TCH statement now on MOD website

#2
Posted in entirety.

Copyright MOD 2004


Mr Speaker, with permission I would like to make a statement about the deployment of UK forces in Iraq.

There has been considerable speculation in the media over the past several days about the United Kingdom deploying forces outside its current area of operations in southern Iraq.

The only relevant fact is that the UK military received a request on 10 October from the US military command in Iraq for assistance.

Such requests and discussions between allies are routine. There is regular dialogue with our Coalition allies and with the Iraqi security forces on all aspects of operations in Iraq. Requests for assistance form part of these exchanges. The actual disposition of Coalition Forces in Iraq has been adjusted regularly since the end of combat operations. The Danish contingent, for example, has taken on a greater share of responsibility within MND(SE), and the Japanese have deployed a 500 strong contingent into the Dutch Area of Operations.

This particular request, if agreed, would involve UK land forces operating outside MND(SE). It is worth bearing in mind that Royal Air Force personnel have been operating over the whole of Iraq when required to support the Coalition, and that some British personnel are based in Baghdad to support Coalition operations. Other British land forces have previously operated outside MND(SE).

Iraqi security forces and Coalition forces have recently been involved in intensified operations to restore areas under the control of militants and terrorists to the authority of the Iraq Interim Government. Recent operations in Najaf, in Samarra, and in North Babil have been undertaken as part of this effort. The political process is moving ahead as a result of these actions.

This strategy is designed to increase pressure on and deal with those terrorists who are trying to prevent the rebuilding of Iraq, and who threaten the holding of free elections in January.

The US request is for a limited number of UK ground forces to be made available to relieve US forces to allow them in turn to participate in further operations elsewhere in Iraq to maintain the continuing pressure on terrorists. The request does not ask for UK troops to be deployed to Baghdad City, nor to Fallujah.

We are obviously considering this request. There are a number of issues that require assessment, including: timing; the length of the potential operation; command and control arrangements; logistics; and which forces would be the most appropriate to conduct the operation. None of these details have as yet been decided, and a UK reconnaissance team will deploy to the area tomorrow to provide further information which will inform the Chiefs of Staff. I expect the final recommendation from the Chief of the Defence Staff by the middle of the week.

All these factors require careful consideration. Once we have made a decision, I will inform the House in the usual way.

Speculation over the weekend has focused on the suggestion that the request is somehow political, and its timing linked to elections. I want to make clear that the request is a military request. And although it is linked to elections, it is not linked to the US elections, but with efforts to create the best possible security situation in which to hold the Iraqi elections in January.

A number of commentators have voiced concerns about UK forces coming under US command, and about rules of engagement. If we agree to this request, the arrangements will ensure that Uk forces have a specific task; they will be responsible for a particular area. There are no practical difficulties for UK forces operating alongside those from the US. Our forces are fully engaged with all of our Coalition partners at every level of planning. On a daily basis, UK forces work alongside forces from Italy, from Denmark, and other nations including Poland, the Netherlands, and Japan. This is a matter of routine and is an effective and practical way of ensuring coherence both in our own area and with those areas that surround it.

UK rules of engagement are more than adequate for tasks of the type envisaged. There is no need to adjust them. They will provide proper protection for UK forces, as they have during operations in volatile areas in our own sector, such as in Al Amarah.

It is worth noting that, as the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces develop, they will expand the areas under their independent control. As a result, Coalition forces will need to become more able to act flexibly in support of Iraqi security forces, as they in turn take on greater responsibility for the protection of Iraqi civilians and property.

The Government remains totally committed to holding free elections in January. And to seeing a government in Iraq that takes its rightful place in the international community, and one that delivers prosperity and a new future for the Iraqi people. This is something that should unite all sides of the House. It is right that the United Kingdom should do what it can to contribute to this fundamental strategic objective.
Sorry , I'm sure I heard someone say "considering"

That sounds like , "We are going to do this , and I'm just trying to soften the blow"
 
#4
PTP - has no one ever told you that you should take all statements by our wise, compassionate and malevolent leadership at face value?

Otherwise you might discover the truth before it's accomplished
 
#5
Hmmm.

UK recce team to deploy to the area tomorrow (Tuesday)
POD to provide recommendation (i.e. to say yes), by the middle of the week (Wednesday)
... and yet "these matters require careful consideration"!

I suspect that Bliar has already told the Chimp that he'll deploy BW, Grasping Gordon's probably got the Spams to pay for it, and TCH has just done as he's told.

Why can't Bliar 'carefully consider' his position and resign tomorrow
Followed by a General Election by the middle of the week?
 
#7
More from Grauniad's Audrey Gillan

"One evening I drove with British soldiers through downtown Basra, escorting a couple of American National Guards to the Basra Palace compound. Traffic was heavy, and the larger American sat twitching in the back. He wished he had taken the "chopper" the few miles up the road. An ambulance approached, its blue lights cutting through the darkness. A soldier up on top of our Land Rover waved the ambulance on. Peering out of the window on the back door, the American panicked: "Whoa," he said, "they should have shot that guy." No vehicle, ambulance or otherwise, can drive past a US convoy for fear of suicide bombers.

