US wants Brit Iraq forces redeployed in Afghanistan "surge"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by fantassin, Nov 20, 2008.

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  1. From Times Online

    November 20, 2008

    Pentagon wants British Iraq forces redeployed in Afghanistan "surge"

    Britain insists that it is already stretched with the deployment of 8,000 troops in the volatile Helmand province
    Richard Beeston, in Washington and Michael Evans, Defence Editor

    The Pentagon wants Britain to use troops withdrawn from Iraq to reinforce the Nato mission in Afghanistan, despite strong misgivings in the Ministry of Defence.

    Speaking before a meeting today of defence ministers representing the eight countries fighting in southern Afghanistan, Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said that America was sending thousands more troops and expected other allies to do the same.

    A presidential review of the US-led mission in Afghanistan, completed this week, is expected to call for more troops to be sent to the country. Barack Obama, the US President-elect, has promised to make the war in Afghanistan a priority of his new Administration and plans a “surge” of forces to fight the resurgent Taleban.

    The Pentagon is planning to send between 15,000 and 20,000 more troops to the country, in addition to the 33,000 already there. A Marine battalion and a combat brigade are already preparing to go. Three more combat brigades could be sent next year.

    Britain insists that it is already “stretched” with the deployment of 8,000 troops in the volatile Helmand province, but the Pentagon points out that the reduction of some 4,000 British soldiers in Iraq could free up additional forces for the Afghan campaign.

    As Britain scales down in Iraq, hopefully they will be able to contribute more troops to Afghanistan,” Mr Morrell told The Times.

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  2. He can 'hope' all he wants...
  3. You reckon? This gives cyclops the chance to say Iraq has been job jobbed and show what a tough decisive leader he is by reinforcing the mission in Afghan.
    And whats with all the touchy feely language "Surge" why cant they say offensive
  4. As soon as we get the bloody equipment sorted out and broon allocates more money to defence, then we can help out with this surge.
  5. ...4,000 freed up from Iraq....pack them off to Afghanistan. Peachy.

    How about giving the poor bastards some serious R&R ? :x

    Let the rest of NATO carry the load for a change.
  6. They can fcuk off.

    It is about time that other countries got their fingers out and pulled their weight.
  7. Do not pass "GO". Do not collect £200. Do not bother to unpack. In fact what's the flight time direct from Basra to Bastion?

  8. Well the British Army is a member of the US Special Forces after all :p

  9. I don't think "surge" is touchy-feely. To me "offensive" simply means going on the attack, while "surge" implies reinforcement before going on the attack.

    So long as our troops sent to Afghan after a drawback from Iraq is 50% or less in troop numbers released then the strain will still be reduced, albeit less than that fully possible.

    Saying that though. Unless the international aid system is sorted out, the benefits brought to Afghans by the sacrifices made by our troops will always be less than optimal. The locals need to see real improvements to their lives shortly after coming under control/protection of coalition troops. Do that and the Afghanistan peoples might start to have a definite preference for being free of the Taliban cohorts. We also need the capability to hold the ground bought at the expense of blood. Capturing a town/village and then withdrawing is a waste of life.

    Just my opinion.
  10. I'm less generous - all they should get is a UK divisional HQ to co-ordinate and command a new US brigade in southern Helmand to match the one in the north.
  11. I'd suggest that there are no original Taliban left but in it's place there are now Pakistani jihadists hell bent on keeping the away teams busy.

    And anyway, I thought it was obvious that AFG would increase as Iraq decreased?

    As long as the surge doesn't stop surging till it reaches the Pakistan border and then holds the line then surge away.
  12. Do we have a divisional HQ to spare? That would require a RS Regiment and 2 or 3 signal squadrons, plus the staff officers/troops to man it. About 800-1,000 people? All of them (or damned near so) specialists. If a Div HQ is available, wouldn't that imply that a Divs worth of troops are also "spare"?

    I don't know. Enlighten me please.
  13. Once Iraq is scaled down then yes we, no doubt, would have those assets to hand.
  14. We don't have any commitments that need a div HQ, both are currently brigade sized HQ's. Counting the new HQ of 6th division we have three that are deployable, so why not? The divisional HQ's arn't wedded to a fixed set of troops, hence we are currently able to be overstreched without having div HQ's in use.
  15. Thank you. That does make sense but are we not short of officers in the Capt-Col range and Majors in particular?