Operations in Afghanistan - Defence Committee Contents

3  Military operations since 2009

McChrystal counter-insurgency strategy

68. In June 2009, General McChrystal, the then US Commander of ISAF in Afghanistan proposed a new counter-insurgency strategy:

    NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) requires a new strategy that is credible to, and sustainable by, the Afghans. This new strategy must also be properly resourced and executed through an integrated civilian-military counter-insurgency campaign that earns the support of the Afghan people and provides them with a secure environment.

    To execute the strategy, we must grow and improve the effectiveness of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and elevate the importance of governance. We must also prioritize resources to those areas where the population is threatened, gain the initiative from the insurgency, and signal unwavering commitment to see it through to success. Finally we must redefine the nature of the fight, clearly understand the impacts and importance of time, and change our operational culture.[84]

69. President Obama approved the strategy and the deployment of more troops in November 2009. The revised counter-insurgency strategy subsequently approved by NATO emphasises security of the local population and the ultimate need to hand over responsibility for security to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). To deliver the strategy, troop numbers were increased by 30,000 US personnel and 10,000 personnel from other members of the coalition (including 500 from the UK), bringing the total ISAF force to some 150,000 by the end of 2010. In June 2010, General Petraeus replaced General McChrystal as Commander of ISAF Forces but continued to pursue his predecessor's strategy. He will be replaced as Commander by General Allen in July 2011.

70. The strategy was formally adopted by Afghanistan and the coalition at the Lisbon summit in November 2009.[85]

71. We welcome the adoption of the counter-insurgency strategy by the coalition and recognise that, for UK Forces, it was a continuation of its previously adopted strategy although this had been badly under-resourced. It seems to us that the two crucial aspects of the revised strategy are the decision to put the security of the local population at its core and the acceptance of the need to hand over responsibility for security to the Afghan Government and the ANSF. We also recognise that the McChrystal Strategy could not work without the accompanying surge in troop numbers.

72. Air Marshal Peach told us in November 2010 that the UK Forces had the correct force levels and that they were working closely with the ANSF:

    We have the correct force levels now in terms of what we call force density for the tasks that we are undertaking in central Helmand in three key districts, where the force level, [...] is around 9,500. Those tasks have evolved since 2006, when it was an initial deployment. As that deployment has developed, so has the geography. There has been a steady increase in the number of troops deployed; there has been a steady increase in the understanding of where we are and what the local conditions are; and there has been a steady increase in force density to understand what we need in that counter-insurgency for that part of Afghanistan. That assessment varies by district; it is quite different across the whole of Afghanistan.

    We can honestly say that we have the force density for the tasks that we now need, [...] The task is now increasingly to bring this partnership—this integration—of not just civil and military effect, but of leadership of the Afghans. That has grown from mentoring at unit level, through support at battalion level, to support at brigade level in the past year. There has been a steady process of evolution since the Afghan Forces started to be developed a few years ago. I am very confident of that assessment. Of course, situations change, and the situation could change again in future, and we must be cognisant of that.[86]

73. General Richards told us:

    Have we learned the lessons of 2006? Force ratios[87]? We had 3,000-odd in 2006, today it is just under 11,000, as the Secretary of State for Defence recently said in Parliament. Britain has the best force ratios in Afghanistan at the moment—indeed, we are the envy of the Americans, which is worth reminding ourselves of as they increasingly have a very difficult challenge in the east of the country.[88]

74. General Parker told us that the UK Forces had the right number of troops but needed the ANSF to complement UK efforts:

    Yes. From an ISAF perspective, the South has just about got it right, but we mustn't be complacent. The effective growth of the ANSF is critical to start to complement what we have. As far as the British are concerned, exactly the same philosophy applies: we must continue to grow an effective ANSF. I could not commend highly enough the Afghan National Police training organisation in Helmand. These are really important to continue to put as much high-quality Afghans among our people as we can.[89]

