Pressure, partnership and progress

Lt Gen Adrian Bradshaw CB OBE

Lt Gen Adrian Bradshaw CB OBE

Lieutenant General Adrian Bradshaw CB OBE is Deputy Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. In the first of an occasional series of blogs, he reflects on recent visits to Helmand and Eastern Afghanistan and the gains made by ISAF over the last year.

Last week I was on patrol with British Servicemen in Helmand and, as ever, I was deeply impressed by their courage and dedication. With remarkable coolness, they remarked that the area in which we were patrolling is subject to improvised explosive device (IED) emplacement by the Taliban. The servicemen showed me where an insurgent had blown himself up trying to lay a bomb in the track just a few days before. My guides were wary of the risk, of course, and proceeded with understandable caution – but they were also confident in their drills, their equipment and their ability to stay ahead of the threat.

Most importantly, they know they are putting relentless pressure on the insurgents. They stand shoulder to shoulder with their Afghan comrades, who are stepping more and more into the lead. The strength of our relationships was very evident during my patrol in Eastern Afghanistan last week to visit US-mentored Afghan Local Police (ALP).

Friendship and mutual trust

Here the ALP block enemy routes from Pakistan, and are frequently attacked by insurgents who resent the restriction on their freedom of movement. As the ALP pointed out to me, they always see off the insurgents. The friendship and mutual trust between ALP village guardians and their US advisors, built through standing together against shared dangers, was obvious and intense.

In the last year, ISAF have made significant gains. Although by no means defeated, the Taliban are under real pressure. Their attacks are down 11% on last year, and in Helmand, where most of the British Forces are, security has expanded into areas which were formerly safe havens for insurgents. Soldiers who were here a couple of years ago say that places which used to be incredibly violent and dangerous are unrecognisably better now.

Despite two recent attacks in Kabul, the first for nearly six months, the life of the capital and the work of government are going on more smoothly than in many a city. The failure of several hundred attempts to attack Kabul over recent months is testament to the efficiency of the Afghan Intelligence Service and security forces in and around the city.

Trust and understanding

Trust and understanding

Significant impact

There is much left to do, but we now have more and more reason to believe that the third-of-a-million-strong Afghan National Security Forces really can take the job on – and what’s more, they believe it too. The efforts of British troops in Helmand and our allies elsewhere have had a significant impact. We should be proud of what they have achieved and what they continue to achieve on a daily basis.

5 thoughts on “Pressure, partnership and progress

  1. hi, could i ask a question plz, one of mine frend is in army in afgan and is lieutenant colonel. but he asked her to send sum money for his flight and to buy phone cards as it very expensive. does it always happen?

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  2. Reblogged this on UK Forces Afghanistan and commented:
    Lieutenant General Adrian Bradshaw, Deputy Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, here reflects on recent visits to Helmand and eastern Afghanistan, and gains made by ISAF over the past year.

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  3. Once again a top job being carried out by our armed forces proving we really do have the best in the world. Making a huge difference to the lives of Afgans, whilst making the world a safer place for all. Keep up the good work and my prayers are with you always x

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  4. espero que la trancision se de pronto para la seguridad del pueblo afganos que las fuerzas de seguridad afganas puedan acerse cargo de su pais ,y las tropas de la isaf , vuelvan a casa..
    saludos a todos , hectoranibal

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  5. Pingback: Pressure, partnership and progress | Light Dragoons

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