Last Night i had a call off a concerned resident, and she was having trouble getting hold of the police. I took about five minutes to get through and they responded in about five minutes or less. it was a false alarm but thank you for your rapid response.
The strategy also contains a poem outlining a vision of a more healthy Salford in 2024:
We went in to Afghanistan in 2001, to overthrow the Taliban and get AQ and OBL. Well Taliban were overthrown before the end of the year and we failed to catch the bulk of AQ as they withdrew to Pakistan but the famous camps were all captured, much intelligence gathered in documents and laptops left behind and the infrastructure destroyed.
Blair made a speech at that point talking about the whole world investing in Afghanistan to make it a paradise on earth. He and Bush then used most resources in Iraq and were never going to invest enough in Afghanistan to meet their original lofty goals.
From 2002-mid 2007, there were relativity small numbers of forces outside Kabul, gradually Western powers who had not gone into Iraq took responsibility for so called “Provincial Reconstruction teams” in various areas outside Kabul and went initially to the safer areas outside Kabul which were the non-Pashtun regions to the North of Kabul.
Late 2005 early 2006, NATO made a decision to go into the South, UK and John Reid VOLUNTEERED to take responsibility for Helmand province, (at the time for 3 years, and at the time Reid’s infamous quote that “we may not fire a shot”). Part of the reason for UK volunteering at the time was an aim to get out of Iraq quicker on the basis that we are now more committed to Afghanistan.
The problem was the politicians neither had the guts to get out of Iraq, and by volunteering to take responsibility for one of the most difficult provinces in Afghanistan they did not have sufficient forces to provide security in Basra and the surrounding area.
In Iraq we should not have ever been there but, if we were we should have provided sufficient forces to provide security for the area we were responsible for or reduce the size of that area. Due to the ego of Politicians and Generals we had British troops and Iraqi civilians dead as we would neither commit or get out, and what was originally intended as the excuse for getting out turns out to be just as big problem.
For those who want to talk about Heroin trade or terrorist training camps etc the obvious question is: WHY do nothing from 2002 till 2006. UK had some forces in Afghanistan from 2001 to mid 2006 before they took responsibility for Helmand and took approx 5 fatal casualties in those 4 years 8 months.
From then on casualties climbed dramatically with 25 in the 2nd 6 months of 2006, approx 50 in 2007 and 2008 , and a further 50 in the first half of this year.
Over the 3 years we have increased forces from an initial 3,000 to over 9,000, but what is not mentioned is the force in Helmand has also been reinforced by another 2,000 from Denmark and Estonia and a further 10,000 from the US. So we originally thought we could provide some security with 3,000 troops and are failing with 21,000 less than half of whom are British.
We are there because we are there. If the US rotates the Texas National Guard to replace the California National Guard, it is seen as good planning if the Europeans rotate the Poles to replace the UK it would be seen as a defeat for the the ego of the politicians of the UK.
Why should UK commit to a western force helping the Afghan government is one debate.
Why should the UK commit more forces than France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined, in 1 single province in Afghanistan. that I really do not understand?