2010
06.10

From Duncan Larcombe, Defence Editor, in Sangin
Published: 21 Sep 2010

The Sun stood shoulder to shoulder with our brave boys yesterday – as they finally said goodbye to the Valley of Death.
We were the last newspaper remaining as heroic commandos handed control of once lawless Sangin to the Americans.

In four bloody years wresting the powderkeg town and its district from the grip of the Taliban, more Brit troops have given their lives there than on any other front line in Afghanistan.

As our weary soldiers yesterday left with their heads held high they remembered the 105 comrades killed battling to put an end to the terrorists’ reign of fear and anarchy.

For some, there was frustration at a “job unfinished” – because of the failure to crush EVERY last insurgent bent on making life hell for the district’s long-suffering inhabitants.

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

MyView
By ANDY MCNAB

I AM fed up with armchair generals who say the handover of Sangin to US Forces is a British retreat.

That is 100 per cent crap. We have moved out because at long last the 20,000 US ‘boots on the ground’ finally arrived.

This is a tactical decision. The Brits’ job in Helmand is still to take on the Taliban and protect locals.

Now they can be more evenly deployed. What the Brits achieved in Sangin is stunning. We held ten square miles of dusty ground vital to the Taliban.

Sangin is near the poppy fields and heroin trade routes. Profits made in UK and US cities fund the Taliban. Holding that ground came at a massive cost. Troops have died, but not in vain. Handing Sangin to the Americans is not betraying our dead. They stopped the Taliban bringing in more weapons. They helped save the lives of their mates.

There is no greater sacrifice.

2010
21.08

The last U.S. combat troops have finally left Iraq, and Andy McNab agrees with those of us who think the timing was just right. Commenting in The Sun, McNab made it clear that, though the withdrawal is a positive, Iraq’s troubles are far from over:

DON’T be fooled by the US soldiers whooping and hollering, claiming it’s all over – it’s far from over in Iraq.

But it IS time for the combat troops to leave…

Of course the Iraqi government want troops to stay, it brings them free manpower. They will be the first to claim it’s too early.

But they’ve still got vast amounts of manpower at their disposal supplied by the US, who really ought to be thinking about the problems in Afghanistan.
The time has come for Iraq to start standing on its own two feet.

Read the full article at thesun.co.uk

2010
11.08

“The Troubles have not returned, they just never went away”

Dissident republicans in Northern Ireland have stepped up a campaign of violence in the past week with four attempted bombings.
The attacks come more than a year after the murders of two soldiers at Massereene Barracks in Antrim and the killing of a cop in Lurgan.

Sun Security expert Andy McNab, who served in Ulster with the SAS during the Troubles, looks at why the fragile peace has been shattered.
 

By ANDY McNAB
Published: 11 August 2010

“No one should be surprised that a few extremists are trying to reignite a war in Northern Ireland. Whenever any conflict goes out of the public consciousness everyone thinks it is finished – but it never is.

In Ulster, warfare has been going on for hundreds of years and I can’t see it ever ending. Five-year-old kids in the street can quote you the dates of historic battles and why they were important. The demise of the Provisional IRA was largely due to the success of the SAS – “The Regiment” – in killing their active service units in the mid-1980s and early Nineties. But the guys who survived still believe passionately in a united Ireland.

They think the British are occupying Ulster and look upon the leading republicans such as Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, who are now in government, as traitors. As far as the dissidents are concerned, they sold out.”

Gripped
 
“Now there is a new generation being brought up with this ideology and the belligerence is stronger than it has been for decades. You only have to see the graffiti in Derry to know what is bubbling beneath the surface. The young yobs are being financed and they have access to sophisticated bomb-makers. There is poverty, unemployment and a lack of education, which feeds their anger.

The terrorists have always been a minority because the vast majority of the people just want to go to work and get their kids to school. But it is a dangerous minority. They have always been there and there has been trouble in Northern Ireland every 25 years or so for centuries. If this latest upsurge in violence is to be stopped from escalating like the Troubles of 1969 onwards did, then the problem has to be gripped now.

The Army cannot do it. It is reckoned that 25 per cent of all security services activity is still in Northern Ireland, and Special Forces have sent a recce group back in.
Some believe one of the reasons why the dissidents are stepping up their attacks is to try to get Army patrols back on the streets. They would love to point to “an army of occupation” to justify their cause. But it would be counter-productive for security forces to get heavy.

It is down to the community not to let it escalate. They have experienced peace now for the first time in two or three generations. If they want to keep it, they need to get a grip on the dissidents in their midst.”

Source: The Sun

2010
11.07

The Sun
From Duncan Larcombe, Afghanistan
Published: 02 Jul 2010

A British soldier sprawls in the dust with his face bloodied after being shot by the Taliban.
In a dramatic battle video, Lance Corporal Adam Smith is heard shouting: “I’ve been hit!”

Pals rush to his aid yelling: “Man down!”

Adam, 23, miraculously survived – and was back on patrol hours later.

The incredible footage was handed to The Sun as we joined Our Boys on the frontline.

MyView

By Andy McNab

This incredible video of men at war is a perfect example of the Army’s six core values: selfless commitment, courage, discipline, loyalty, integrity and respect for others.

The film is outstanding not just because it shows the reality of the battles our troops are fighting in Afghanistan, but also because it demonstrates their total professionalism and qualities of leadership.

Watch it and you will swell with pride – and understand why we are the best at soldiering on this planet.

It also shows how a man reacts when taking a round that he thinks may kill him, and the pure bravery of mates who risk their own lives for him.

Go here to read the full article

2010
06.06

The Sun
01 Jun 2010
‘Weapons’ of the peace activists

Israel claims peace activists on board a flotilla carrying aid to Gaza were armed and “set on confrontation”.
Israel released pictures of the alleged weapons today showing a selection of KITCHEN KNIVES and makeshift WOODEN CLUBS.

The United Nations Security Council has condemned yesterday’s deadly raid on the flotilla and called for an immediate investigation.

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

My View
By Andy McNab

The Israeli troops who stormed the flotilla and opened fire were just part of the problem – there was no command and control from those on the ground.

No matter what the perceived threat was they should have gripped the fluid situation but they failed.

The incident, which is feared to have involved Brits including Peter Venner, Sakir Yildirim and Cliff Hanley, would have happened very quickly with much screaming and shouting.

Control
But someone had to take a step back and control the situation. Any planned mission of stop and search or contain the flotilla instantly goes out of the window. We don’t know what the mission was. Perhaps they did want it to be a show of force, we just don’t know yet.

The Israelis will publicly maintain there was a threat but internally there will be a thorough inquiry and heads will roll.

2010
25.02

The Sun – 25 February 2010
By Tom Newton Dunn

Cameron: Uni site is huge

TORY leaders last night vowed to help more teens get to university.
David Cameron kicked off the campaign by backing the newly launched BestCourse4Me.com website, Britain’s first one-stop shop that tells kids what the best courses are for their ideal jobs.

Go here to read the full article

My View
By Andy McNab

SAS hero Andy McNab, who did badly at school and turned to crime before joining the Army, offers his thoughts.

“Something like BestCourse4Me.com should have been set up years ago.

If we as a state are putting this huge investment into students, and the students are putting a huge amount in themselves, they should get the right information for their future.

The information they get at the moment is fragmented.

Surely we should be trying to get the right students on to the right courses to get the best jobs.

I didn’t go to university but the whole system of education is so important. If information like this had been available to me, I would have found it a great motivator to find the right job.

For kids today to be given the truth about what is out there is incredibly empowering.”