Back in the camp at Basra Air Base, I described the scene to a senior British officer, who sighed: "Don't they see it's a chicken-and-egg situation". It was an apt metaphor for the whole country. Until the violence stops, a new Iraq can't be built. Until a new Iraq is built, the violence won't stop"
 
#9
Escape-from-PPRuNe said:
More from Grauniad's Audrey Gillan

"One evening I drove with British soldiers through downtown Basra, escorting a couple of American National Guards to the Basra Palace compound. Traffic was heavy, and the larger American sat twitching in the back. He wished he had taken the "chopper" the few miles up the road. An ambulance approached, its blue lights cutting through the darkness. A soldier up on top of our Land Rover waved the ambulance on. Peering out of the window on the back door, the American panicked: "Whoa," he said, "they should have shot that guy." No vehicle, ambulance or otherwise, can drive past a US convoy for fear of suicide bombers.

Back in the camp at Basra Air Base, I described the scene to a senior British officer, who sighed: "Don't they see it's a chicken-and-egg situation". It was an apt metaphor for the whole country. Until the violence stops, a new Iraq can't be built. Until a new Iraq is built, the violence won't stop"
I'm surprised any self-respecting Gruarnd reporter would be seen in the company of illegal occupying invaders, sorry British Army troops :!:
 
#11
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3751794.stm


Geoff Hoon has said Britain will "have failed in its duty as an ally" if it did not agree to send UK soldiers to fill in behind US troops.
Mr Hoon was responding to a question from Lib Dem MP Jenny Tonge, who asked what penalties the UK would incur if it did not agree to the US request.

Earlier Mr Hoon had said no decision on deployment would be made before the middle of this week.

He stressed the decision was a military - and not a political - one.
Well, that answers that finally, and makes a mockery of "considering" :evil:
 
#12
TCH has just been on BBC News 24 and has said that he is 'waiting for CDS to make a decision'. Does this mean it's really up to CDS (who, on past experience, will make the 'correct' political decision), or is he just being set up, New Labour stylee, to take the blame?

The report mentioned that it was 55 minutes after TCH's announcement before any other MP supported him. All the usual suspects spoke against, and so did many of those normally loyal to the Reich.
 
#13
cdo_gunner said:
In reply to the opposition TCH also said... "there is no shortage of infantry battalions"

Would our infanteers agree with this?
Short and about to get shorter. Down to 36 battalions from 40 under POD's "restructuring" plan. Unless we're about to get drawn into a bigger arena and events drive a rethink.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#14
:evil: :evil: :evil:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3751794.stm


Geoff Hoon has said Britain will "have failed in its duty as an ally" if it did not agree to send UK soldiers to fill in behind US troops.
Mr Hoon was responding to a question from Lib Dem MP Jenny Tonge, who asked what penalties the UK would incur if it did not agree to the US request.

Earlier Mr Hoon had said no decision on deployment would be made before the middle of this week.

He stressed the decision was a military - and not a political - one.
THIS TAKES THE FCUKING BISCUIT !

"failed in its duty as an ally" !!!!!!

What on earth gives this low-life the ability to use words like 'duty' ?

He's got no more idea about 'duty' than kiss my arrse !

His idea of 'duty' is to ensure that Bliar has a regular hoop dhobie from the MOD.

I must be getting soft in the heid, but I didn't think this barstard could slither any lower. I am gobsmacked......

Is it against site rules to incite violence against individuals who are actively working against the health, safety and morale of Her Majestey's Forces ?

No ? Good. Please let him come to a range day, we'll see if his disregard for soldiers has affected NSPs. It will be the only time I could ever celebrate an ND.

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
 
#15
ViroBono said:
TCH has just been on BBC News 24 and has said that he is 'waiting for CDS to make a decision'. Does this mean it's really up to CDS (who, on past experience, will make the 'correct' political decision), or is he just being set up, New Labour stylee, to take the blame?

The report mentioned that it was 55 minutes after TCH's announcement before any other MP supported him. All the usual suspects spoke against, and so did many of those normally loyal to the Reich.
Listening to the debate, I was really struck by refusal of war supporters to support BW redeployment. Particularly Andrew McKinlay, of 'chaff' fame. Someone on BBC radio news made the same point, then ruined the impression of authority by apparently assuming that "reserve battle group" = "battalion of reservists". :roll:
 
#16
Sorry , I'm sure I heard someone say "considering"

That sounds like , "We are going to do this , and I'm just trying to soften the blow"
Not often I get to quote meself - Or have C4 News have the question as their lead :D

Superb interview between Jon Snow and TCH , do you think Hoon realised that he'd fallen into JS's rather nicely baited trap about "Risk"?

Congrats Buff , you just told everyone on the C4 news that BW are going. :evil:

Someone on BBC radio news made the same point, then ruined the impression of authority by apparently assuming that "reserve battle group" = "battalion of reservists
HAckle , I may be being dense , but who replaces our reserve?
 
#17
PartTimePongo said:
Someone on BBC radio news made the same point, then ruined the impression of authority by apparently assuming that "reserve battle group" = "battalion of reservists
HAckle , I may be being dense , but who replaces our reserve?
Maybe our US allies could help us out, PTP?
 

Latest Threads