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Lessons from Helmand, Afghanistan: What now for British counterinsurgency?
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Strategy Section.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9580-7995
2011 (English)In: International Affairs, ISSN 0020-5850, E-ISSN 1468-2346, Vol. 87, no 2, 297-315 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses the conduct of British operations in Helmand between 2006 and 2010 and discusses the implications for the legacy and future of British counterinsurgency. Substantially changed training, painful relearning of counterinsurgency principles and changed mindsets are necessary to avoid repeated early failures in the future. Moreover, despite eventually adapting tactically to the situation and task in Helmand, the British Armed Forces proved inadequate in dealing with the task assigned to them for two key reasons. First, the resources of the British military are simply too small for dealing with large-scale complex engagements such as those in Helmand or southern Iraq. Second, the over-arching comprehensive approach, and especially the civilian lines of operations that underpinned Britain's historical successes with counterinsurgency, are today missing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 87, no 2, 297-315 p.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-1183ISI: 000288508700003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-1183DiVA: diva2:421172
Available from: 2011-06-07 Created: 2011-06-07 Last updated: 2017-01-04Bibliographically approved

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