75. The USA, as part of the surge, has 30,000 troops in Helmand and some improvements are starting to materialise. But, as all admit, ISAF still faces huge challenges. General Petraeus, Commander ISAF, has stated that they have got the inputs right but that challenges still remain.[90] In March 2011, the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), ISAF Regional Command (South West) and the Regional Platform (South West) of the US Mission to Afghanistan jointly prepared a report entitled the Helmand Annual Review 2010. The report stated that in Helmand:

    Challenges remain, and the situation is still fragile. With ISAF and ANSF working together, security forces have sufficient numbers and capabilities to prevent the insurgents from destabilising the central Helmand districts, but a small number of insurgents can exercise a disproportionate influence on the public through intimidation and assassination.[91]

76. General McChrystal and others have made it clear that the military surge has to be accompanied by a political surge. We have not taken evidence on the political and diplomatic work in Afghanistan and in the surrounding region but we recognise the intimate relationship between the political and military parts of the strategy.

77. General Richards told us he was optimistic that the conditions were right for success in Afghanistan although he stressed the need for political engagement:

    The enemy—the Taliban—will continue to attack. The question is how we respond to it and increasingly can the ANSF shoulder the burden? So far, things are looking good, although I am sure there will be setbacks during the year.

    I know we are often charged with being overoptimistic. What we have always said is that if you resource the operation properly, then you have a chance of succeeding. We can only set the conditions for other actors, but particularly in the political sphere, and I personally have been banging on about the need for strong political engagement for years—we have all known this. But it will not be until September, October, November, after this full year of the surge on the back of a pretty active winter campaign, that we will really be able to see whether it is beginning to come good. All the indicators as we sit here seem to be positive, but we are the first to be cautious and not to want to fall in the trap of over-optimism.[92]

78. We consider that it is vital that NATO, ISAF and UN Missions and the international alliance succeed with this latest strategy in both political and military terms. We note the progress already made and that training and support arrangements may have to continue for some time after the withdrawal of combat capability. [See Part 6 for further discussion on withdrawal and transition arrangements.]

Command and control arrangements in an international coalition

79. There are significant complexities involved in working in an international coalition, especially one of 47 countries who provide varying numbers of troops within a NATO chain of command. The role of NATO is crucial in Afghanistan. Whilst the USA is effectively the lead nation in the coalition as it supplies the most troops and the most military assets, the contribution of other nations is fundamental to success both politically and militarily. When asked about how such a large coalition works, General Parker said the following:

    It is important to recognise that in military terms the US is effectively the lead nation. Therefore, automatically, there is a deferral to them, because they bring the greatest amount to the operation. Having said that, because the military culture is pretty consistent across all those nations, people fit into that well. Provided they believe that they are reasonably represented, there is no great challenge in the military sense in managing the Coalition. However, it is something that one has to work on all the time.

    Working on behalf of both General McChrystal and General Petraeus, I have found that getting nations to reflect their grand strategic policy inside the theatre-strategic decision-making process was quite difficult. I would hold fortnightly meetings—I chose to—with the senior national representative of the eight principal nations, and it was sometimes difficult to get a dialogue going with them over things where we needed to understand what their capitals were thinking in order to be able to shape the military theatre decision making. It works much better than it might appear, because there is a lead nation. There are eight principal nations that we need to corral, but that is hard work and we need to do it better.[93]

80. Professor King told us that there had been an incoherence and lack of power in the centralised NATO command from 2006 to 2009.[94] General McChrystal's introduction of an ISAF Joint Command in 2009, to give greater clarity to the command and control arrangements, allowed him to tell people what to do rather than to ask and co-ordinate forces.[95] General Parker also told us that the introduction of the ISAF Joint Command had been an important development:

