This from La Vanguardia today 16th Dec, thought it might be of interest, as how the Army is seen from abroad. Quick translation by yours truly. [align=center] Will the last soldier switch off the light.[/align] The British Army is mired in Afghanistan through the political manoeuvres of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, but has a constantly diminishing number of effectives. HMs soldiers are going in thousands, sick of dying in wars that they do not consider theirs, of being far away from their families, lacking good pension, comfortable quarters, and pay which is considered insufficient, and not having the best tools to better their chances of survival in hostile situations. And when the soldier does not ask to be released he is being dishonourably discharged for drug consumption. Last year the equivalent of a battalion was fired for positives tests of cocaine, marihuana, and other prohibited substances, in a crisis which puts the Proud, and often Heroic, British Army at the same level of the Tour de France or The Big Baseball Leagues. The problem is particularly acute in the Infantry which annually tests 85% of its personnel, and has found that between 2003 and 2007 the number of positive results has risen from 1.4% to 5.7%. Chris Parker, an ex- member of the High Command explains, This is partly due to the enormous tension of being deployed in combat zones, but also is in part a trick to be sacked without completing the full contract. The Armed Forces of the UK are professionals, the men sign a contract and have to give a years warning in order to return to civilian life, while being caught out on drugs means an immediate discharge, albeit with a stained record. According to Major Justin Featherstone, Many of our young soldiers come from an environment (The Urban Ghettoes) where the consumption of drugs is socially acceptable and part of daily life. When they find themselves away from their families for periods of up to a year and a half then it is easy to give in to temptation no matter that the rules prohibit it. The Military High Ups have publicly expressed their disgust that the treatment of The Armed Forces receives from the Government, despite the sacrifices made in highly political wars in which London has opted to unconditionally follow the ultraconservative administration of the US, although many commentators consider that it raises the danger of terrorism rather than diminishing it, and therefore are counter-productive to the interests of National Security. With things as they are, the losses to the Army will remain higher than than the replacements. A difficult solution to solve, although the solution that the soldiers propose is quite simple: Raise in pay, better housing on military bases, shorter missions, correct pensions, and goodbye to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Accompanied by a photo of a tankie in his turret with the British flag and the following: The war doesnt appeal. The British Soldiers are leaving in droves, tired of dying in wars they dont consider to be theirs.