2010
07.12

The Sun: ‘SAS hit squads at UK’s malls’
By Anthony France, David Willetts and Duncan Larcombe
Published: 7 December 2010

SAS hit squads are today protecting packed shopping centres from terrorists – with orders to shoot to kill.
The regiment’s elite troops are poised to foil any al-Qaeda bid to cause Mumbai-style carnage amid Britain’s Christmas crowds.

The Who Dares Wins teams have instructions to strike hard and fast to combat the “real and credible” threat of a bomb-and-gun onslaught by fanatics.

Read the full article in The Sun here

‘Smart move… I feel safer’
Says ANDY McNAB

THE fact that an SAS squadron has been dispatched this week is no cause for alarm.

This is simply a case of the Regiment’s good planning and preparation.

Firstly, it makes sense to have an increased military presence around Christmas. This is a high-threat period just because of the number of people on the streets.

As we saw with the 7/7 terrorist attacks, the bombers chose to strike during rush hour because they knew that was when most commuters would be out and about. It’s the same with Christmas. The second sound reason for the Regiment to move is the recent spate of bad weather.

In war it is a normal pragmatic decision to move your troops forward if you know there is going to be bad weather. It’s just the same here. The Regiment are based in Hereford. So if they are required elsewhere, it makes sense that they are already in place.

Then they won’t have to deal with snow and ice, Christmas traffic and bad flying conditions to reach their destination. Any emergency service makes provision for bad weather and perceived threat – and the Regiment are no different.

I can remember moving to certain areas on standby many times during my ten years in the SAS. I, for one, feel safer when members of the Regiment are among us.

2010
06.12

90-day blitz takes out 3,200 Taliban
The Sun
By David Willetts, Defence Correspondent

Published: 01 Dec 2010

Secret strike operations led by British and American Special Forces have taken out 3,200 Taliban insurgents in just 90 DAYS.

The huge haul was achieved in an “autumn showdown” – launched to crush the Taliban before they skulk off for winter.

British SAS and SBS fighters, US Delta Force units, Afghan Special Forces Tiger Teams and elite outfits from other coalition troops hit the enemy relentlessly for three months.

Of the 3,200 killed or captured in covert strikes, 387 were top-level commanders. The figures were handed to SAS hero and Sun Security Adviser Andy McNab at a top level briefing in the Afghan capital Kabul. Andy visited the frontline this month to drum up support for the Sun’s Jobs for Heroes campaign – backed by expert recruitment firm ForceSelect.

He said: “We are nailing the Taliban. We are killing and capturing them on an industrial scale.

“This wasn’t a blanket approach to killing. These are tactical missions. Troopers are now specifically targeting the Taliban leadership, and those who fight FOR the Taliban.

“Our guys weren’t targeting those who simply fought WITH the Taliban. There is a clear distinction. Some are fighting because they need the money or too frightened not to. They are not fighting for hate or the ideology.

“Of course, some commanders worry that younger, more radical Taliban fighters will take the place of dead leaders.

“But, talking to the guys who conduct these covert operations, they weren’t unduly worried about it.

“If a new generation of radical Taliban step into these dead men’s shoes, they too will be killed or captured.”

The operations are part of the push towards a Nato handover of control in Afghanistan to Afghan National Forces and police by 2014.

Source: The Sun

Andy McNab in The Sun - meeting the troops

2010
27.11

“Our troops are fighting a war as professional soldiers, not victims, and the sooner everyone switches on to this fact, the better” ~ Andy McNab

Andy McNab: In the eyes of the Army, the BBC stands ‘Accused’ over drama
27 November 2010

“It makes me furious the way our soldiers are continuously portrayed as victims in life: victims of war, victims of bullying, victims of bad organisation and leadership.

If an alien had landed in the UK at any time in the last five years, it could be forgiven for thinking that the British Army consists of compete idiots or sadistic bullies.

The truth is, the Army has never been as well-equipped, trained, or experienced as it is right now. And, contrary to popular belief, soldiers do not moan about being issued bad boots, nor are they preparing to hang themselves. They are far from victims.

They are highly competent, professional soldiers who join to fight in Afghanistan; doing exactly the job they have been trained to do.

I am writing this article from Afghanistan, while visiting our troops for a few days. And, guess what, I haven’t seen a single victim, idiot or bully yet. All I see, wherever I look, are soldiers getting on with the job.

I served in the British Army for 18 years, both in the infantry and in the SAS. I have trained recruits and commanded soldiers on hundreds of operations, and I know that our soldiers do not want or need our pity.

Today, along with my writing, I am director of an international private security company which has involvement in many countries, including Afghanistan. I employ soldiers when they leave the Army because they are a high quality product. Not traumatised victims.

The continuous drip effect of “our poor boys” is as incorrect as it is unhelpful. If we, at home, continually feel sorry for our soldiers, this will affect the way our army fights for our national interest.

The latest incident of soldier victimisation reared its ugly head during Accused, BBC One’s new drama following those accused of crimes awaiting the verdict of their trial.

In the second instalment of the six-part series, shown on Monday, the drama focused on the British Army, notably the extreme culture of bullying and intimidation in a fictitious army unit in Helmand Province.

One soldier is shown committing suicide after enduring retribution for having failed to show courage in combat. In one scene, the victimised soldier has a barrel of human excrement poured over him.

General Sir Peter Wall, the Chief of the General Staff, wrote to the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, calling Accused “inaccurate and misleading”, and “deeply distasteful and offensive” to the families of soldiers in Helmand. General Wall also demanded that the programme be dropped.

Accused was written by Jimmy McGovern, the 61-year-old author of Cracker and The Street. McGovern has been quoted as saying: “As a dramatist I was interested in exploring how soldiers have to be of a certain mindset to kill.”