    On the system, he introduced the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan, [...] and importantly the ISAF Joint Command. He broke the theatre strategic and operational levels apart to give greater clarity to the command and control that was necessary. That was manifested in a much more directive command. He told the people what to do and where to do it. He elected to undermine the insurgency in the South. His predecessors had only ever been able to co-ordinate and ask. That was absolutely nailed by the introduction of additional forces [...] that gave General McChrystal the opportunity and the ability to operate in a more aggressive and forceful way in those areas where he wished to do so. That was when he started to undermine the insurgency in the South.[96]

81. Professor Farrell told us there had inevitably been tension between the US Marines and the UK Forces in Helmand but these had been resolved by the Commander of Regional Command South West.[97] General Richards told us that UK military relations with the USA were central to success in Afghanistan and were excellent although he had had some concerns about their relationships with the US Marines in Helmand, which have now been resolved:

    US relations are excellent. You have three officers here among many in the British Armed Forces who have been engaged in sustained military operations for 10 years. I know Dave Petraeus, Bill Caldwell and Jim Mattis. They are all friends of ours, so, at the very highest level, relations could not be closer. I and CGS had General Mattis in our offices yesterday, and General Rodriguez, who is the IJC Commander, is a very good friend of ours, too.

    At the lower, tactical level, the US Marines have been outstanding in the way that they, first of all, went into Helmand alongside us, and now are running that regional command. The relationship between our forces and theirs, which we were a bit worried about at one stage, because we were not certain about it, is also outstanding, so I have absolutely no worries about our relationship. Indeed, it is very important to us to preserve that relationship as a strategic requirement, because its strength is central to our ongoing success.[98]

Command and control arrangements for UK Forces in Afghanistan and the role of the Permanent Joint Headquarters

82. General Parker was sent to Afghanistan as the UK National Contingent Commander and the deputy Commander of ISAF in September 2009. General Parker said that the post of UK National Contingent Commander had been created to achieve a greater understanding of the critical nature of influence in Kabul. But he had not been given sufficient resources to do the job as actively as he would have wished:

    My professional opinion is that we do not yet understand the theatre-strategic level clearly enough in the British Armed Forces. There needs to be a greater understanding of the importance of the decision making that takes place, in this case in Kabul. The linkages between Kabul and the grand strategic or military strategic decision making in London need to be clearer and better understood. I believe that that was a reflection of why I was sent out as the National Contingent Commander, although I don't believe I was given sufficient resource to do the job as actively as I needed to. There is a need for greater understanding of the critical nature of pulling levers in Kabul because you can pull as many levers as you like in Helmand, but it won't make any difference to the way that the campaign is being run by the big command level. That is very important.[99]

83. When asked about how the UK chain of command works, General Parker said that he believed that there was a role for PJHQ to deploy, sustain and recover forces but not a command relationship—command should rest in Afghanistan:

    I was not in a position to deploy, sustain and recover a very complicated British Force. There is no way that that could have been done effectively in Kabul. In my current job, where I am generating the land element of this force, I need to feed it through an organisation that can consolidate it, can ensure that what is being done is correct, and then deploy it and sustain it effectively. I firmly believe that there is a role for the Permanent Joint Headquarters to deploy, sustain and recover, and it needs to understand what's going on, but I think we should look carefully at its true pure command relationship because it cannot influence decisions that are made inside the Coalition in Kabul.[100]

84. Air Marshal Peach, Chief of Joint Operations at PJHQ explained that operational control is now delegated forward to Afghanistan:

    Operational control of the force is delegated forward to Afghanistan, so command in that sense is exercised in Afghanistan through the national contingent. That is held, [...] by a British three-star general forward in Kabul, who is also double-hatted as the deputy commander of the international force. Operational command sets the conditions and enables command.[101]

85. General Parker said that he felt that the UK Armed Forces misunderstood the importance of hierarchy and the need for clarity in the chain of command:

