Afghanistan: Troops are more important than political points

#1
Afghanistan: Troops are more important than political points
Telegraph View: General Sir Richard Dannatt is right to insist that protecting British soldiers is a higher priority than avoiding causing embarrassment to Labour ministers.

Published: 6:35PM BST 18 Jul 2009
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General Sir Richard Dannatt, the Chief of the General Staff, believes that one of his fundamental duties is to ensure that British soldiers are not required to sacrifice their lives unnecessarily. He thinks that when British soldiers are asked to risk their lives in a war, they should be adequately equipped for battle – and it is his responsibility to make sure that they are.
Although almost every decent human being would agree with him, there appear to be a number of figures in the present Labour Government who are unable to understand why the head of the British Army should think that protecting British soldiers is a higher priority than avoiding causing embarrassment to Labour ministers. When Sir Richard voiced his complaints in public over the dangers posed to our troops in Afghanistan by the shortage of both personnel and equipment, particularly the shortage of helicopters, one Labour minister, who has so far not been named, threatened that there would be an "offensive" to destroy the general's reputation. "General Dannatt is playing a high risk game", the minister said.
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