But what McGovern has done, and the BBC allowed him to do, was ignore the first rule of writing – write what you know.

I have sold more than 30 million books and written two Hollywood film scripts based on my own experience, but I would never dream of writing about a pub landlord in a gritty northern town. Because I wouldn’t have a clue.”

Go here to read the full article in The Telegraph

2010
22.11

* 100 fallen heroes in 2010 *

By Duncan Larcombe, Defence Editor
Published: 20 Nov 2010

The Sun today salutes the 100 men who have laid down their lives for this country in Afghanistan in 2010.

Every one of them died a hero.

Go here to read the full article and the Roll of Honour in The Sun

May they all rest in peace.

MyView

By Andy McNab

“Obviously the 100th death of 2010 is a really sad landmark.

But now is not the time for us, the public, to start getting wobbly about Afghanistan.

There really is light at the end of the tunnel. The sacrifices and the work carried out by the troops on the ground are really having results.

One of the tangible results is that, since the summer, casualties have gone down because of the troops’ efforts in taking on the Taliban.

As a result, the 100th soldier killed has died towards the end of the year rather than at the end of summer, which some experts were predicting. We have reached this landmark much, much later than they said because there are troops on the ground, controlling the ground – controlling the Taliban. Where we are is where we are, but the deaths are not in vain.

The country is starting to get a little bit shaky about Afghanistan. More people are against it than there have been before.

But now is not the time to be wobbly. We are nearly there.”

2010
10.11

The Sun
10 November 2010

‘If ‘waterboarding’ stops terror then it’s worth it’

George Bush’s defence of “waterboarding” torture was backed by two fathers of 7/7 bombing victims yesterday.
John Taylor, whose daughter Carrie died in the 2005 atrocities, said anyone who had endured grief like his family would put their loved one’s life ahead of the human rights of terrorists.

He believes information gained from the waterboarding of suspects – such as that described by ex-US President Mr Bush in his memoirs Decision Points – should be acted on to save victims like Carrie, 24.

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

My View
By ANDY McNAB
Sun Security Advisor Tortured By Saddam

“I WOULD happily waterboard a terrorist and take my chances in court as I know a jury wouldn’t convict me.

There is a strong argument FOR waterboarding and other forms of torture when it is a matter of tactical questioning for immediate information.

I’m not talking about long-term torturing. That’s pointless.

But if I were in a position where the President had said Yes or No to torture, I would do it – and take my chances. When lives are on the line you must do what you can to save them.”

2010
25.10

The Sun
Published: 19 Oct 2010

“I thought ballet was mincing on stage but I was wrong. The blokes are built like soldiers and are amazing athletes”

SO you don’t know your splits from your Nutcrackers and think ballet is only for toffs – think again.

After twice having filled London’s Royal Opera House with Sun readers for exclusive opera performances of Don Giovanni and Carmen, this year we’re having a bash at ballet.

Below tough guy Andy McNab tells why he is a ballet fan and Louie Spence demonstrates a few moves to watch out for at a Cinderella show…

“Before I experienced ballet for the first time I had the same negative attitude as many people.

Why would I want to spend an evening watching theatre folk mincing around the stage when I had no idea what was going on? I thought those who enjoy it must be a bit wet or something.

Two years ago my wife convinced me to join her at a kids’ ballet called Angelina’s Star Performance with my niece and nephew. It was based on the popular children’s character Angelina Ballerina – and I was won over from the moment the curtain went up.

The staging, performances and music took me completely by surprise and I went from being a cynic to a convert. When my wife asked me to go to Swan Lake a few weeks later I was keen to see what such a legendary ballet would be like. I wasn’t disappointed.

If the first experience was impressive, the second blew me away. The blokes are built like soldiers, with legs thick as tree trunks. They throw the ballerinas around as if they are light as feathers.

Meanwhile, the girls pull all sorts of amazing shapes and aren’t bad to look at either. Watching someone standing on tiptoe with the other leg straight up in the air is pretty eye-popping.

Some of the audience were moved to tears, although I wasn’t quite in that category.

I’ve heard being a ballet dancer is the second most physically demanding profession after being a biathlete. I’m not surprised, because I’ve toured the gym where they train. I wouldn’t fancy bench-pressing what those lads lift on a daily basis.

If anyone claims it’s for wimps, ask if they’ve ever tried it. Without a doubt they won’t have.

Seeing a ballet also makes for a really good night out. Before Swan Lake I went online to learn the story. It is usually summarised in the programme too, so you don’t have to sit there like an idiot with no idea about what is happening.

A show like Cinderella is an ideal afternoon for families too. The difference between watching ballet on television and seeing it in real life is amazing. Kids will love the spectacle of the stage and the skill of the dancers.

It’s important to expose youngsters to a bit of culture because they need to be able to make up their own minds about whether they like it or not. The same goes for adults, of course.

Some people might also think twice about turning up at the Royal Opera House. But don’t forget, our taxes paid for its refurbishment and keep it running. The place belongs to regular, hard-working Brits. It’s a posh, spectacular building, so get in there and have your money’s worth.

My wife and I go to the ballet regularly now and I’m signed up to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s scheme providing cheap tickets to everyday folk.

Now we’re looking forward to Cinderella in December and I’m delighted a few thousand Sun readers will have the opportunity to enjoy it too.”

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

Well, I know at least one fan will jump at this one…. But I’ll end with a quote from Crisis Four..

The dog was feeling really confident now; he knew he’d got me. I bent
down and, with my right hand, grabbed hold of his left rear leg. The limb
twitched as if he were doing an Irish jig as he tried to kick away.
I started to pull the back leg up toward me. The dog was confused and
pissed off, biting more and moving his head from left to right. I was
grappling to keep hold of his leg. It was dancing away like Michael Flatley
on speed.