MoD denies casualty cover-up.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by armchair_jihad, Sep 21, 2006.

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  1. AN ARMY major serving in Afghanistan has claimed that the true casualty figures for troops in Helmand province are being covered up.

    Major Jon Swift said in a regimental newsletter that soldiers were being patched up and sent back to fight without the injury being recorded, while combat missions were being launched for political rather than military reasons.

    The officer, serving with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers attached to 3 Para Battle Group in Afghanistan, made the claims in a newsletter posted on a Ministry of Defence website. The posting had been taken down last night.

    He wrote: “The scale of casualties has not been properly reported and shows no sign of reducing. Political and not military imperatives are being followed in the campaign.”

    The Ministry of Defence denied Major Swift’s claims, and said that there had been a “glitch” on its website that had resulted in casualty figures not being kept up to date.

    Last night the ministry’s website was showing casualty figures from January 1 this year to July 31 only. According to its figures, 37 British military and civilian personnel had been wounded in action. Another 40 had been admitted to medical facilities for non-battle injuries.

    A spokesman said: “There’s no cover-up on casualty or fatality figures.” He added that Major Swift, who is still serving in Helmand, had been spoken to by his commanding officer.

    The criticism emerged a day after Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, admitted that British troops were operating in conditions that went “beyond the bounds of stamina and endurance”.

    Article in full,,2-2370004,00.html
  2. bump being carried on other bullitins
  3. Installing real player now so have prob missed it. Darn!
  4. no its all available on the radio 4 web site - it just led the 1800 news. Good piece. Should be popping up on the 2200 news as well.
  5. AJ have you found a crack in the PRC's great fire wall, :wink:
  6. napier

    napier LE Moderator Reviewer

    While I am glad that this is now in the public domain, I just hope the wider publication of what was an internal Fusiliers' newsletter doesn't cause grief from above to someone I know to be a fine officer.
  7. PM program

    Fusiliers Major John Swift quoted at lengh 'scale of casualties has not been correctly reported'

    all casualties treated in theatre and not returned to the UK are not counted etc etc.[/quote]

    What a courageous man Major Swift must be.
    My judgement is that he is concerned primarily about 'the soldier', the soldiers he is privileged to command - this is his first, and all important responsibility.
    If what is reported is true, then I salute Major Swift.
    Sadly, there will be those who assume the major is expressing a personal political opinion.
    When I worked, in a very junior post, in MOD, the 'Casualty Branch', in conjunction with Manning and Record Offices was a vital part in the reception and dissemination of casualties of ALL descriptions. Now these units are lumped together (a decision of Mr Heseltine) in Glasgow, it is possible that an over-arching power controls the 'statistics' - statistics in this context equals wounded soldiers.
    Whoever governs this nation in future must understand that the British Army exists to protect, in the name of The Sovereign, and are not to be sent willy-nilly in pursuit of personal political aggrandisment.
    It is an appalling state of affairs when a 'leader' of a nation, with so many problems to be solved - health, education, infrastructure, pensions - should spend so much time posing on the world stage. May the next leader spend some time here in GB. A hope I hold as likely to be realised as winning the Lottery.
    David Llewelyn Davies
  8. Major Jon Swift is a courageous man, with a very strong duty of care ethic.
  9. Hello Armchair

    I started a different thread on the same subject - too dozy to have seen your post. Its still leading the R4 news bulletins but not hitting the other news outlets (last time I checked).
    Hope to God the Major gets the credit he deserves for looking after his men.
  10. Interesting test of Regimental system ahead.

    Will Regimental Chain of Command loyally and energetically back the man, or mark the writer up as 'Boys Whipping, MoD for the Use Of, Quantity 1'? Dammit - he was writing for in-house, regimental family circulation. :!: :?: (Were I in Ladbbroke's right now, I know what I'd bet on - and it isn't good!)

    RHQ didn't have to publish it, did they, even for internal Regimental consumption, so if wrist-slapping or worse is in order, where should MoD look to apply the cane? Author or Editor? :?:

    If report is accurate, ought MoD to apply cane at all? :?: :?: :?:

    Other questions:

    Who leaked it to Press Johnnies? A Fusilier? Another cap-badge? Serving or Retired? Same ex-RRF CO who raised issues of failure to implement ground-to-air IFF after Gulf War 1, perhaps?

    Why leak it - for reasons foolish, mischievous or benevolent? (Whichever way, courage to raise head over parapet now would be mark of true gentleman). :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:
  11. Yep, but I wouldn't bet on him getting to go to Staff College now.
  12. Made the last quarter of BBC news 24, in the last hour. The government (intentional small 'G') will now have to give actually give figures rather than the usual casual brush off. I am hacked off with hearing about a low casualty rate we all know what the truth is time someone demanded the info readily available from the MoD. The areas to look at have been named in a multitude of other threads, journalists go get em, incidentally why not ask the other countries to supply the information for the number of Foreign Military and their nationality; that they have treated?
  13. Sounds like just the sort of honest chap that is needed at the College of Knowledge. Obviously he cares for his men over and above his personal advancement - unfortunately this appears to be a rare quality these days as the narrow promotion pyramid squeezes tighter and encourages personal advancement over genuine leadership in some cases.
  14. napier

    napier LE Moderator Reviewer

    He's already been.
  15. On CEEFAX at 2200: Concern over Iraq Casualty figures is Page 105 (3rd from top), along with 2 other Iraq/Afg stories.

    Top Gear presenter injured in hi-speed crash is on page 113.

    Meanwhile - over on BBC1:

    Torture in Iraq is story No 1.
    Top Gear presenter injured in hi-speed crash is story no 2.

    Fecking journos:
    Kick one and they all fecking limp!!

    I mean he's a nice guy, I'm sure - but is he more important than a fecking war. FFS FFS FFS FFS :x :x :x :x :x