Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Legend Of The Gurkhas Continues In Afghanistan

Cpl Deepak Gurung, 28, of 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles, is a popstar in his native Nepal, but is this year deployed to Helmand province fighting the Taliban Photo: Ben Farmer

How The Gurkhas Are Fighting The Taliban With A Smile -- The Telegraph

The Gurkhas are making a big impression on the people of Helmand province, but will that be enough? Ben Farmer reports from Afghanistan.

The Gurkhas have become the latest weapon in the battle for hearts and minds in Afghanistan. Recently, a gaggle of dusty boys and girls warily approached the unfamiliar figures resting in a ditch shaded by fig trees. Five minutes later they were giggling in the late afternoon sun, joking with the legendary Nepalese soldiers.

Southern Nahr-e-Seraj, in the notorious Helmand province administered by the British, was last summer the battleground of the bloody Panther’s Claw offensive. Eleven British soldiers died in fighting to secure a corridor from Helmand’s capital, Lashkar Gah, to Gereshk, its economic hub. The offensive tried to extend the writ of Hamid Karzai’s ineffective national government so it could bring health, education and justice to Helmand’s residents.

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My Comment: It is good to know that some traditions still hold in the British military.

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