Monday, 26 October 2020
logo
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.
        



dv-header-dday
     |      View our Twitter page at twitter.com/defenceredbox     |     
Afghanistan

11 EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL REGIMENT, THE ROYAL LOGISTIC CORPS

StaffSergeantBrettLinleyStaff Sergeant Brett George Linley was 29 years old and from Birmingham. He enlisted into the Royal Logistics Corps in March 2001 and qualified as an Ammunition Technician in September 2002.

Over the next eight years, Staff Sergeant Linley trained for several Counter-IED roles and most recently in March 2010, qualified as a High Threat IEDD Operator. Over this time he perfected his bomb disposal skills whilst deployed on three separate tours of duty in Northern Ireland, working closely with the Police Service of Northern Ireland. He also deployed in the Ammunition Technician role to the Falklands Islands and Canada.

In late March 2010, Staff Sergeant Linley deployed with his IEDD team on Operation HERRICK to Afghanistan and conducted dozens of IED clearances across Helmand province.

On 17 July 2010, Staff Sergeant Linley and his team were working in support of Combined Force Nahr-e-Saraj (South) to clear IEDs from a major route when sadly he died following an IED explosion. The security of this route is vital to the freedom of manoeuvre, and as such, is a major priority in that area.

Read more...  

smasSapper Mark Antony Smith was 26 years old and from Swanley, Kent. He enlisted into the Corps of Royal Engineers in June 2001 and, following training as a Combat Engineer and trade training as a Communications and Information Systems Operator, he was posted to 36 Engineer Regiment in December 2002. He deployed to Iraq in 2003 and deployed on his first tour to Afghanistan in 2007. In April 2010 he volunteered for a second tour to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 12 having successfully completed the Royal Engineer Search Course. Sapper Smith was a member of the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, part of the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force. His role was as a Searcher in a Royal Engineer Search Team.

Read more...  

MatthewStentonCorporal Matthew James Stenton was 23 years old. He was born and raised in Wakefield, where he went to Wakefield Cathedral High School. On leaving school he joined the Army and attended the Army Training Regiment (Harrogate). On completion of Phase 2 training in May 2004, he joined The Royal Dragoon Guards.

On arrival at the Regiment, he successfully completed Mission Specific Training before deploying to Iraq with the Regimental Battlegroup on Operation TELIC 5. This was followed by a move to Reconnaissance Troop and deployment on Operation TELIC 11. He later passed his Challenger 2 MBT Crew Commanders’ course, and then deployed with the Viking Group to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 12 as a Viking Commander with D (The Green Horse) Squadron.

Read more...  

StephenMonkhouseLance Corporal Stephen Daniel Monkhouse was born in Greenock, Scotland, and lived with his mother, Linda Watt, in his town of birth.  He was 28 years old, was a father to Brandon and an older brother to Allan, Ashleigh and Stacey. He began his Army training in December 2003 and subsequently joined the 1st Battalion Scots Guards in Germany in 2004.  

He immediately deployed as a Warrior Driver in Right Flank to Iraq on Operation TELIC 5.  It was during his time with Right Flank that he developed a reputation as an immensely fit and robust infantry soldier.  After a brief spell with B (Support Weapons) Company as a Mortarman, he decided to join the Pipes and Drums despite having, by his own admission, no musical knowledge.  He passed his Class 3 Drummers Course in 2007 and his Class 2 Drummers Course in 2008, both at the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming, and with flying colours.

Having passed a Junior Non Commissioned Officers’ Cadre he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal in March 2009.  He remained in the Pipes and Drums and regularly represented the Regiment and Battalion at musical events.  These events included Pipe Band tours of Moscow in 2007, USA in 2009 and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2006 and 2009. He was also a key member of the Battalion’s football team. His unflinching and passionate support for Celtic Football Club could never be dampened. 

Read more...  

A British soldier, from 36 Engineer Regiment, serving with the Counter-IED Task Force, was killed on Monday 26th July in an explosion in the Sangin area of Helmand Provine. The fatality is currently being investigated as a suspected friendly fire incident.

