Will the Brits take over the whole of Helmand?

#1
Interview by Jon Snow on Channel 4 News

This indeed was a fascinating interview and I will put it on the Afghan thread if the text becomes available. In a nutshell. Rumour is that UK forces will be increased to take over the whole of Helmand province. If the Dutch decide not to recommit after 2009 this may encourage the Canadians to take similar actions and the landslide may start! The Brits may make up this shortfall.

Snowmail: Hamid Karzai interviewed in London

Last Modified: 23 Oct 2007
By: Jon Snow

This is going to brief because I've got to rush out and interview president Karzai of Afghanistan who is in London.

In fact you could almost stick a pin in a map and choose your leader because the Turkish prime minister and the Israeli prime minister are both here too, totally unrelated.

Afghanistan is once again in the news after an American bomb attack killed 11 civilians some 30 km west of the capital. But it's in the news too because Karzai wants to talk to the Taliban (or some of them) because NATO is under pressure all over the place without enough troops to sustain what they're doing, because the drug dealers are on the march and because of the crisis next door in Pakistan. All fertile material for a fascinating interview at 7.
 
#2
The interview apart from his usual anti-Pakistan stance was rather interesting. It seems that he is moving away from his previous stance of painting the Taliban as a purely religious entity.
Would it be so wrong to talk to the Taliban as like it or not they do represent the views of a significant proportion of at least Pushtoon opinion. Or should the government pay more attention to the grievances of the Pashtun tribes?
 
#3
"
This indeed was a fascinating interview and I will put it on the Afghan thread if the text becomes available. In a nutshell. Rumour is that UK forces will be increased to take over the whole of Helmand province. If the Dutch decide not to recommit after 2009 this may encourage the Canadians to take similar actions and the landslide may start! The Brits may make up this shortfall.
"

Such a rumour is just that - a rumour! Not aware of any substance to it...
 
#4
I read it slightly different. Karzai did make sense. When he mentioned the Taliban he was quite smart IMO. He did point out a difference between the hard line Islam fanatics and the random p!gged off casual supporters. The latter being the people he wanted to bring onside. He specifically stated that the madrass educated haters of freedom had no interest to him. Makes sense.

He also claimed that civilian deaths caused by NATO make his task more difficult. I just bet it does. There maybe things we could do about that but I am uncertain. If it is possible to avoid fighting the Taliban when they occupy towns and villages, that may help. Not sure if that is realistic though.
 
#5
I seem to remember that the Polish were to send a Bn. Has this changed or are they there but fighting the Germans?
 
#6
offog said:
I seem to remember that the Polish were to send a Bn. Has this changed or are they there but fighting the Germans?
We could recruit our own Polish brigade from the ex-pats living here. Having to wash your own car again would be a small price to pay for restoring the rule of law in Helmand.
 
#7
We either live in the same town or they have taken over the car washing franchise in the country. We have a particularly nice blond at one location. Have yet to go in the summer.

At least they are contributing something to society rather than certain parts of the community who think that I owe them a living.
 
#8
offog said:
We either live in the same town or they have taken over the car washing franchise in the country. We have a particularly nice blond at one location. Have yet to go in the summer.

At least they are contributing something to society rather than certain parts of the community who think that I owe them a living.
Car washing is the one that everybody sees, but take a quick look inside any minimum wage factory and you'll probably find the majority of the workforce is Polish/Hungarian. I worked in a huge factory a few months ago, and apart from the manager was the only British person working there.
 
#9
offog said:
I seem to remember that the Polish were to send a Bn. Has this changed or are they there but fighting the Germans?
The Poles are there:

http://www.mon.gov.pl/en/artykul/2996

The UK task force (with Danish and Estonian elements) is already responsible for the whole of Helmand province. The Canadians have Kandahar province, the Dutch/Australian task force is in Uruzgan province. There are also US and a few other nations' troops in ISAF's Regional Command South (the equivalent of a divisional HQ, with a British commander). There are of course Afghan army and police units in all provinces.

http://www.nato.int/ISAF/media/pdf/placemat_isaf.pdf

81. UK Forces in Southern Afghanistan are deployed under the overall command of the ISAF mission, currently commanded by US General Dan McNeill. The ISAF mission is in turn divided into regional commands of which the majority of UK troops are deployed as part of Regional Command (South) RC(S). RC(S) encompasses the neighbouring provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Nimruz, Uruzgan, and Zabul and comprises Forces from the UK, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Jordan, the Netherlands and the US. This international force is commanded by a rotation of commanders so far drawn from Canada, the Netherlands and the UK. The UK's Major General Jacko Page took command of RC(S) on 1 May 2007 from the Dutch Major General Tan Van Loon

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmdfence/408/40807.htm
 
#10
offog said:
I seem to remember that the Polish were to send a Bn. Has this changed or are they there but fighting the Germans?
They are there although for how much longer is another questions. The Civic Platform party has just recently won the elections in Poland so once they make an alliance with one of the smaller parties and form a government their leader Donald Tusk replaces Jaroslaw Kaczy?ski as Prime Minister. One of his election pledges was that he would remove Polish troops from Iraq as soon as possible, another was retaining a strong Atlantacist foreign policy so we'll see how well he squares the two, although now he appears to be backing away from an immediate pullout.
 
#11
Thanks for the replies.

Looking at the polish MOD page (in English) it would seem they sent a Brigade.

As for pulling out, I saw that mentioned when it was reported that he had won. But I also note it was Iraq not Stan, so as a politician he can do both and say, “ I did not lie”.
 

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