Afghanistan – an aimless absurdity?

Brilliant coverage this evening on channel 4 news on the situation in Afghanistan. There is a report from there, looking at the links between the Taliban and criminality. In your opinion are the British in Helmand , fighting this war with two hands tied behind their backs, like the Times correspondent says? Do the rules of engagement need to change to allow troops to go after the Taliban where ever they may be. British troops actually suffer four times as many fatalities as their American counterparts, could this be partly down to their lack of kit- or inadequate kit?

(Here is a survey on the Afghanistan)

Click Here to take surveyExcellent studio discussion in the footage below, where they look at the situation from different angles. Worth listening to before taking the survey.

Now the Americans are about to put in almost double the amount of troops there. Probably to begin very soon but they need to be careful that their presence there does not become too large, becoming an occupation rather than a presence.

Although many military officials think a short-term troop increase would help, they also believe that it should be paired with improved efforts to train local militias, strengthen provincial governments, coordinate U.S. Pakistan-Afghanistan policy and a better use of U.S. civilian expertise.

Others are concerned that the extra troops could strain the military’s logistics system. Gates would oppose larger numbers of extra troops as counterproductive, said a senior Pentagon official who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The secretary believes that ‘how much is too much’ is a legitimate question,” the Pentagon official said. “He does worry about the U.S. footprint getting too large.”

Too many U.S. troops also could weaken the Afghan government’s will to build up its armed forces and take more responsibility, Gates is said to believe.

“He supports the additional combat brigades and aviation brigade,” the official said. “Beyond that, it will start to look less like an Afghan operation and more like an occupation.”