Lance Corporal Stephen Daniel Monkhouse from 1st Battalion Scots Guards, serving as part of Combined Force Lashkar Gah, and Corporal Matthew James Stenton from The Royal Dragoon Guards Viking Group, D (The Green Horse) Squadron, were killed on 21 July 2010 as they sought to evacuate a casualty. Their eulogies are published in the Obituaries section.

 

This report is some 300 pages long

Here we reproduce its conclusions and recommendations in the interests of efficiency...

CHAPTER 2: THE ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IN

AFGHANISTAN

NATO, ISAF and Operation Enduring Freedom

Read more...  

By our political correspondent at the Lib Dem Party Conference

Paddy, Lord Ashdown, the former EU High Representative in Bosnia, has told Liberal Democrats at their annual conference in Bournemouth that the UK has a huge "black hole" in its defence spending plans. He also said that France faces a similar crisis, and called on the two countries to collaborate more closely in defence procurement.

Read more...  

Extract from speech by Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton 29 September 2009

"The heroism of our fighting men and women is unsurpassed and we owe them a debt we can never fully repay.

"The British armed forces truly are the finest in the world. All British forces will always have all the equipment they need and the best support we can give.

Read more...  

The full text of the Prime Minister's Statement on sending extra troops to Afghanistan can be read below:

With permission, Mr Speaker, I should like to make a statement on Afghanistan and Pakistan;

First on our work with the government of Pakistan to counter the terrorist threat from al Qaeda and the Taliban

Second on our priorities for Afghanistan in the next stage of the work our armed forces and civilians are undertaking there.

And third on the conditions we are setting down for the next stage, including for the best possible protection of our troops, especially against the growing threat of IEDS.

Read more...  

By Bill Roggio, who reports daily in The Long War Journal

November 8

Anti Taliban mayor and 12 other s killed near Peshawar

November 10

Bombing in Charsadda kills 24 , 3rd attack in north west in 3 days

November 11

Ten Pakistani paramilitary troops and 10 Taliban fighters were killed during clashes in the Taliban-controlled tribal agency of Mohmand. 8 missing.

November 13

Twelve Pakistanis have been reported killed and more than 40 wounded in an attack that targeted the headquarters of the Inter-Service Intelligence agency in the provincial capital. A second suicide attack killed five at a police station in Baka Khel, Bannu, NWFP.

Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org

 

Two British military bomb disposal experts, one of whom gave his life in the line of duty, have been awarded one of the UK's highest awards for gallantry, the George Cross.

At a special ceremony in London today, Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup confirmed that Staff Sergeant Kim Hughes and his fallen colleague the late Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid are to have the gallantry award bestowed upon them.

SSgt Hughes and Mrs Christina Schmid, SSgt Schmid's widow, were present at the ceremony today, where they were both personally congratulated by Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, and Secretary of State for Defence Bob Ainsworth.

Read more...  

by Major General Gordon Messenger. MoD spokesman

The disruption caused by the cloud of volcanic ash over Europe has had no impact on our ability to prosecute operations in Afghanistan. We are working hard to ensure that any disruption to the support of operations in Afghanistan is kept to an absolute minimum as a result of the limitations placed on flying into, and out of, UK airspace. As is the case for many British citizens across the world, the biggest impact of the ash cloud will be on individuals and their families.

Read more...  

General Sir David Richards, Chief of the General Staff :

"This is a war that needs to be fought and can be won.....we haven't sold it very well and we need to do better."

"If the Afghan people asked us to go tomorrow, we would have to go. We are there under a United Nations mandate."

"If we give up Afghanistan tomorrow, I absolutely guarantee you that if you are an al Qaeda memeber or Taleban, they will pour back into southern Afghanistan and they will have the freedom to plan and train and conduct operations which now they don't have."

"General McChrystal talks about 2013 (for a pull out of troops). The Chief of the Defence Staff and I have said that's pretty challenging. Being cautious military men, we're talking about 2014."

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Stff :

Afghanistan must not be "the template for a future UK defence structure that can do nothing but more Afghanistans.....the range of threats to UK interests is greater than that."

