October 06, 2007
Afghanistan: Sending a Message
Now, this is what Abu Muqawama likes to see. Abu Muqawama has long said he doesn't really mind the British pulling out of Iraq as long as they beef up their presence in Afghanistan.
The whole of one of the army's most elite regiments, supported by the RAF's latest fighter bombers, is to be sent to Afghanistan in a military operation unprecedented since the second world war.
For the first time since 1945, all three regular battalions of the Parachute Regiment - about 2,000 troops - will be deployed for combat. The Eurofighter/Typhoon, equipped with new missiles for a ground attack role, will be deployed for the first time in a hostile mission.
That's sending a message.
The decision by the heads of all three branches of the armed forces to deploy so much manpower and weaponry to southern Afghanistan also reflects their conviction, shared by ministers, that unlike Iraq, Afghanistan is on the frontline of the fight against international terrorism and that the conflict there is a "noble cause".
Abu Muqawama will know they're really serious, though, when they re-activate Harry Paget Flashman, VC KCB KCIE.