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Counterinsurgency in CrisisBritain and the Challenges of Modern Warfare$
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David Ucko and Robert Egnell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164276

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164276.001.0001

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Act II

Act II

British Counterinsurgency in Helmand

(p.75) 3 Act II
Counterinsurgency in Crisis

David H. Ucko

Robert Egnell

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the British counterinsurgency operations in Helmand, Afghanistan, between the years 2006 and 2012. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), with the British government as one of its contributing nations, granted the control of Afghan provinces, including Helmand, to its member-nations. It was an effort to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a terrorist sanctuary. In April 2006, the UK deployed its armed forces into Helmand and implemented traditional counterinsurgency methods, thereby initiating stability and reconstruction that could be expanded over time. The armed forces, however, were unprepared, undermanned, and ill-equipped to deal with the attacks of Taliban fighters and drug lords. Various misguided and ill-conceived attempts to overcome the poor start of deployment ensued between 2007 and 2010. In stark contrast, only the efforts expended at the tactical level in 2012 were considered the correct approach.

Keywords:   British counterinsurgency operations, Helmand, Afghanistan, International Security Assistance Force, Taliban fighters

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