John Reid : “We hope we will leave Afghanistan without firing a single shot” 100 dead,unknown shattered limbs and broken lives , children + women dead
When Britain deployed 3,300 troops to Helmand province in June 2006, then Defence Secretary John Reid said: “We hope we will leave Afghanistan without firing a single shot.”
Earlier on February 27th , Anne Milton MP (Guildford, Conservative) asked John Reid if he was satisfied that there are enough troops in Afghanistan, bearing in mind the lessons from Iraq that ground troops are essential in order to complete missions adequately?
John Reid (Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence; Airdrie & Shotts, Labour) answered ..."Yes, I am satisfied. The hon. Lady will be pleased to know that the Chiefs of Defence Staff fully endorse the force package we are sending. One of the three or four criteria that I laid down before the move south was that the military configuration and size desired by the Chiefs of Staff should be provided, and that was done."
Let us remember the first troops the UK sent to operate outside Kabul was early in 2003 when 60 troops were sent to Mazar-e-Sharif, working as a "provincial reconstruction team". The then Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon said the team would , "focus on improving dialogue between local warlords and politicians."
Since the success n creep has set in and troop deployment soared.
The first move into Helmand by UK forces was in February 2006. An advance party of 850 personnel from 39 Regiment, Royal Engineers and 42 Commando, Royal Marines, with three Chinook helicopters presence.
On July 2006 it was announced that 900 extra military personnel would be deployed to Afghanistan increasing the size of the UK taskforce in Helmand province to around 4,500 by October, from the (then) current level of 3,600.
On the 1st February last year the part Time Defence Secretary Des Browne , ordered out more troops for southern Afghanistan, so that the total UK forces in Afghanistan under ISAF would be 6,300 by April. Less than 4 weeks later on February 26th he ordered a further 1,400 troops bringing the total up from 5,500 in February to 7,700 by .."the summer".
It is worth remembering that John Reid, when asked by Ann Milton in February 2006 to"list the aims of the UK deployment to southern Afghanistan", answered :
"The international community's involvement in Afghanistan is aimed at ensuring that Afghanistan will never again...
1. Become a breeding ground for international terrorism,
2. (and will do this) By helping the Afghan people to rebuild their
United Kingdom deployment to southern Afghanistan is part of the UN-mandated, NATO - led international security assistance force, which is expanding across the country in support of this commitment.
Let's hope that the grandparents, parents, brothers, wives, children, friends, sweethearts think that the the sacrifice of 100 dead, the maimed, crippled and damaged survivors has been worth helping the corrupt and criminal gangsters who run this country desolated by war.
Who is more of a threat - John “We hope we will leave Afghanistan without firing a single shot.” Reid or the mythical international terrorists?
UPDATE 8.30 am 9th June - BBC4 Today prgramme had Professor Michael Clarke big cheese at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and prominent member of the (recently very quiet) Lady Dame Baroness Jane Pauline Neville-Jones Fan Club. He described the position in Afghanistan as "a stalemate".
He was followed by the blathering Scots solicitor who ,when he is not Minister for Scotland, gets involved in muddling through at the Ministry of Defence. He said "we are making progress" many times and said ,"we have the Taliban on the back foot".
When it was put to him by Mr Stourton that people described the President Mr Karzai as "The Mayor of Kabul" whose writ ran no further than his Palace and who headed a corrupt Government. he replied he was glad that Mr Stourton talked about the "challenges that lie ahead" and repeated that "progress was being made" .. 3 mn Children in school, some of them girls, roads built ("the Taliban start where the road ends")and a "democratic Government".
It was a pity that Mr Stourton didn't ask about the democratic policy of excludimg elected members such as Malalai Joya Wednesday, June 04, 2008 Malalai Joya - telling it like it is in Afghanista. President Karzai - telling lies, more lies and getting unqualified support from the West or the activitoes of the Presidents brothers Mahmoud Karzai ,Qayum and Ahmed Wali who are as he would say "meeting challenges and making progress" in the international drugs trade.
It was also a pity that Mr Stourton didn't ask about the much delayed Minrod replacement which limits the troops ISTAR capabilities - much reduced by the crashing of one of the 2 replacement Reapers - 7th June Grim future for the Reaper - crashed in Afghanistan, short of money in Whitehall- Watchkeeper along real soon now
It ws a pity he didn;t ask about ISTAR capability and the remarks of the coroner at the inquest on the crashed Nimrod - Friday, May 23, 2008 Coroner grounds entire RAF Nimrod Fleet Des Browne another Scots politician , part time Defence Minister ready for a lonely walk in the countryside ?
It was also apity that Mr Stourton didn't ask about his remarks about Dickie Dannatt 's remarks about his brave soldiers being paid less than traffic wardens, and his own unfortunate remarks last year explaining that they were so low paid they couldn't get decent jobs like traffic wardens in civvy street - 6th June Sir Richard Dannatt - War Criminal - Sunday, June 08, 2008
Running the Armed Forces and insulting them simultaneously - a Politicians trick
It was a pity that Mr Stourton didn't ask about sending ships with nothing to launch but a book because their missiles had been stored to "save money" - Saturday, June 07, 2008 Royal Navy ships at sea without Sea Dart guided missiles - to save money - but helping Sebastian Faulks to make lots of it
Nor did he ask any unwelcome questions about replacement tankers ( whose PFI funding is threatened even further by the unwelcome news that "monoline" insurers Ambac and MBIA who insure such PFI projects lost their "AAA" rating from Standard & Poor's last week) - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 AirTankers - MOD PFI financing suffers from Ambac credit rating downgrade - will / can the banks agree a financing deal ?
Nor was he asked about the aerial war and the loss of civilian lives and maiming of women and children as a result of the intensive bombing / strafing ... Saturday, December 22, 2007 Massive escalation in aerial bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan. and see Tuesday, February 19, 2008 Bomb,Bomb,Iran ! Why bother there's plenty of Iraq and Afghanistan left yet
Nor was he asked about the unbeleivable cock up over supply of helicopters and pilots and the massive and incredibly costly shambles of supplying Chinooks - which will happen ..er... well probably ..er.. next year Chinook - National Audit Office - yet more MOD procurement shambles exposed Helicopter suppotr for lifting men and material forcing troops on to roads (leading to looses from mines and IED's has not improved since 2006 - Wednesday, June 04, 2008
We need more, newer helicopters, say stressed pilots (2006)
Professor Clarke and Secretary Browne had 15 minutes running time and blathered, Stourton gave them an easy ride except from asking about the Mayor of Kabul.