As with Iraq, Brits Losing Afghanistan?

28.04.09

Categorie: Afghanistan, Alliances, Iraq |

When I was in Basra in late 2007, at the main British base near the airport, construction workers were building a brand-new, massive dining hall. Since British forces were reducing their presence, I asked why bother building new facilities. The reason, I was told off the record, was that new American troops would be moving in as the Brits moved out.

The British military’s unpublicized “slow-motion” retreat from southern Iraq coincided with the successful U.S. “surge” that added forces, increased patrols and helped turn the tide of the war.

The same thing is happening in Afghanistan, according to The Telegraph:

In March 2006, [U.K.] forces were deployed to take responsibility for the southern province of Helmand. Again and again they have taken some town from the Taliban and then been forced to abandon it, and American troops have had to be called in to retake it, with or without British assistance.

Equally bad, the paper contends, is “the extent to which the [Ministry of Defense] is again managing to conceal all this.”

(Photo: David Axe)

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9 Responses to “As with Iraq, Brits Losing Afghanistan?”

  1. Prestwick says:

    A case of biting off more than we can chew? The men are more than capable but 8,000 (of which 30% are front line?) for an area as big as Helmand without heavy armour and few helicopters?

    There should have been much more co-ordination with NATO allies like Canada and Holland as the area of responsibiliy, like with Basra province, is surely simply too big!

    Another case of the MoD and the British Government playing politics with soldiers lives and the British Army’s rep gets (unfairly) tarnished as a result.

  2. ELP says:

    A good question is, how does anyone “win” Afghanistan?

  3. Prestwick says:

    Exactly, the whole reason for half of the ISAF force to be in Southern Afghanistan was highly confused in the first place.

    You honestly can’t blame the likes of the UK, Canada and Holland for considering pulling the plug considering that they’ve been pretty much duking it out on their own with support from Australians and Danes since 2006 until belated American reinforcements.

  4. ajay says:

    The Telegraph isn’t a reliable source; its editorial board are in the tank for the Conservative opposition and always have been, and their military/intelligence coverage is uncritical reprinting of whatever they get leaked that week. This is someone grinding an axe, almost certainly.

  5. pain-in-the-axe says:

    Oh, the old Torygraph is at it again.

    By the way, the header pic for this blog is just plain excellent – super photo.

  6. Prestwick says:

    Considering how rapid the likes of the Daily Mail and Daily Express are these days, being “attacked” by the ‘Torygraph’ is like being mugged by a ninety year old Sheep.

    If the Telegraph did have the reputation for being an attack paper..once..its long since lost its bite as it rarely says anything controversial.

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