Are we at war or not?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Dunservin, Oct 9, 2009.

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  1. During last night's 'This Week', the Beeb's TV programme on politics, Diane Abbott MP criticised Shadow Chancellor George Osborne for his use of the phrase "We're all in this together" at the Conservative Party Conference. I thought I might have misheard one of her statements but I've just checked on i-Player and she did indeed say around minute 38:14:

    I know we're having to fight on a reduced peacetime Defence budget and sometimes with a part-time Defence Minister but, with our troops being returned in body bags and on stretchers every day of the week, is this a time of war or not?
     
  2. It probably all depends on where you are. If some feckers is chucking live rounds at you in AFG and you are taking sustained cas over a long period then you are.

    If you are controlling the Westminister purse strings and playing the media then no!
     
  3. Doesn't there have to be formal deceleration of war against another country, and as we are not fighting a country but a group of terrorists/religious group it doesn't constitute a war but conflict.

    Please feel free to savage me at will.
     
  4. Perhaps she thought the rhetoric worked and was explaining why.
     
  5. New Labour have consistantly emphasised that the British military is "on operations" conducting a "mission" in Afghanistan. They have never made a serious claim to be "at war" - except maybe the "war against drugs".
     
  6. Which they are woefully underfunding.
     
  7. Diane Abbot is a moron of the first order. Her only talent is being black which she has made a career out of. She'd never have got anywhere otherwise. Utterly utterly useless.
     
  8. The Army might be but the country isn't. It was the traditional way of doing things right through the Imperial period.

    Just out of interest,when was the last time we were formally at war anyway? Falklands?
     
  9. Falklands wasn't a war either, that was a conflict. I think Korea or WW2 would have been the last time war was declared.
     
  10. Not even then, SAC. I remember the gov tying itself in knots to avoid use of the term "war": we were "at conflict". I know that there's some legal reason why it's a good idea to avoid formally declaring war on someone if you possibly can, but not sure of the exact details.

    Edited to add: beaten to it!
     
  11. Interesting question. Apparently, the last time was in 1942 according to the 15th Report of Session 2005–06 of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution (link):

     
  12. I'm not sure about Korea as I think it was UN. Don't the 'Articles of War' have to be signed to be a war? I know there is one nation that we are still officially at war with because we never signed an armistice but i can't remember which one.
     
  13. If you listen to the rest of her words, she was explaining why she thought Osborne's statement wouldn't wash.
     
  14. It is considered War, if there are more than 1000 casualties per annum according to what I have been tought regarding spectrums of conflict. The declaration of war is merely a legal nicetey.
     
  15. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Deleted for double post (thanks, DII-F)