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C4 News on Now Ref Blairs promise to the troops

Saw it. Agree with the pundit they had on at the end.... wait for tony to put his money where his mouth is! And that this should have started ages ago.

Would be nice to see them start doing something other than denying they need to do anything again!
AVM John Baird has been very supportive to the hercules foam campaign and very critical to the Govt. There are 2 hercules sitting on the pan at Marhalls. they have been over used and have run out of hours. there is no money to pay for the servicing in this financial year.

There are 8 SF Chinook helicopters sitting around collecting dust. they need £127m spending on them

PM put your money where your mouth is. Order that man next door to hand over the money.
This could be good, blair promises the troops and puts the nasty chancellor on the spot. Will he let the troops down or give them what Tony said they can have?

The journos I have spoken with can't believe Blair has made this promise, makes you wonder if it is a stitch up.

If you missed the report, C4 normally post it on their web site. I will look for a link.
I suspect they are about to climb down and give General Richards the 1,000-man rapid reaction force they promised him originally but it beats me how he will find the troops, or indeed any more transport helicopters. Could they lease some Chinooks from the Yanks perhaps?
Sky News

PM Told: 'Give Us Choppers'

Updated: 19:31, Saturday October 07, 2006

A British commander has called for more helicopters in response to Tony Blair's pledge to give whatever resources the forces need in Afghanistan.

Mr Blair had promised: "Whatever package they want we will do."

The Prime Minister had used an interview with the Armed Forces' broadcaster, BFBS.

Five years on from the start of military operations in Afghanistan, he hailed the forces' work as "extraordinary".

Mr Blair denied he was trying to play down the severity of the situation facing British troops.

He explained: "If the commanders on the ground want more equipment, more helicopters and armoured vehicles, that will be provided."

Brigadier Ed Butler, the outgoing commander of the British force in the southern Helmand province, said that extra helicopters would enable them to press home the attack against the Taliban.

Mr Blair: 'A just struggle' "Helicopters have always been top of my priority," he told the BBC.

"If we had more, then clearly we could generate a higher tempo, not just of offensive operations, but also to crack on with the reconstruction and development.

"Clearly, helicopters can't be grown overnight, nor can some of the other machinery so there's a prioritisation that will have to be taken."

The Ministry of Defence said that it was not aware of a request for more helicopters from Brig Butler, who hands over to Brigadier Jerry Thomas as the 3 Para Battle Group is replaced by the Royal Marines of 3 Commando Brigade.

An MoD spokesman said the marines were set to carry out a rapid seven-day review of the resources available to them to see if there was any additional equipment which they required.

Mr Blair also revealed there would soon be an announcement about improved terms and conditions for British soldiers on operational duty.
MSI64 said:
Sounds like a drowning man looking for a life raft to me.
Or is it his parting gift to Gordon?

Think about it. Gordon is known for his financial 'prudence' (see thight purse strings!), and now Tony has seen a chance to sock it to Gordon by forcing his hand. By making the grandstanding gesture of dedicating money for the armed forces, Blair has committed Brown to spending money. The decision will be delayed until Gordon is in power, and there is no way he is going to say no to such a popular issue. In essence, Blair has made one of Brown's first policy decisions for him! :D
eveyuk said:
Sky News

PM Told: 'Give Us Choppers'

The Ministry of Defence said that it was not aware of a request for more helicopters from Brig Butler, who hands over to Brigadier Jerry Thomas as the 3 Para Battle Group is replaced by the Royal Marines of 3 Commando Brigade.
Which rather begs the question whether or not anyone at the MoD has a clue what is going on in Afgahnistan at all! It really is not a statement calculated to gain the respect of our troops. Perhaps we could find some money by cutting a few spin doctors posts... :twisted:
Bloody false promise, he knows full well that airframes and crew are not available. Its another deployment where we go in without a thought for the consequences of our actions, and we will be sucked in just as the Russians were.
Of course the other side of the coin is that it really looks like Labour like to send to forces off without the equipment required to do the job, whenever they fancy looking like the international 'big man'.

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