2008
09.23

The restrictive rules of engagement in Afghanistan mean the coalition’s tactics are unlikely to succeed, according to Andy McNab.

The SAS veteran, one of the highest-decorated soldiers in the history of the British army, explained that Taliban tactics and the diplomatic intent of the missions in Afghanistan mean it is difficult for Nato or US-led coalition forces to break through.

Coalition operations have been underway in Afghanistan since late 2001 – following the September 11th terrorist attacks – but show little sign of stopping, with a number of combat troops transferred from Iraq and regular activity involving US troops on the Pakistani border.

“What happens is that civilians are mixed in with Taliban, whether they like it or not, because the Taliban use them as a sort of human armour, so there is what’s labelled as collateral damage,” he told inthenews.co.uk.

“The rules of engagement are quite restrictive because of that. The idea of being out there is to get the civilians on side, to get rid of the Taliban, so if you start killing them, that ain’t gonna happen.”

He argued that the coalition may be able to “keep the locals on side” by allowing the poppy trade – responsible for much of the world’s heroin production – to operate.

However, according to the Bravo Two Zero author, a fundamental problem with the coalition operations in Afghanistan is that the campaign is not technically military in its nature.

“If it was purely military, you could just send in the B52s and just flatten ’em, but that’s not going to happen, “he added.

Visit inthenews.co.uk again for a full interview with Andy McNab

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