    My professional observation is that we misunderstand the importance of hierarchy. I am concerned that we may have allowed brigadiers to make decisions that are beyond their capacity or capability. I feel very strongly that, when we operate in a coalition environment, we must still make sure that there is a hierarchy of wisdom within the UK commitment that ensures that the right decisions are made. We did not have such clarity at the two-star level in the chain of command during our early days in Afghanistan. [...] I think that it is very important that we support the perspective that allows us to make really difficult military judgments about capability and tasks.[102]

86. Professors Farrell and King both reported that the introduction of a "two star" command of Regional Command South, in the person of General Carter, had improved the command of operations in Helmand:

    Professor Farrell The point [...] of my previous study, "Appraising Moshtarak", was that we tend to lose sight of the fact that we deployed a proper divisional headquarters for 6 Division in RC South. RC South was then the centre of the whole campaign, it was the main effort. We had, for the first time, a proper divisional headquarters running the campaign. There is clear evidence [...] of command leadership going down into Task Forces. So you invariably had tension between the Marine Task Forces and Task Force Helmand, the British Task Force, over who would do what and who would get which resources. For the first time, instead of the Task Force commanders sorting that out between them, you would have General Nick Carter, who was the superior commander, coming down to say, "No, that is what's going to happen."[103]

    Professor King  There was an incoherence, a lack of power, in the centralised NATO command from 2006 to 2009. The centralisation of power into the regional commands has been extremely important. For a clear example of that, compare Operation Panther's Claw last summer with Operation Moshtarak. [...]

    Overwhelmingly, the Helmand [...] is operating in accordance with the overarching campaign plan that really General Carter developed, and predominantly autonomously.[104]

87. In our inquiry into the Strategic Defence and Security Review, we asked General Wall about the provision of "two star" headquarters following the cuts in the SDSR, he told us

    We would certainly be able to do one at a relatively high readiness. Generating a second to take over from it will, in future, require a bit more warning than was required in the past.[105]

88. We welcome the introduction of the role of the UK National Contingent Commander and the "two star" headquarters for Regional Command South. We also conclude that the command and control arrangements for operations in Afghanistan in 2006 were deficient. Following the review of the operational role of PJHQ, we require a clear description of the revised command and control arrangements for Afghanistan including the role of the PJHQ and its relationship with headquarters in theatre. We recognise the importance of having a readily available and capable "two star" headquarters for these types of deployments and are concerned about the reduction in the number of such headquarters following the SDSR.

Armed Forces personnel

Harmony guidelines

89. The Armed Forces have been involved in the two major theatres of Iraq and Afghanistan since the early 2000s. They have been operating above the previously determined Defence Planning Assumptions for much of that time. This has necessarily put pressure on Armed Forces personnel. Harmony guidelines[106] have been breached significantly for many years. We recognise that the percentage of personnel for whom harmony guidelines have been breached has been falling since the withdrawal from Iraq, however, such guidelines are still being breached for some pinch point trades. And with operations in Libya, pressure will again mount on Armed Forces personnel.[107] The numbers of personnel for whom harmony guidelines are being broken (as at October 2010) are six per cent for the Army; three per cent for the Royal Air Force and one per cent for the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines. These average percentages are still high in most Services and the levels for some pinch point trades are considerably higher.[108]

90. We recommend that the MoD make greater efforts to reduce breaches of harmony guidelines for all personnel and take these breaches into account when deciding which trades and groups of Armed Forces personnel should be subject to redundancies.

91. The MoD does not record centrally how many Armed Forces personnel have been on multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq and other operational theatres. Such information is vital to allow the Armed Forces to judge the load on individual personnel. We recommend that this information is collated and should be considered alongside breaches of harmony guidelines when judging the pressures on the Armed Forces, and on individuals when deciding on posting.


