A decade after UK Forces began operations in Afghanistan, Tristan Kelly reports from Helmand as all eyes look forward to the planned end of UK combat operations there in 2015.
There has been an upswing in economic activity in Lashkar Gah as improved security brings increased confidence in the future. Picture: Steve Dock, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US and the Taliban regime’s refusal to hand over those responsible, US and UK forces launched Operation Enduring Freedom on 7 October 2001.
The operation’s aim was to end Al-Qaeda’s use of Afghanistan as its base for terrorist operations. Five years later UK troops moved into the Taliban stronghold of Helmand with the same essential aim of not allowing Afghanistan to once again become a safe haven from which terrorists can launch attacks on the streets of Britain.
The strategy since 2001 for NATO troops in Afghanistan has evolved and expanded, as the situation on the ground has changed, from the initial removal of the Taliban regime to the protection of the Afghan people while political structures and means of governance are developed in the space that improved security provides.
Continues at: mod.uk – Afghanistan: 10 years on