Fire of Liberty
For the past month I've been reading various disturbing reports in the British press about how the British forces in various parts of Afghanistan have decided to take a more defensive posture and preferring to conduct humanitarian operations rather than continuing offensive operations against the remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. What's even more troubling is this most recent piece in The Times which notes that the Brit high command has instructed the Royal Marines commandos to stay entrenched in their bases in Lashkar Gah and Gereshk because they've received reports that suicide bombers itching to kill British and Afghan troops lurk outside their gates. Now it's understandable that suicide bombers are something to worry about but the fact that a highly trained and equipped military like the Royal Marines being holed up in there bases can't be that impressive marker of the Brits to the people in Southern Afghanistan. If the Brits want to find a way into the "hearts and minds" of the Afghan people then I suggest they continue to use all their assets at hand towards the fight against the remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda who remain on the Southern border regions of Afghanistan thus eliminating the threat and allowing the Brits a greater cushion in their ability to create safe development zones.
I guess they keep on forgetting that the best way to reach the "hearts and minds" of a tribal society that has a great regard to the strong warrior then they've have got to route out the enemy and show them you are committed to their security. Other parts of Afghanistan are doing just fine because the coalition routed the enemy and Southern Afghanistan can see the same if the Brits would stay on the offense. This failure to engage the enemy reminds me of the early half of the Civil War when George B. McClellan sat on the Eastern side of the Potomac River for months on end and continuing to refuse to go on the offensive because the conditions weren't right. Here's hoping the British commanders in Afghanistan get off their defensive posture real soon or they could be in a hell of a mess thus losing the favor or trust of the Afghan people. Failure shouldn't be an option especially for the storied Royal Marines.