US will grab power from British in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jan 10, 2009.

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  1. From The Sunday Times

    January 11, 2009

    US will grab power from British in Afghanistan

    Michael Smith and Sarah Baxter

    THE United States is building a command structure in Kandahar that will sideline the British general who takes command of southern Afghanistan in May.

    Brigadier-General John Nicholson, a senior American officer who previously served in Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division, has already arrived in Kandahar to oversee the Afghan “surge”.

    Although technically he will be subordinate to the British general who takes command in May, he will in reality have control of all US troops, UK defence sources said last week.

    Nicholson’s bombproof, rocket-proof command centre will dwarf the British general’s headquarters, which ostensibly controls operations across southern Afghanistan.
    More on the link
  2. msr

    msr LE

  3. It's hardly a surprise. the UK government have been running it on the cheap. too for resources, too few soldiers, to little reconstruction etc.. If broon wants to sit at the big table, he should not have treated HM armed forces with such distain.

    e.g. if it is expected that we (the UK) need to put 'x' solderiers into afg for years, then the 'peacetime strength' should be increased to allow for it. Did the government do that? no. they have continued to do a little as possible.

    procurements have been cancelled and dalayed because the government doesn't want to pay for anything, leading us into the situation where there are many procurement programs running concurrently and over budget, causing a massive hole in the defence budget, the solution, delay the projects more. (this at a time when it is considered prudent for a government to spend money to stimulate the economy - this reflects the contempt labour have for HM armed forces! even when it makes economic sense to spend money on defence, they won't do it!!)

    The UK government have shown conclusively that they are not committed to 'the war on terror' and simply want to scrape along with the minimum of input allowed politically.
  4. msr

    msr LE

    The trouble appears to be that they do not even want to achieve that.

  5. I guess i should clarify. I meant the minimum effort to satisfy domestic politics. They have clearly failed to do the minimum to maintain the UK position internationally.

    I have said it many times.

    If a war is worth fighting, its worth funding!

    If the government want to get involved in these things, we must commit totally. Increase troop numbers, buy more helicopters and anything else that is required to get the job done. Doing it half-arrsed only makes things worse for both sides.
  6. I think we have a problem if this means UK troops come under total, tactical US military command.

    There's an arrsehole commenting on the Yon site who sums up the cultural divide.
  7. msr

    msr LE

    Clearly this isn't worth fighting then...
  8. "British military planners have earmarked an extra 3,000 troops.... But a source suggested Brown might not agree to the extra troops and questioned whether Britain would still be “playing at the top table”."

    Splash the cash fat boy and you can get it the place and adulation you so desire. Until then wind your neck in.
  9. "US will grab power from British in Afghanistan"

    Does that mean we can all go home now?
  10. That's how i read the labour attitude to this.

    I believe that the labour desire to be involved is based on political motivations. That is absolutely not the way to go about things. The US ran vietnam along political lines and look what happened there.

    TBH I believe the invasion of AFG was justified, but deserved much more resources being thrown at it. Unfortunately the labour antipathy towards and ignorance of HM armed forces has led us to the current difficult situation we are now in.

    Any government, if they are going to put soldiers in harms way, has the absolute moral obligation to do EVERYTHING it can to ensure success. If this government are not willing to do that, then we should leave.
  11. "ENDEX, ENDEX!"
  12. I fully agree and it goes much deeper than that our politicians have no understanding of thier responsibility, or do not wish to accept this responsibility, towards our armed forces at war. Just how they expect the middle management of the armed forces to continue, for the next 10 or 15 years, at the pace and risk they are currently expected to endure is beyond me and especially those who are married with families. This snipprt from the Observer gives a flaviour of the problem

    No doubt Mr Gee meant well, but you can see the army's difficulty. Soldiers must be found somewhere and with too few combatants, and one of our current wars predicted to last for 20 years, it surely makes sense to awaken youngsters' interest before they hear about broken harmony guidelines, overstretch and life-threatening shortages of kit. Although, in the interests of balance, it should be stressed that Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth has dismissed the last allegation. According to those on the parliamentary benches beside him, he called it 'absolute balls', but the Speaker agreed to have the phrase excised from Hansard after he denied saying it. balls or not, it hardly matters once the men have signed up, after which it's four years before they can do more than voice their discontent.

    In this month's Soldier magazine, for example, an indentured infantryman asks, in the letters page, whether an extra £2.32 a day (that's around one Beano and three Curly Wurlies for younger readers) is a fitting 'unpleasant work allowance' for 141 days of incessant fighting in the Upper Gereshk Valley, where, he says, he was positioned 150 metres from enemy lines, 'washed in a bloodworm-infested well' and 'lived with Taliban bodies in the rubble around us'.

    Tough. The top brass appears to be stricter now than in the days of Cromwell's New Model Army. Replying, one Brigadier Jamie Gordon briskly reminds the complainant of his own part in the military covenant: 'As an infantrymen, we know that we will live at the sharp end - that is one of the reasons we joined, even with all the associated discomforts. You are doing what you want to and are trained to do.'

    I have said the middle management, who are invariably married with family responsibilities. But it can equally be said about younger service personnel who after 3 years of adventure are leaving and you can well see the reason. All the two litre brains can now see that the Army is not sized for its present deployments and the quality of life can only deteriorate as more urgent deployments demands become necessary or seem so with our current seat at the UN top table

    . A further quote from Allan Mallison hits the nail on the head even further

    We shall be in Afghanistan for as long as we were in Northern Ireland, said Brigadier John Lorimer, the Army commander in Helmand province, last week. He meant that, given the tactical progress and the difficulties of reconstruction, the Army must brace itself for a long haul (if the Government has the will to see it through). But the Chief of the General Staff, Sir Richard Dannatt, says the Army is at full stretch. Can it take the long haul, therefore?
    Consider morale, the maintenance of which is one of the fundamental principles of war. In 1946, reflecting on five years' fighting, Montgomery defined high morale as the quality that makes men endure and show courage in times of fatigue and danger, the most important single factor in war. High morale has four essential conditions, he argued: leadership, discipline, comradeship and self-respect.
    The leaders must also believe in a cause, without which they will not sustain their inner strength, the inspiration to those they lead. A private soldier needs to know the cause is esteemed at home; his self-respect, the determination to maintain personal standards of behaviour, is otherwise diminished.

    So with all this said if the government wishes to pursue its aims in Afghanistan and inevitably other wars of choice and and the maintenance of morale is key to doing so why is it that pay is so poor accommodation in many areas is a disgrace and the barracks and housing building programme will not show real across the piste benefits for many years?

    One can only come to the conclusion that the means to do the tasks are not being willed
  13. oh well, i guess we will not deploy to afghan anymore then. Big loss. Let the yanks take it
  14. Just a bit of mischief making by our own Mick Smith.

    Having control does not mean taking the strategic decisions.

    Thus General Nicholson is given a task and he distributes his regiments accordingly. No change in the command structure, no seizing de facto control.

    And those anonymous quotes again. :roll:
  15. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Arn't we due to hand command over soon anyway
    Wasn't the whole "we'll be out in three years without a shot fired" just that we were in charge for 3 years and then another country got a go?