Skip to comments.British Troops In Afghanistan 'On The Brink Of Exhaustion'
Posted on 08/05/2006 5:33:10 PM PDT by blam
British troops in Afghanistan 'on the brink of exhaustion'
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
British troops fighting Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan are on the "brink of exhaustion", The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
A Chinook helicopter lands to pick up British troops after a mission
Commanders fear that the number of "high tempo" operations being launched against the Taliban is "unsustainable" unless the 3,600-strong task force is reinforced with an extra 1,000-strong infantry battle group.
Since May, British troops in Helmand province have fought 25 major battles in which they killed an estimated 700 Taliban.
Commanders say the mission has so far been "fantastically successful", but they believe that the relentless number of back-to-back operations being fought in harsh terrain in temperatures of up to 50C is beginning to take its toll.
"The men are knackered - they are on the brink of exhaustion," said one senior officer. "They are under considerable duress and have suffered great hardship."
On Tuesday, three British soldiers were killed in an ambush, bringing the total number of deaths during the mission to nine. Several soldiers have also been wounded.
Most of the fighting is being conducted by about 700 troops drawn mainly from the 3rd battalion The Parachute Regiment, the Gurkhas, the Territorial Army and the Royal Irish Regiment.
They are supported by a squadron of light tanks from the Household Cavalry and a battery of six 105mm light guns from 7 (Para) Royal Horse Artillery. Troops occupying three isolated outposts in Sangin, Nawzad and Musa Qala in the north of the province are being attacked every day by Taliban fighters.
Commanders believe that if they slow the momentum of attacks, the Taliban will gain time to regroup and reorganise before winter.
The Sunday Telegraph has also learnt that an interim study of the mission, by Brigadier Mungo Melvin of the Directorate of Operational Capability, has found "shortcomings" in the assessment of the enemy threat.
Patrick Mercer, the Conservative spokesman for homeland security, said the Government had a responsibility to reinforce the task force. He said: "Why the Prime Minister is not giving the commanders in Afghanistan the troops they require is completely incomprehensible."
The most ridiculous headline I've seen in a long time.
The text is clever too.....
Better to be knackered than snookered...or is it?
By the way, what's with this "learnt". Is that pure British, or what.
Shades of Queen Vicky's little wars!
Back in the Kush.
1. Pick up a phone,
2. Dial US Strategic Command
3. Ask for some BUFF's to "sow their seeds" amongst the hills of Helmland.
4. Then sit back, relax and watch the fireworks show.
More PT, Drill Sergeant!
MSM Quagmire ALert. Sounds like the NY Times calling Iraq "another vietnam" when a sandstorm halted our advance in the first few days. LOL
Are these the same Brits that ground down Rommel with little good armor and for awhile, no air support?
"Are these the same Brits that ground down Rommel with little good armor and for awhile, no air support?"
If it is that would explain the exhaustion anyway. What would you expect at their age?!
Why is the headline ridiculous? Time and time again we have seen British troops sent into battle lacking vital equipment and being killed and injured as a result. Is this not something that we should be asking questions about? Should Tony Blair and the ministers responsible for this not be held to account for the policies that have led to this?
British soldiers have been killed in Iraq due simply to not having the appropriate body armour. Sergeant Steven Roberts, for example, who was originally issued with the equipment, then ordered to give it to another unit due to shortages. Investigations have concluded that, if he had been wearing the correct kit, he would not have been killed.
Now, once more, we see British troops not been given the support from our government that commanders on the ground say they need. Damn right people should be making some noise about this.
"The text is clever too.....
That's entirely correct. See, now you have learnt something ;)
heh..I know. It just sounds hokie.
Kinda like "Them Thar"
Finally, at post 13 and 14, someone addresses the seriousness of the issue.
DIng, ding, ding - these troops are Gramps 'eh?