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Soft power... hard power.

Heh.  So, we have the whole "Give the partially-blind Brit PM DVDs of American movies that won't work in his DVD player" episode, combined with the State Department staffer who reputedly told the Brits that they weren't any more special than any of the other countries on the globe...

Among the components of "soft power" is the ability to sign people up to work with you and share the load.

That would include the "hard power" load.  And, along with Canada, Australia, Poland, Denmark, Italy, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and, gosh, France, the Brits have been contributing to that "hard power" side of things, while trying to teach us some of the nuances of the soft power side that they've learned lessons in over the years.  In fact, with all due respect to most of those nations listed and a special shout out to my Northron peeps in Canada, it's the Brits who've been making the greatest contributions, and paying the greatest price.

But they're not... special.  Heh. 
Marines shatter 'illusion of enemy safe haven'
A Military Operations news article
26 Mar 09

British, Danish and Afghan troops took the Taliban totally by surprise last week in a daring operation launched into the heart of the enemy stronghold of Marjah in central Helmand.

The 700-strong force arrived by RAF Chinook and Royal Navy Sea King helicopters, Viking armoured vehicles, Leopard tanks, and on foot, and achieved total surprise in the latest phase of Operation AABI TOORAH ('Blue Sword').

Lieutenant Colonel Al Lister Royal Marines, Chief of Operations for Task Force Helmand, summed up the success of this phase, saying:

"This was a very successful, deliberate joint operation that demonstrated clearly to the enemy that the Task Force continues to operate where and when it chooses. Marjah has previously been a safe haven for the enemy; we have shattered that illusion and more will follow. We will continue to erode the capability and influence of the enemy and enable the extension of legitimate governance throughout Helmand."

This latest phase of Op AABI TOORAH had three main objectives: firstly, through rapid manoeuvre and build up of combat power, to surprise the enemy and disrupt their movement and planning; secondly, to confuse their situational awareness by hitting their fighting forces across several of their key, central locations; and finally, to allow the spread of legitimate Afghan governance, further enhancing the stability of the neighbouring districts of Nawa and Nad e-Ali.

The MoD story is a bit coy.  The Sun was a little more blunt.  130 Taliban killed in Marine raid   That sounds pretty special to me.  And all the more so because it was a combined op with the Brit forces working with Dutch Danish tankers and Afghan soldiers.

And... the Brits continue to be willing to step up to the plate.  According to the Times -
The head of the Army is ready to send up to 2,000 extra troops to Afghanistan amid fears that the US-led mission will struggle without significant reinforcements.

General Sir Richard Dannatt told The Times yesterday that elements of 12 Mechanised Brigade — which had been training for deployment to Iraq but were later stood down — had been “earmarked for Afghanistan”.

Downing Street is involved in discussions about a surge. An increase of about 2,000 would take Britain’s troop strength to 10,000. Any decision would require Cabinet approval.

Strikes me this is *not* the time to be sticking our thumb into an ally's eye.  After all, we're about multilateralism, sharing the burden, etc, right?

Just my two cents worth.


Pardon me but you mention Dutch tankers in your commentary.  From whence came they?  The Royal Marine spokesmen mentions Dane but no Dutch. I must have missed something.
Um, all euros look alike to me?  Simple error from being in a hurry.

Which you *could* have told me in email, but noooooooooooooooooooooooooo...
You don't understand, this isn't the ally we want.  We want to be allied with North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Vietnam.

I am of course using the "royal we" here.
Well in the 2-Euro Coin, at least The Scandinavian Countries are *er* Propagators of Europe,
That's just mean, Boq.

Funny, but mean.

8^ D
Sure it's mean,  Mean to the Danes and Northern Germans, who are literally under-the-gun, so to speak.
On the other hand, just keep the Finns out of it. For it is the Norges, and Swedes that are exerting The Soft Power.
Every time I send an email you tell me to put in the blog.  So I finally follow instructions and ...

Heh.  If you can't tell the difference... I'll just chalk it up to your source of commission and MOS.

Look, I'm like this because of the OCS guy I sit next too.   BTW, my commission is from the same source as yours, so...
BTW, my commission is from the same source as yours, so...  

Not true. You're the graduate of a blue-stained mental institution back east.

I'm a graduate of a manly, red-tinged Land Grant university in the heartland that historically commissioned Redlegs.

So there.
Both from the Close Cover Before Striking Correspondence Course?
No no.  I'm a literate non-smoker.  It was the ads in the back of comic books.

Jim is a grunt.  'Nuff said.

Huh. Seems articulate enough t' me... mention Dutch tankers in your commentary.

Live and learn. I'd always thought Afghanistan was landlocked.


Dude - you got time for all this snarkitude... izzit gonna also result in, oh, I dunno, a *post* or sumthin'?