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Thread: 5,000 US troops to help British with Taleban stalemate in Afghanistan

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    5,000 US troops to help British with Taleban stalemate in Afghanistan

    5,000 US troops to help British with Taleban stalemate in Afghanistan

    America is planning to send at least 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan's Helmand province to help out beleaguered British troops, according to defence sources in Washington and Kabul.

    Ministers are expected to examine early next year whether British reinforcements will also be sent to boost the present force of 8,100 troops in the British-controlled province.

    The planned near-doubling of coalition forces in Helmand could, however, ease pressure to increase British force levels. London has made clear it does not plan to transfer the 3,700 troops coming out of Iraq next summer straight into Helmand.

    The Americans are planning to send three combat brigades of at least 20,000 extra troops to Afghanistan from January. Some estimates coming out of Washington suggest that the total could be as high as 30,000. Although it is being called a surge, like the US reinforcement of Iraq, the British refer to it as an “uplift” because the additional troops will remain for the long term.

    Under current planning, 5,000 will go to Helmand, another 5,000 will be based in neighbouring Kandahar, and also in Zabul and Oruzgan provinces in the south, and the remainder will be sent to eastern Afghanistan. If Barack Obama approves the option to send another 30,000 troops when he becomes President next month, it will nearly double the American presence in Afghanistan from 32,000 to 62,000.

    The decision to send 5,000 to Helmand will lead to a restructuring of the forces in the province, with control being split between the British in the north and the US in the south.

    Full Article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5321078.ece
    If the British Government were to send more troops, how many more to reinforce the current 8,000+ British troops? Sounds like good news, sending more troops, hopefully they will be able to not just oust the Taleban out but shove bullets where it hurts.

    Though that is an absolutely huge operation, no doubt that it can be handled well by the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vlexo View Post
    If the British Government were to send more troops, how many more to reinforce the current 8,000+ British troops? Sounds like good news, sending more troops, hopefully they will be able to not just oust the Taleban out but shove bullets where it hurts.

    Though that is an absolutely huge operation, no doubt that it can be handled well by the US.
    Talking about sending more troops to Afghanistan, did any one have comments on this from Orbat.com?
    Gautam

    "India offers US 120,000 troops for Afghanistan

    Our trusty correspondent, Mandeep Singh Bajwa, informed us this morning that India has offered to send 120,000 troops to Afghanistan. Naturally we asked Mandeep "are we being used by the Indians in a psyops game to put pressure on Pakistan?" Not that the Government of India knows we exist, but in all the movies about the media the Editor always asks if the paper is being played.

    Mandeep's answer, paraphrased, was this: "I don't know at what level the offer has been made, but the Indian Army and Air Force are down to identifying specific units, formations, and squadrons..." - details, as we said, at Long War Journal - "...as well as discussing a specific name for force commander, plus working on the details of pre-deployment training, so this is a lot more elaborate than needed for a psyops game.'

    We'd prefer to discuss this after we learn more, rather than waste your time with elaborate theories spun out of nothing ("Orbat.com's military sources say..."). But the following points are immediately apparent.

    For the new US administration, this offer would be heaven-sent and just making it would put the US Government in debt to the Indians - "your other friends/allies talked, we walked." The administration could turn around to to its own people, and say: "Americans, you complain we are carrying the Afghan burden by ourselves, now we have a partner."

    At Orbat.com we've been constantly talking about the need for more manpower; well, here you have a whacking big increment of manpower. With US/Allied troops it takes one to 75% of what Orbat.com considers a minimum force if Afghanistan is to be won.

    In one deft swoop, India forces the Americans to chose Delhi over Islamabad. To the Indians the constant US attempt to "balance" the two countries has been a source of serious blood pressure since the 1940s; obviously if the Americans accept it has to be India First from now on and Pakistan gets marginalized. Moreover, the Indians put America up the creek without the paddle regarding Pakistan: "what is it your so-called ally is doing, compared to what we are willing to do."

    The devious cunning of the Indian move becomes more apparent when you consider if the US government refuses, the American people are going to get on the Government's case: "The Indians are offering and you're still sticking with those slimey two-timers the Pakistanis?"

