Friday, 26 April 2019
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UK Defence Secretary Des Browne MP has said recently that senior commanders haven't asked for more troops to augment the actions in Afghanistan. But last night Helman comander Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith said on SKY News: "I think there is a recognition that more soldiers would stabilise areas here that remain dangerous more quickly.

"Helmand is the largest province in Afghanistan with a population of about 1.5 million.

"Currently we've got deployed in the region of 4,000 troops supporting 4,000 Afghan soldiers.

"I think we could probably easily consume in Helmand another brigade and I think that probably forms part of wider ISAF planning as to what the future lay down (sic) for southern Afghanistan might look like in the future.

"It would be in the region of 3,000 to 4,000 soldiers.

"I could certainly find sufficient tasks in Helmand today to use an additional brigade, but more widely any additional reinforcements in Afghanistan need to be balanced round the tactical requirements not just in Helmand but across the region in the south and indeed the American support in the east."

"There is work to be done across the region. The Taliban keep coming from Pakistan and bolster their forces.

"They won't be strong enough to change the regime, but they are strong enough to be dangerous, deadly and keep this insurgency going.

"This is a generational problem and that will take 10 to 15 years to change, and we will need to be here."

Of neighbouring Pakistan he said : "It is a nightmare. A nuclear power that is radicalising itself and supplying fighters to Afghanistan. It is a problem that must be addressed."

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