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My understanding is that there were two elements to the troubles the British experienced in Helmand in 2006. First, they were riding high in institutional arrogance stemming from Iraq. The British Army was looking at the Sunni Insurgency in Iraq and the relative calm in Basra, where its forces were located, and was wagging its finger at the Americans who "didn't know COIN." This is evident when a British senior officer published an article in the US Army's professional journal telling them so.
The truth hurts, as it should on occasion. Careerism kills troops... friendly forces' troops mainly:
Helmand: anatomy of a disaster
As painfully described in an investigation published last week by the Times of London, the charge against military top brass, and those like Stirrup who talked endlessly of constant progress on the ground, is of filtering complaints from field commanders and junior soldiers so that politicians under the previous Labour administration got spared the full picture of how badly things were going in Helmand and the many shortfalls, for example, of war-winning military equipment and in basic welfare for the troops and their injured. Britain went into Helmand, the article described, with its "eyes shut and fingers crossed."
As U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Richard Mills takes over command of Helmand - Afghanistan's most violent province -- from the British this week, Britain's…