92. Transporting troops back to the UK, for mid-tour leave and at the end of their tour, is very important. The role of the airbridge is also critical in deploying the force and providing equipment and supplies. The MoD recognises that there have been problems with the effectiveness of the airbridge. Air Marshal Peach said that the MoD took the return of troops to the UK very seriously. During the volcano ash cloud in 2010 it had, for example, deployed ships to get troops back and few people had been delayed.[109]

93. General Capewell told us that the performance of the airbridge had improved but there was still a gap caused by shortage of aircraft:

    [...] The joint commander has just conducted a major relief in place between two brigades [...] In broad terms, if the judgment of whether this airbridge is successful is the achievement of the transfer of military authority at the right time and the right place, that mission was a success.

    In so far as the downstream replacement of VC10 and increasingly obsolete Hercules aircraft, there is SDSR work in place now to address the spending round requirements to look at that gap. Some of that gap is to do with the delivery from commercial contracts of new aircraft, which can be solved by spending. Some of that gap is to do with the retrofitting of theatre-entry standard defensive aids suites, which I am not prepared to go into. Some of that gap is simply to do with the management of the fleet across the national requirement, so it is being looked at.[110]

We look forward to seeing the results of the work being done to improve the effectiveness of the airbridge. In the meantime, we recommend that the MoD negotiate with allies to permit the use of their resources to plug any gaps in the airbridge.

Support for operations

Close air support

94. Close air support in Helmand is being delivered in an integrated approach from the Royal Air Force, the Army Air Corps and the Fleet Air Arm, with the US Marine Corps. Air Marshal Peach told us that the UK's contribution could be singled out for its accuracy and precision and is being used with discernment in line with the policy on courageous restraint:

    Close Air Support by aeroplanes and Close Air Support by aviation helicopters are complementary. The Close Air Support delivered by the Apache helicopter in an integrated fashion with the US Marine Corps—with their own helicopter gunships—is important, as is air. The UK air contribution is delivered by the Tornado. The Tornado has a range of options of weapons; [...] the Close Air Support delivered by Tornado has been singled out a number of times for its accuracy and discretion. I mean discretion in the sense of being able to discern what is going on on the ground before lethal force is applied. I know both of those statements would be supported by NATO commanders.

    [...] So, it is a team effort; it gets better all the time; and it is applied with discernment, not only in the sense of rules of engagement, but in the sense of understanding what is going on on the ground before lethal force is applied. In other words, there is courageous restraint being applied from the air to the ground. I think the UK's contribution can be compared to any in that regard.[111]

95. We recognise the importance of close air support and the skill and bravery of those providing it. We would like confirmation from the MoD that the Armed Forces in Afghanistan now have access to sufficient and timely close air support.


96. Helicopters are a critical component of operations in Afghanistan. General Capewell told us that the UK Forces had sufficient helicopters in Afghanistan, in particular, with the delivery of further Chinook helicopters:

    If you spoke to any commander today on the ground they would say the same as I am about to say. There are sufficient aviation assets across the whole range of helicopter requirements to deliver the mission.[112]

97. The MoD told us that since November 2006, it has doubled the number of battlefield helicopters and increased the number of helicopter flying hours by 140 per cent (October 2010) - achieved through an increase in the number of aircraft and improved logistic support. Further helicopters have since been delivered to theatre.[113] We are conscious that our predecessor Committee was told in previous inquiries that UK Forces have enough helicopters only to discover subsequently that this was not true. We are not convinced that UK Forces yet have access to sufficient helicopter hours. We recommend that, in response to this Report, the MoD set out how the new helicopters delivered into theatre have impacted on the availability of helicopter hours, any outstanding delivery of helicopters and how much reliance and use we are making of helicopters from the USA and other countries.


