NWOrientDC10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1405 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2206 times:
UK Commanders in Afghanistan requested more troops and UK Defense Secretary Des Browne gave the commanders the support they requested. This is a good thing. Support the soldiers or don't be there at all.
"You go to war with the army you have not the army you want" - US Secratary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13605 posts, RR: 76
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2200 times:
Trouble is, the multinational force in that area, of which the UK is the largest contributer, but also including French, Canadian and Dutch forces, amounts to around 15,000 troops.
But to truly pacify that region, which so far has seen almost non stop fighting, the first combat use of UK and possibly Dutch Apache helicopters, to acheive the reconstruction and other goals, you need around 100,000 troops.
This large resurgence in Taliban strength and influence, is the result of the large scale withdrawl of forces, and attention, from Afghanistan, in 2002, for Iraq.
Not that this particular region was ever an area with significant numbers of US troops.
There is no way the UK can add significant numbers of additional troops, because of in large part, Iraq.
What a mess, promises were made to the Afghan people in 2001, that have not been kept.
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21652 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2190 times:
Quoting GDB (Reply 2): Trouble is, the multinational force in that area, of which the UK is the largest contributer, but also including French, Canadian and Dutch forces, amounts to around 15,000 troops.
Among them about 3000 german troops, forming the largest ISAF contingent.
The main problem is the mistake of paying off the warlords / drug barons instead of removing them from the power structure. It is basically the same mistake as the long-time financing of the Taliban when those were still viewed as allies against the soviet occupation. Avoid a confrontation initially, pay severely later on.
It would have been difficult and dangerous to depose the warlords, but leaving them in control is even more dangerous. But that has never even been attempted. German combat forces were offered but were never really used by the US operation leadership, since they preferred to work with the "northern alliance" instead - exactly the warlords (now drug barons) who are pretty much Afghanistan's biggest problem today.