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Still watching the debate in progress. I may have misinterpreted this, but is this call up, a case of hurry up and wait?
Against this background, and to keep open a range of military options, I have today made an Order under Section 54(1) of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 to enable the call out of reservists for possible operations against Iraq. This does not mean that a decision has been taken to commit British forces to such operations. But it is an essential enabling measure to ensure that if such operations become necessary they will be properly supported with the skills and expertise that our reserve forces provide.
Following the making of the Order, the Armed Forces will issue Call Out Notices as required in order to mobilise those individuals who may be needed in the event of operations against Iraq. This process is likely to be incremental. The overall scale of mobilisation will depend on the continuing evolution of our contingency planning. It should also be borne in mind that experience shows that the number of Call Out Notices issued needs to be significantly larger than the number of individual reservists likely to be required. It would therefore be misleading, as well as undesirable for reasons of operational security, for me to give specific numbers or details at this stage. However, we envisage initially sending out sufficient call-out notices to secure around 1,500 Reservists, and we will issue further notices as appropriate. The Government takes seriously its duty only to call-out reservists when it is absolutely necessary. We understand the impact of call-out both on Reservists, and on their employers. I pay tribute to the valuable contribution they make to the overall strength of our Armed Forces.
I wish that these idiots who seem to think that they are at the helm of UK plc would get their fingers out of their arrses and make a decision.
All this tripe about "a range of contingency planning options" is all very well and good for the press, but it is getting a mite boring for those of us who are possibly in frame to go and ensure that Tony gets a Christmas card from Dubya next year.
Further to that it is beginning to have a seriously detrimental effect on our morale, the morale of our families and girlfriends and also on our perceptibility as a credible force.
There is much scope for the bean stealers to get this massively wrong if they are thinking about a light role Para/Marine force going along to do the fighting and letting the Armd Bdes follow up to do a bit of peacekeeping/enforcement that the Americans can't be bothered to do. Which do you think is riskier?
Option 1. 16 Air Asslt Bde and 3 Cdo Bde go in for a fight. 1(UK) Div sits on its arrse (either in Germany or the desert) and waits for "peace" to occur. The armour then rolls once the fighting has finished, probably after serious casualties have been incurred by the cabbageheads and the bird-poo.
Option 2. Gordon Brown is told to f*ck off, Geoff Hoon is kicked squarely in the nads and we get on with fighting the way it is supposed to be done - with some heavy metal. Once we've cracked it (albeit as a minor walk on part to the American blockbuster) our light friends can come along, put their hats (oops I meant berets!) on and do the "one bag of rice or two, Mohammed?" stuff.
To be honest either option is preferable to the pathetic manner in which this government is pussying around at the moment.
Funny old thing I am in total agreement with m'learned friend Dogmonkey:
the simple fact is that Tony B wants the UK to make a big contributions so that he looks big and improtant but all Uncle Sam wants is a few toms witha flag, along with similar contributuins from the other 50 or so countries asked to 'help'.
The only firm request from the US to date has been for 2,000 German troops to guard US bases in Germany.
Still, quite amusing that the Israelis told Bliar to shove his half-baked peace summit up his corn-hole.