Britain’s war in Afghanistan has, since 2006 , focused on Helmand Province
in the south of the country. Under Operation (Op) HERRICK, the codename
for Britain’s overall military campaign, forces were deployed into Helmand to
provide security for the development of governance, services, and infrastructure.
The British military soon found themselves drawn into a bloody struggle
against insurgents for control of the province. In the Battle of Maiwand in
, the British Army suffered ignominious defeat at the hands of a Helmandi
army.1 It came close to doing so again. However, superior skill, firepower, and
gritty determination enabled British troops to cling onto their positions across
Helmand. Then, from 2007 on, the British military gradually adapted to the
demands of the campaign. This chapter explores that painful process.