19 September, 2006

Air Reinforcement(s)

New meaning is being given to the term "The Few". Offhand, I'm not sure exactly how many the Few were but it was certainly more than one which is the number of aeroplanes the RAF is sending to reinforce its existing squadron of six in Afghanistan. The BBC reports that

The move is a response to a "surge" in demand for close air support from British and other international troops fighting the Taliban, said a statement.
Let's hope it is a very small surge.

Any move which can save the lives of British servicemen is to be welcomed but this episode has the feel of an argument between the Ministry of Defence and the Treasury. Yet again the Treasury wins. It is a question of priorities and with this government those priorities are always electoral. As I've noted before, servicemen tend not to vote Labour, the public sector workforce does. So, while the plague of state under-employed functionaries swells by the day, the British Army goes into action undermanned and under-equipped.

Still no sign of the helicopters so desperately needed by the British Army.

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