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UK To Deploy Most Paratroopers Since WWII

And speaking of WWII, there is this from the UK’s Sunday Times:

Biggest blitz by paras since WW2 to crush Taliban

Michael Smith and Louise Armitstead

BRITAIN is to deploy its biggest contingent of paratroopers and special forces since the second world war in a bid to crush the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Ministers are to send 3,000 paratroopers, including the entire Parachute Regiment, to southern Afghanistan in the spring, as well as trebling the number of special forces in the country.

It will be the first time in the regiment’s history that all four para battalions, including its reservists, have fought together on the same battlefield. The number of UK special forces personnel will rise to more than 800 and will include the bulk of the Special Forces Support Group, which is largely comprised of paratroopers.

The deployment comes amid fears that the Taliban are likely to regroup over the winter and retake terrain from weaker Afghan forces unable to hold their positions…

Gordon Brown is expected to signal a renewed emphasis on Afghanistan next week when he announces that local forces have officially taken control of southern Iraq. The number of UK troops in the country is expected to be cut from the current 5,000, freeing resources for deployment in Afghanistan.

Brown is expected to commit British troops to Helmand province until at least 2010, although senior officers privately expect to be there much longer. “The aim is for special forces to target the Taliban before they cause problems, while the paras provide security for reconstruction to get going in earnest,” one officer said.

The plan will see the current force of 7,000 British troops return from Afghanistan and a total of 8,000 sent out, bringing together the army’s most battle-hardened elite…

UK special forces will also concentrate for the first time solely on southern Helmand and will be expected not only to target the Taliban but also the drug barons funding them. The RAF will increase the number of aircraft in the country, adding Tornado and Typhoon ground attack planes to its existing Harrier squadrons…

Huh. Somehow I had gotten the impression from our watchdog media that the British were dialing back their efforts in the war.

I wonder how that happened.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, September 30th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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