I’ve not been following the activities of British forces in Helmand, but in light of Joshua Foust’s piece on Barok Taloche, a couple of months ago, this story from UK Media Ops’ Helmand Blog is very much reassuring.
It concerns the actions of 2 Para and an 80-strong counter-IED team in the Afghan village of Char Coucha. The only information about the action is from the blog. The team dismantled nine devices and recovered a large cache of other weapons and component parts for IEDs.
IEDs are a valuable tool for the insurgents in Afghanistan. They slow down (and necessitate) clearing operations. They are crippling for the all-important ‘momentum’ that NATO forces are trying to maintain.
The painstaking work undertaken here meant that the villagers were able to return to their village. This is perhaps a more appropriate way for counterinsurgency operations to go about securing ‘hearts and minds’.