Gordon Brown refused a request for a troop surge in Afghanistan that left U.K. forces fighting "with at least part of one arm" tied behind their back, the former head of the Army has confirmed, according to The Times of London.
General Sir Richard Dannatt said that a call for 2,000 extra troops was rejected earlier this year, and since then the Taliban have stepped up attacks in Helmand province, where another British soldiers was killed yesterday, the 220th since the U.S.-led invasion of 2001.
In an interview with The Sun newspaper as he takes up his new post of Constable of the Tower of London, Sir Richard said that he was disappointed with ministers’ support for the Army.
“The military advice has been for an uplift since the beginning of 2009. If the military says we need more troops and we can supply them, then frankly they should take that advice and deploy up to the level we recommend," he said.
“If it means finding more resources and putting more energy in, let’s do it. If you’re going to conduct an operation, you’re doing it for a reason – to succeed. Don’t let’s do it with at least part of one arm tied behind one’s back.”
He added: “That said, we have gone from 8,000 to 9,000 this year, albeit with 700 as a temporary surge.”
Sir Richard, who retired in August as Chief of the General Staff, first revealed his request for a troop surge during an interview with The Times in March.