From Helmand to Kandahar

IssueJune 2010
News by Gabriel Carlyle

British troops could be moved from Helmand to Kandahar, locking in a British presence in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future.

According to media reports, the RAF’s ground fighting force and UK special forces will both take part in the forthcoming Kandahar offensive.

However, the Telegraph has also speculated that British troops could be moved wholesale from Helmand – where they are now outnumbered by US forces – to Kandahar, “where they could run their own show”.

The shift has the support of key military figures, including the British commander of NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, Nick Carter, and is reportedly becoming an “assumption” in some quarters rather than an option.

However, senior foreign office officials apparently fear “that moving to Kandahar would mean British troops remained in Afghanistan indefinitely, whereas Helmand would leave open the possibility of an ‘exit strategy’ being developed at relatively short notice”.

Topics: Afghanistan