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THEO FARRELL DEPT OF WAR STUDIES KING’S COLLEGE LONDON The British military campaign in Afghanistan.

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Presentation on theme: "THEO FARRELL DEPT OF WAR STUDIES KING’S COLLEGE LONDON The British military campaign in Afghanistan."— Presentation transcript:

1 THEO FARRELL DEPT OF WAR STUDIES KING’S COLLEGE LONDON The British military campaign in Afghanistan

2 ISAF takes over

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4 British task forces, bde: May–Oct cdo: Oct 2006–April Mech: April–Oct bde: Oct 2007–April bde: April–Oct 2008

5 British brigades in Helmand 16 bde: ‘inkspot’ to platoon house 3 cdo: offensive using MOGs 12 Mech: big sweeps to clear green zone 52 bde: ‘clear, hold, build’ 16 bde: protecting population and developing GIROA

6 16x: break-in battle Force cap (3, ) Losing momentum: parcel delivery Pressure to deploy North POR: “undoubtedly contributed to attrition of Taliban forces” But fixed and kinetic

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8 16x: break-in battle Force cap (3, ) Losing momentum: parcel delivery Pressure to deploy North POR: “undoubtedly contributed to attrition of Taliban forces” But fixed and kinetic

9 3x: advance to ambush Main effort = reconstruction of ADZ Main LOO = security Security LOO = “dynamic unpredictability” “Tread softly”: 537 to 821 engagements Keeping the Taliban at bay: 45% reduction in attacks

10 12x: mowing the lawn Return to original plan: inkspot strategy Clearing the green zone: 5 TF ops Failure to hold Escalation: 821 to 1,096 engagements

11 The Green Zone

12 12x: mowing the lawn Return to original plan: inkspot strategy Clearing the green zone: 5 TF ops Failure to hold Escalation: 821 to 1,096 engagements

13 52x: people are the prize CONOPs = clear, hold, build COG = local population (not EF) Persistent presence: committing FOBs Resourcing influence: NKETs and TCAF Approach to battle: taking MSQ

14 Tactical Conflict Assessment Framework 1. Have there been changes in the village population, and why? 2. What are the most important problems facing the village? 3. Who do you believe can solve your problems? 4. What should be done first?

15 16x: go deep not broad CONOPS: protect the population, promote GIROA, undermine Taliban influence Creating CMMH Kajaki Damn op

16 More favourable context New Taliban tactics Growing ANA capabilities Increased resources

17 Better resourced campaign 16 bde (mid 2006): 3,150 3 cdo ( ): 5, Mech (mid 2007): 6, bde ( ): 7, bde (mid 2008): 8,530

18 Characteristics of British approach Slow learner Cracking-on: make do attitude Discontinuity of command

19 The long haul Natural cycle: wearing down the Taliban Building up GIROA capacity Learning to be Comprehensive Sustainable victory


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