British Commanders Irked as US Dismantles Bases in Afghanistan

US, British Row Comes to a Head During District Handover

Spelling the official end of four years of fighting, British troops have withdrawn from the Sangin District of Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, and have handed over the district to American forces. But it has also renewed a row between US and British commanders over tactics in the district.

Because one of the first things US troops are going as they move in is to dismantle and abandon a number of their smaller patrol bases and center their operations around a few of the major bases.

“It’s a hard pill to swallow that the Rifles put so much sweat and blood into establishing these patrol bases only for them to be dismantled by the Americans,” one of the officers complained.

In fact officials also said the American commanders were openly ignoring their advice, and that the tactic they’re going with is one the British already tried, unsuccessfully. The two sides have been trading accusations over the inability to make serious inroads in Sangin for weeks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.