|Reports are coming out out of the UK press that a force of paras and the support elements (numbering 2,500 troops in total) are going to be deployed to the tribal areas of Southern Afghanistan late this year and early next year. Apparently, they are to be used to seize and destroy opium fields, rather than hunting down Taleban elements.
If this deployment goes ahead as suggested, perhaps this will be the first time that the UK will deploy its Apache helicopters. Do people think this is likely?
Also, does it seem likely that this deployment is the first step in taking a greater role in Afghanistan and taking over from the USA in the hunt for remaining Taleban and Al Quaeda forces in the region?
Finally, given their previous deployment, why aren't Royal Marine Commandos being given this task? Presumably their experience in the region etc. would give them a headstart over the Para's when it comes to this operation?