98. Our predecessor Committee has raised concerns about the availability of the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability. When we asked General Capewell about the availability of ISTAR he told us that the MoD was making substantial efforts to ensure that the ISTAR requirement was properly resourced and that the networks required to handle the increase in information and intelligence were also increasing. He also said that the intelligence architecture was properly centralised and controlled by the Americans as its capacity and technology was substantially greater than the sum of the other nations. He also told us that bandwidth was increasing but that it was never possible to have enough bandwidth.[114] General Parker said that bandwidth had been an issue up to 2009:

    There have been some remarkable advances. In 2009, when I came in, it was poor. I think we have shown a capacity to increase our bandwidth, thank goodness, which allows us to operate in a much more effective way. Fusing information in order to stay on top of it is critical. I believe that the culture of communication in my part of the Armed Forces is wrong. We have to take a very different approach to communication [...] and it is in that culture and that attitude, the willingness to use the sorts of technology that are available to allow us to communicate today, that we have to change the way we do our business.[115]


99. The tactics and equipment required in any campaign are to some extent dictated by the methods of the enemy. General Jackson explained that the Taliban had moved from direct fighting to the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which had changed the need for equipment:

    [...] If you recall, in the first two summers the Taliban took us on, basically using fire and manoeuvre—small arms, basically—and each and every time, they were defeated tactically. We can discuss whether any operational-level progress had been made, but they were defeated tactically. It took them rather longer, looking back, than one might have expected, but they obviously thought very hard, particularly after the second summer, 2007, and said, "We're not going to get anywhere taking on the British soldiers at what they do best; ergo we will find another way." That brings us to the IED. That changes priorities on our side. Armoured vehicles suddenly go right up in terms of priority, because that is the way you protect the force. As I've already touched on, the dispersion put a greater premium on helicopters. Tactics and equipment will vary according to the operational circumstances. One has to respond. Ideally, you need to be one foot ahead, but that's not always possible.[116]

100. General Capewell told us that the IED had become the weapon of choice for insurgents and terrorists globally and that the UK took the threat very seriously:

    [...] I think it is also fair to say that it's only in the last four or five years that we have institutionalised an approach to this internationally. I can give you an example: there is a counter-IED Task Force in NATO now. Each nation has a counter-IED Task Force. It is institutionalised across NATO and, particularly in the US and the UK, we have very regular sharing of expertise and technological exchange, which deals with this not only in a technological sense, but in an upstream threat sense—the intelligence required to deliver against this—as well as the defensive techniques required in theatre.

    The Prime Minister announced £67 million in June [2010] for the counter-IED piece. £40 million of that has gone to EOD teams and the Mastiff vehicles. £11 million has gone to remote control vehicles and some of the residue has gone to military working dogs.[117]

101. We were told by the MoD that the Warthog, a tracked armoured vehicle which is better protected, was delivered into Afghanistan in 2011. The Warthog replaced the less capable Viking which had less capacity.[118]

102. We recognise that the Taliban continues to change its tactics and methods and that the extent of the use of IEDs has changed and developed since 2007. However, we believe that the MoD did not respond quickly enough to these challenges as they developed. We continue to be concerned about the time taken to get a suitably capable vehicle fleet into theatre. Protecting Armed Forces personnel is a critical duty of the MoD. We recommend, in its response to this Report, the MoD explains how current equipment levels are providing the Armed Forces with the necessary protected vehicles, body armour and counter-IED support. The MoD should prioritise the protection of personnel when considering the funding of such needs that emerge in the future.

103. The MoD told us that contractors provide valuable support to the Armed Forces on operations and that they have shown impressive resilience. Despite the reliance on contractors, the MoD does not collate figures on contractor injuries or fatalities.[119] We recognise that civilian contractors provide valuable support to the MoD. We require that the MoD should monitor and report on casualties of contractors working on behalf of the UK Government.

Funding and costs of operations in Afghanistan

104. Conventionally, the financing of the additional costs of operations, including urgent operational requirements (UORs), has always been met by the Treasury from the General Reserve. In 2009-10, the MoD and the Treasury agreed that any expenditure above the estimate for UORs predicted before the start of the financial year would have to be repaid to the Treasury two years later. The MoD did not overspend in 2009-10 and so need not repay any money in 2011-12.