 

16 Air Assault Brigade will replace 4th Mechanized Brigade in October 2010 as the lead formation of British troops in Helmand province, Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox has announced today, Wednesday 14 July 2010.

Headquarters 6 (UK) Division will remain as Headquarters Regional Command (South) until November 2010.

The deployment of 16 Air Assault Brigade and accompanying units will not result in any change to the UK's established and enduring conventional force level of 9,500 personnel.

Volunteer and regular members of the Reserve Forces will continue to deploy to Afghanistan as part of this integrated force package, and we expect to issue around 770 call-out notices to fill some 600 posts.

Read more...  

By Nick Watts, Great North News Services Correspondent

Recent events in Libya have served to distract from the UK's main defence effort at the moment, Afghanistan. This morning at RUSI General David Petraaus commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) gave a presentation which served to remind the audience of the scale and complexity of the enduring Afghan campaign. In October 2009 Petraeus' predecessor Gen McChrystal gave a stellar exposition of the situation as he found it. At the time ISAF was struggling to understand the nature of the insurgency and the means necessary to deal with it. McChrystal had at least started asking the right questions.

Now the situation has moved on. The talk is of the end game and transfer of responsibility for the security of Afghanistan to its own army the ANA. To some extent Petraeus is a lucky general, just as his forebear was unlucky. He has inherited a situation which he summarised as "only recently have we got the inputs right". Only in 2010 was ISAF able to reverse the momentum of the insurgency, which Petraeus characterized as gaining momentum from 2005 onwards. He is referring not only to the uplift in troop numbers, but also to the way ISAF does business in terms of building up the governance of the country, and "getting the big ideas right". Up until then there were too many competing organizations working in silos without talking to each other. So part of the governance piece has been getting the NGOs and contractors as well as the UN and EU working together.

The NATO Lisbon summit committed ISAF to hand over responsibility for security to the Afghan government by the end of 2014. In addition President Obama has committed to the beginning of a draw-down of US forces, beginning in July this year. In answer to some questions on this aspect Petraeus made the point that both NATO and some troop contributing nations, including the UK, were discussing with the Afghan government arrangements for post 2014. He would not be drawn on specifics but mentioned that one key element of the Afghan security forces was still being developed, namely "enablers". These are the vital support functions such as artillery, medical and logistic services, as well as air lift and command and control functions. This might be taken to imply that some elements of NATO's on-going support after 2014 could involve surveillance and special operations forces.

One of Petraeus' earlier appointments had seen him re-writing the US Army's counter insurgency manual, so here was the man who wrote the book explaining how it works on the ground. He was at pains to stress that the military element was only one piece in the jigsaw of COIN. He has also previously been quoted as saying that Afghanistan "is all hard, all of the time"; so he does not see that progress is yet irreversible. He also stressed how important it is to keep our own public opinion supportive of the costly nature of the campaign.

An intriguing piece of the COIN jigsaw is what is called "reintegration" by which is meant the various strands being used to encourage members of the insurgency to lay down their arms altogether or to change sides. On this matter Petraeus was matter of fact, but opaque. There are efforts in hand to encourage both the lower echelon fighters to stop fighting, as well as the higher echelons. More emphasis is being put into tackling local corruption, which is often one of the grievances which cause people to join the insurgency.

There is also recognition by the Karzai government that the culture of patronage has to be dealt with, including his own family. On their own none of these things is a winner; but added to the improvements in ISAF's tactical situation, they all add up to reasons for wavering insurgents to remain at home, or to change sides. A British officer, Maj Gen Phil Jones is in charge of the force reintegration effort, to get ex-Taliban insurgents into the ANA.

Petraeus' presentation was much more assured than the one given by McChrystal in 2009. Back then ISAF was striving for credibility in the capitals of the NATO nations, never mind how it was doing in the campaign against the insurgents. Petraeus has managed his tenure well and things seem to be going reasonably well, although he didn't want to sound complacent. He said that there was still hard fighting ahead. It is to be hoped that should there be setbacks, as there may well be, Petraeus will not also find himself carpeted by his President, but given the top cover he needs to finish the job.

