Friday, March 12, 2010


Stabilisation in Musa Qal'ah points the way forward for Op MOSHTARAK

A Military Operations news article

5 Mar 10

Mike McKie is a civilian stabilisation adviser working in Musa Qal'ah. He says that the positive achievements made there - thriving markets, hybrid power generation, improving local governance, education and healthcare - point to what is possible in Marjah in the wake of Operation MOSHTARAK.

Soldiers attend a shura with local Afghans

Soldiers attend a shura with local Afghans
[Picture: Copyright ISAF 2010]

Mike is from the UK's Stabilisation Unit (SU), a pool of advisers who bring their expertise to the world's most troubled hotspots, which is jointly 'owned' by the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

There are currently stabilisation advisers in many of the forward operating bases (FOBs) in Helmand and the civilian stabilisation concept has been at the heart of Operation MOSHTARAK from its inception.

Mike McKie said:

"Once the spectre of insurgency has been removed, we can move forward very quickly. It does not have to take long for the negative effects of insurgency to become clear by their absence."

Mike has recently attended a shura, or consultative gathering, in Patrol Base Habib, in an area which was, until very recently, key terrain for the Taliban.

With the insurgents displaced, local people were sufficiently confident to attend the shura with the District Governor Mullah Salam and local Afghan police and army commanders and air their concerns about such pressing issues as land tenure and illegal land sales.

During the Taliban era this would have been unthinkable:...

There is more, that you will not see on any front page of the msm, but you WILL find it here.


UK forces to hand over Musa Qal'ah to other ISAF troops

A Military Operations news article

11 Mar 10

In order to make best use of force numbers, ISAF commanders have ordered a reconfiguration that will see British troops hand control of the town of Musa Qal'ah to other ISAF forces over the coming weeks.

Soldiers at Remembrance Sunday service

Soldiers of the Household Cavalry Regiment during a Remembrance Sunday service in Musa Qal'ah on 8 November 2009
[Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

The reconfiguration is intended to better support Commander ISAF General Stanley McChrystal's strategy of winning over the population by protecting them from insurgents.

Under the current laydown of forces in Helmand, British forces are responsible for the protection of around 70 per cent of the population with only 30 per cent of the coalition troops; therefore the rebalancing of forces announced today will improve the ratio of ISAF and Afghan troops to civilians across Helmand's main areas of population.

Over the past 12 months, and principally as a result of the uplift in US forces announced by President Obama in December 2009, the number of ISAF troops in Helmand province has risen from around 7,700 to over 20,000.

In the light of this significant increase in the resources available to them, ISAF commanders are considering options for rebalancing forces in the province in order to ensure that international troops are located where they will have the most effect in countering the threat posed by the insurgency and protecting the Afghan civilian population.

Around 500 UK personnel who have been based in Musa Qal'ah will redeploy to thicken and deepen the British presence in central Helmand.

This will allow them to better protect the local population while accelerating the growth of Afghan security forces....(more here)

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