Sunday, April 13, 2008

Britain To Scale Back Attacks In Helmand After Killing 7,000 Taliban

Times Online:

BRITISH troops are to scale back attacks on the Taliban after killing 7,000 insurgents in two years of conflict, defence sources said last week.

7,000 fewer Taliban on the face of the earth earns you some serious kudos, I'd say. Talk about an impressive statistic.

The paratroopers of 16 Air Assault Brigade killed at least 1,000 Taliban during their first deployment to Helmand province in 2006. Since then another 6,000 Taliban insurgents have been killed by British troops, the sources said.

Not bad at all. Does anybody know the casualty ratio? I did a really quick search but couldn't find a good statistic.

Anyway, the reason for the scale down, apparently, is to allow for intensified reconstruction efforts.

The paratroopers’ commanders hope they can cut the deaths, which they fear are a boost for the Taliban when fighters recruited from the local population are killed, as the dead insurgent’s family then feels a debt of honour to take up arms against British soldiers.

The resultant fighting raises the profile of the Taliban and enhances their reputation in the local community.

“We aim to scale back our response to incidents to avoid getting sucked into a cycle of violence among local tribesmen,” said one officer. “This way we aim to continue the process of reducing the Taliban’s influence in Helmand.”

So let me get this straight. They're worried that they're killing too many of their enemies and that they're doing it too efficiently? No, no. That won't do at all. By all means, scale back your attacks. One man's opinion? Killing the Taliban goes a long way towards reducing their influence.

Regardless, this statistic speaks to the commitment and ability of British troops. The free world owes them a debt of gratitude.

For a better look at the UK's role in Afghanistan, check out this documentary by Ross Kemp who follows British troops in action in the Helmand province. These boys are unbelievable. True heroes.

There's some great footage in there. Here's the first part:

To watch the rest, follow the link.

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