Cuts put troops in danger.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hansvonhealing, Aug 6, 2006.

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  1. The Sunday Times August 06, 2006


    Cutting costs 'put troops in danger'
    Michael Smith

    A COMMITTEE of MPs will this week accuse the government of putting soldiers’ lives at risk by cost-cutting and by lack of planning for the aftermath of the Iraq war.
    In its first examination of Britain’s post-war performance, the Commons defence select committee will be highly critical of the way the operation has been run. The report on UK operations in Iraq says the British deployment has been “cost-led rather than needs-led” and failed to take account of how equipment shortages and failings affected troops on the ground.



    The equipment failings include inadequate armour on the “snatch” Land Rover which has led to the deaths of 18 soldiers from roadside bombs.

    One member of the committee said last week that the evidence they had heard also suggested that senior officers had failed to stand up for the forces’ needs in the face of pressure from politicians.

    Although the report will not criticise senior officers directly, the MP added that “some people in the command structure were clearly prepared to say anything just to keep things right for Blair”.

    The criticism from MPs of the lack of preparation for the aftermath of the war comes amid increasing concern about the failure to send sufficient troops to Afghanistan.

    The small numbers of troops to cover a vast area and the lack of helicopters has led to troops being stranded in remote outposts short of rations and water. Recent calls from commanders on the ground for more troops and helicopters led to just 200 extra infantry and two more Chinook transport helicopters.

    But the RAF is so short of Chinooks that one of them will not be sent until next month, while the other will not be available until October.

    Additional reporting: Peter Almond

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2300770,00.html

    How many warnings does this government need?
     
  2. ...and this in the Telegraph Opinion

    Spent Forces
    (Filed: 06/08/2006)

    During his time as Prime Minister, Tony Blair has also sent British soldiers to Africa and the Balkans. Yet while making ever greater demands on the British Army, he has also reduced its budget by more than £3.5 billion in real terms over the past seven years. Unlike other public services, which have had money lavished on them, the Army has seen its resources wither.

    The budget cuts are now starting to bite. The military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned out not to be peace-keeping missions but wars requiring the sacrifice of much more blood and treasure than was originally envisaged or planned for. Even those who think that the presence of British troops in the Middle East and Central Asia is a terrible mistake accept that the soldiers who are sent to fight there should be properly equipped and be given the resources they need to do the job.

    That, however, is not what has happened. British soldiers have yet to be issued with armoured vehicles that provide proper protection; there are not enough effective helicopters to support infantry missions; and even the boots issued to the infantry cannot cope with the tough, desert conditions of southern Afghanistan.

    As we report today, British troops in Afghanistan are, according to their officers, "on the brink of exhaustion". Reinforcements are desperately needed but, thanks to the contracting size of the Army, none are available. Unless Mr Blair ensures that our Armed Forces are given the resources they need, the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are destined to be exactly what their opponents say they are: deadly monuments to his vanity and folly.


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;jsessionid=W0XVFAPVCECWJQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/opinion/2006/08/06/dl0602.xml
     
  3. I particularly like this comment...


    I wonder if there will be a round of quiet resignations if the press start to dig deeper and name names?
     
  4. Cuts didn't do anything.

    I asked beebs and she said he told her a big boy did it and ran away.

    (it's my birthday, I can get away with it)
     
  5. Well the cutbacks whilst asking ever more of us thing has been known for years.

    Those alledged senior officers who have just played lap dog should be named and shamed. Standing up for the Army and telling the government what we need is part of their job surely, top cover for the lads.