. The U.S. 82nd airborne is coming to the end of 15 months in eastern Afghanistan. Most other NATO soldiers spend six months, some as little as four months, in the country.
And after years of lecturing here on Arrse about Brit expertise in NI and counter-insurgency the US has gotten it right.

U.S. troops have enthusiastically embraced an Afghan-first counter-insurgency strategy focused on winning over the populace and bolstering local government and Afghan security forces.

British commanders in the south say they threw out their own outdated counter-insurgency manual and used the new American one instead, but the gulf in their resources is huge.

"U.S. Congress well endows the commanders in the U.S. sector with reconstruction money, bureaucratically unencumbered, more or less, so that they can apply those monies in a pure and comprehensive way in counterinsurgency operations," McNeill said.
Depends on the context - the lads taking rounds day in day out should stick with 6 monthers - but Formation HQs should do longer I think and this is probably what the spams are driving at here.
I percieve that the desire to extend tours is purely tactical, and applies chielfy to officers.
Think this idea is going to be a non starter.
I remember working with a US colonel who had done 15 months in A-stan. He was exhausted, but he could point to long term trust building and work done - unlike our own policy whereby every 6 months we reinvent the wheel, then spend 2 months getting up to speed and a month winding down. I'd suggest we only get 3 fully effective months out of a 6 month tour when the unit is a known quantity with the locals, knows the area and has got trust to a level where it can work with the people. 9 months is apparently the optimal time, but we'd never go to it.
Can we go accompanied? I know many a pad wife who could sort them out!


Don't see many reasons why a composite HQ could not do longer than a specific Bde HQ.

Based on a specific Bde HQ being in Afg now, it might be possible to replace people after say 2,3 & 4 months with people posted in for 12 months. Can't see many people being happy about touring for that long though & for that reason its probably a non-starter.
No doubt the Government and the MoD will pander to the USA's wishes.
I can think of some good reasons to increase tour lengths but I can also think of a lot more bad reasons.

Tours are more or less 9 months as it is if you include all of the time spent away at various locations doing Pre Deployment Training/Ranges/Optag etc.

There will be a few single lads who would do 12 month tours but as for the married soldiers the long haired generals (wives) would be up in arms, literally! :D
sparky8 said:
Can we go accompanied? I know many a pad wife who could sort them out!
Could I send my mother in law out even if I'm not due to deploy? :twisted:



We are already heading this way. Colonels and above in individual posts are now routinely deploying for 9 months, some for a year.
Extending the tour for those non-frontline units may have its good points such as only having to do one set of optag training for a year rather then 2 for 2 six month tours, Less costs for moving us backwards and forward and and less messing around as we would only have to hand over to another unit once a year instead of two.
NOw for people who say six months is long enough and we shouldn't do more I would agree however as I have just got back for Herrick 6 (sept 07) and have now deployed to telic 11 (since the start of feb) (and I'm far from the only one) I find that the army is just sending us to sandy places more often for shorter periods rather than less often for longer periods.
Devils Advocate:

6 Months on 18 months off.


12 months on 36 months off.

If they could make that happen I think a year tour might be more popular with the young lads and lasses in the rear with the gear who stand to make 12k + in money saved However it would be a hard time convincing the Pads!

As for the combat arms. I think some of the fella's would go for it but the do gooders and health and safety guru's wouldn't allow it. (Possibly with good reasoning)

Me personally... As with Stag why do 2 on 4 off when you can do 4 on 8 off!

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