 

By Rikke Haugegaard

In this essay, the author calls for increased gender awareness in counter-insurgency operations. The main focus is to draw attention to the potential roles of local women in counterinsurgency, especially in Afghanistan. How can local women contribute to the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan? How can ISAF and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan gain terrain by building alliances with local women?

The Taliban movement is harassing, threatening and killing local women who are working as professionals for the Afghan government or as leaders of women's networks in the province of Helmand (teachers, headmasters, police, health workers and leaders of women's groups/centres). Sometimes threats and violence have been imposed on their husbands too.

In recent years, NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in support of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) has been performing counterinsurgency activities in Afghanistan. The southern and eastern provinces in the country are strongly influenced by different insurgent groups, such as the Taliban, drug lords and local war lords. The province of Helmand is currently one of the most dangerous provinces in Afghanistan.

Women are harassed on their way to work or school. The Taliban movement wants to prevent the mobility and freedom of women. Their general aim is to enforce strict Sharia laws on the local population, and to enforce a gender balance with the men ruling the women - and a strict separation of women from men, as well as boys from girls, in public as well as in private life. The Taliban is inspired to apply these rules in society by their radical interpretation of Sunni-Islam.

Read more...  

by US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton

I am extremely concerned about the manner in which these documents were leaked and with the recklessness of WikiLeaks in posting them. Our nation's secrets are classified for a reason, and the release of classified documents could put our national security - and the lives of our men and women in combat - at serious risk.

These leaked documents, while troubling, appear to support what I was asserting for years: the war in Afghanistan was not going well, and we needed a real strategy for success. For nearly a decade under the previous administration, our brave war fighters were under-resourced and lacked the direction of a clear strategy. Under the new counterinsurgency strategy implemented earlier this year, we now have the pieces in place to turn things around. These leaked reports pre-date our new strategy in Afghanistan and should not be used as a measure of success or a determining factor in our continued mission there.

Read more...  

By Guy Birks

After the fall of the Soviet Union the large-scale decommissioning and scrapping of heavy armoured units, carried out by the Russian Federation, symbolised the end of a reliance on heavy armour capabilities. It also represented the cessation of a theoretical and practical era based on planning scenarios centred on large-scale tank formations fighting on the plains of Germany. A conventional focus on plans for armoured encounter in Europe shaped and defined the dominant approach of both NATO forces and the Soviet Union to land warfare. The core tactical asset of this approach was the most powerful and versatile armoured weapon – the tank. For many analysts however, the decline of planning scenarios based on tank-on-tank engagement in Europe represents the beginning of the end of the declining utility of tanks as a tactical asset.

Read more...  

By George Friedman

The Afghan War is the longest war in U.S. history. It began in 1980 and continues to rage. It began under Democrats but has been fought under both Republican and Democratic administrations, making it truly a bipartisan war. The conflict is an odd obsession of U.S. foreign policy, one that never goes away and never seems to end. As the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal reminds us, the Afghan War is now in its fourth phase.
The Afghan War's First Three Phases

The first phase of the Afghan War began with the Soviet invasion in December 1979, when the United States, along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, organized and sustained Afghan resistance to the Soviets. This resistance was built around mujahideen, fighters motivated by Islam. Washington's purpose had little to do with Afghanistan and everything to do with U.S.-Soviet competition. The United States wanted to block the Soviets from using Afghanistan as a base for further expansion and wanted to bog the Soviets down in a debilitating guerrilla war. The United States did not so much fight the war as facilitate it. The strategy worked. The Soviets were blocked and bogged down. This phase lasted until 1989, when Soviet troops were withdrawn.

Read more...  

By George Friedman

On Sunday, The New York Times and two other newspapers published summaries and excerpts of tens of thousands of documents leaked to a website known as WikiLeaks. The documents comprise a vast array of material concerning the war in Afghanistan. They range from tactical reports from small unit operations to broader strategic analyses of politico-military relations between the United States and Pakistan. It appears to be an extraordinary collection.

Read more...  
 

Latest from the Ministry of Defence

Cookies
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.