British Counterinsurgency in Helmand
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.
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