105. In 2010-11, the MoD and the Treasury defined a new concept - urgent defence requirements (UDRs). The MoD told us that UDRs were requirements which met most of the UOR criteria but were not theatre specific and will have an enduring utility to Defence. It also told us there were no plans to extend the arrangements for UDRs into 2011-12. For 2010-11, the Treasury provided the MoD with £150 million for UDRs which it will have to repay in full in 2012-13. To date, the MoD has approved £53 million to be spent on upgrading Chinook helicopters, improving information and communications services and procuring additional surveillance and target acquisition equipment.[120] It seems to us that the convention under which all additional costs of operations should be met from the Treasury reserve has been breached with the introduction of the concept of 'urgent defence requirements' and the requirement to pay back expenditure on UORs over the estimate. We recommend that the classification of UDRs be dropped permanently and that the MoD be not required to pay back expenditure on equipment needed on operations. We would like confirmation that all additional costs for Afghanistan are being met and will continue to be met from the General Reserve. We seek a similar confirmation for the costs of the Libya operation.


106. The MoD does not know the full financial cost of operations in Afghanistan. The additional costs of operations in Afghanistan such as required equipment, allowances and fuel are met from the Treasury Reserve. Other costs such as salaries and training are met from the MoD's budget.

107. Expenditure on additional costs by year from the start of operations in 2001-02 to 2009-10 are set out in the table below. The MoD estimates that a further £4,436 million was spent in 2010-11 of which £1,496 million were capital costs. This brings the total estimated additional costs of operations in Afghanistan to 31 March 2011 to some £14 billion.[121]

Table: Additional costs of Afghanistan since 2001-02 to 2009-10


















Resource187 23636 58148 5601,071 1,6552,330
Capital34 7510 951 178433 9681,491
Total 221 31146 67199 7381,504 2,6233,821

Source: MoD memorandum[122]

108. The MoD does not collate financial information by activity and, therefore, cannot accurately calculate the full costs of operations. However, we do not accept that it is not possible for the MoD to estimate the full costs of operations in Afghanistan. Whilst we recognise that the MoD cannot calculate accurately the full cost of operations, we nevertheless ask the MoD to provide us with a broad estimate of the total costs of operations in Afghanistan. We also ask the NAO to do a study into the level of costs of Afghanistan.

84   General McChrystal: Commander's Initial Assessment, 30 August 2009, www.media.washingtonpost.com Back

85   NATO Lisbon Summit declaration 2009 Back

86   Q 164 Back

87   Force ratio is the ratio of troop numbers to population  Back

88   Q 694 Back

89   Q 257 Back

90   General Petraeus' talks to RUSI 23 March 2011 and 15 October 2010, www.rusi.org.uk Back

91   Helmand Annual Review 2010, www.mod.uk/aboutdefence/corporatepublications Back

92   Q 699 Back

93   Q 236 Back

94   Q 94 Back

95   Q 229 Back

96   Q 239 Back

97   Q 93 Back

98   Q 694 Back

99   Q 240 Back

100   Q 240 Back

101   Q 137 Back

102   Q 261 Back

103   Q 93 Back

104   Q 94 Back

105   Oral evidence taken before the Defence Committee on 11 May 2011, HC 761-iii, Q 238 Back

106   Harmony guidelines are the MoD's desired maximum time that Armed Forces personnel should spend away from home on operational deployment within a given timeframe. The definition is different for each Service. Back

107   Qq 173-174 Back

108   Ev 198-199 Back

109   Q 198 Back

110   Qq 197-198 Back

111   Q 195 Back

112   Qq 184-187 Back

113   Ev 183 Back

114   Q 202 Back

115   Q 270 Back

116   Q 536 Back

117   Q 181 Back

118   Ev 200 Back

119   Ev 200 Back

120   Ev 206 Back

121   Ev 179 Back

122   Ev 179 Back

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Prepared 17 July 2011