Aye right Gordo,more lies you two faced twonk!


BRITISH troops in Afghanistan won’t have enough armoured vehicles until the end of next year, senior military commanders revealed yesterday.

They admitted that the shortage of vehicles “constrains” the role of forces on the frontline.

Some soldiers are arriving in the war zone without having been trained to drive or maintain the growing fleet of new vehicles.

The admissions came the day after Prime Minister Gordon Brown claimed troops have got whatever kit they wanted.

On Tuesday he told the Labour Party conference: “British forces will always have all the ­equipment they need and the best support we can give.”

But senior officers said there will be a time lag of more than a year before all the necessary armoured vehicles arrive in Afghanistan.

Britain has lost 218 personnel in the war there in eight years, many to roadside bombs.

It currently has 9,000 personnel in Afghanistan – up from 8,100 earlier in the year. It is considering increasing the force to 10,000 as part of a US-led surge.

But Brigadier Kevin Abraham, head of Joint Capability, said of the vehicle orders: “Current ­delivery is for a force of 8,100. We are also providing vehicles for an anti-improvised explosive device task force of 200 people.

“We expect the vehicles to be delivered by spring 2010, with ­significant deliveries between now and the end of the year.”

Asked about getting enough vehicles for the actual force of 9,000, Brigadier Abraham said: “We have not got contracts with industry. The target date is the end of next year.”

He said commanders can “mitigate” for the shortage of vehicles by “constraining the role” of their forces. He also admitted that the training fleet of new vehicles in the UK was only about 50 to 60 per cent of what was needed. He said: “People have arrived in ­theatre in the past without ­training but that sort of thing is much reduced.”

Brigadier Gordon Messenger, who commanded 3 Commando Brigade in Afghanistan, said there is a “process in place to deliver” the military’s needs.

But if troops were not properly trained to use the equipment, then “frankly I’d rather not have it”.

Britain has committed ­ £1.25billion since 2006 to new vehicles such as Cougar Mastiff, Ridgback and Snatch Vixen.

Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox said: “Once again the courage and professionalism of our armed forces stands in stark contrast to the cowardice and incompetence of Gordon Brown and his Government.

“Failing to have enough equipment to allow troops to train on before operations is bad enough.

“To abandon our armed forces without the equipment they need and deserve for over a year is quite simply staggering.”

The Lib Dem’s Nick Harvey said: “From the delays in getting new armoured vehicles to ­Afghanistan to the continuing chronic lack of helicopters, our troops on the front line have not been given all the kit they need.”

I The Royal Navy is running at "minimum capability" and can take no more cuts, its top commander warned yesterday .

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, speaking as the armed forces face a defence review, said the Navy tackles drug runners in the Caribbean and piracy off Somalia, serves with Nato and protects UK fisheries, but is doing so "at minimum cadre of capability."

Similar threads