    For India, offering a huge contingent takes the pressure off the Indian government to act aggressively against Pakistan. India does not have a launch a single sortie against Pakistan to punish it for acting against India. Indian government can tell its own people: "What good will a pinprick do? The Israelis have been bashing up the Palestinians for two decades, and where are the results? What we are doing is to strike a hard blow at Pakistan without crossing the Pakistan border and getting beat up by everyone for provoking war."

    Plus India neatly destroys Pakistan's strategic depth objective. The Indians have been wanting to get into the act in Afghanistan for several years, because they know a Taliban government means more fundamentalist pressure on Pakistan and thereby on India. But the Americans have been refusing India help for fear of offending the Pakistanis. For India to get into Afghanistan in force is to again change the paradigm of Indian-Pakistani relations as happened in 1971 when India split East Bengal from Pakistan. For the last almost 40 years India's efforts to marginalize Pakistan have been stymied. If the US accepts the Indian offer, India gains hugely.

    But right now a lot of American decision-makers do not care if Pakistan is offended because they see the latter has no interest in fighting the insurgents or helping the US against the Taliban. Once alternate supply routes are available, US can write off Pakistan and as a consequence, paradoxically, vastly increase its leverage in that country.

    As for Pakistani/jihadi retaliation against India or the Indian contingent in Afghanistan, we've said before the Indians don't care. Their point is India is squarely in the sights of the jihadis: India is already under severe, sustained attack and unable to retaliate. As for the security of the Indian troops, that really is the last thing the Indians are concerned about. They want to go to Afghanistan to fight, not to protect their troops against suicide bombers.

    Two other minor points in passing. By making this offer, India takes the wind out of Pakistan's sails because the latter has very successful turned the world's attention from the Bombay atrocity to getting the world to stop escalation between India and Pakistan. Every day that goes by, India has less diplomatic/geopolitical freedom to hit Pakistan. But if India has offered several divisions for Afghanistan, obviously the last thing the Indians are thinking of is attacking Pakistan - 3/4th of the Army troops (as opposed to the CI troops) India is earmarking for Afghanistan are from the three strike corps. So India undercuts Pakistani claims that Delhi is preparing to attack.

    The second point we find interesting. PRC knows if Pakistan falls to the jihadis, Sinkiang is the next target. By offering to go to Afghanistan, India is directly helping Beijing. Which puts Beijing in a very awkward spot as India is a big rival for influence in Asia. Not only will Indians be helping PRC, if China does send troops to Afghanistan, Delhi will canoodle with Washington without competition from China. The Chinese will have no choice but to join the Afghan venture or lose influence in South and Central Asia, and with Washington.

    To sum up: Orbat.com has been second to none in bashing the Government of India as incompetent and impotent. But with this offer, India has overnight changed the rules of game in South/Central Asia and struck a potentially fatal blow at Pakistan. In the end, this could become much, much bigger by an order of magnitude than breaking off East Pakistan in 1971."

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    Gautam,

    The report doesnt appear to be credible, IMO. But it would be a brilliant move if India made an offer along those lines. Doesnt have to be 120000 - just 5-10K would make Pakistanis lay a very large brick. There are other issues but too early to comment

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Gautam,
    The report doesnt appear to be credible, IMO. But it would be a brilliant move if India made an offer along those lines.
    As far as I can remember, India did offer to send troops to Afghanistan earlier during the first phses of the war, but this was not accepted so as not to offend Pakistani sensibilites. India does have about 15,000 troops right now guarding Indian road builders and other infrastructure workers.
    Gautam

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    Quote Originally Posted by gautam2454 View Post
    As far as I can remember, India did offer to send troops to Afghanistan earlier during the first phses of the war, but this was not accepted so as not to offend Pakistani sensibilites. India does have about 15,000 troops right now guarding Indian road builders and other infrastructure workers.
    Gautam
    Actually, as far as I know, Indian troops in Afghanistan are a few hundred, not 15,000! And those too are from the ITBP force I believe and not the army.
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