19 November, 2006

Afghanistan troops denied protection by MoD

The Mail on Sunday is saying that Brigadier John Lorimer, a senior army commander due to command British troops in Afghanistan next year, cannot have the armour he wants. This is despite an assertion by Tony Blair that the army will get all the equipment it needs.

A senior Army source told The Mail on Sunday last night: "The denial of John Lorimer's operational requirements shows how empty Blair's words were.

"The Taliban are certain to launch a major offensive in Helmand next spring and the Brigadier wanted the extra armour to protect his men. No chance, as his requests were rejected in their entirety.

"Officers in 12 Mech Brigade see this as as a dereliction of duty by Defence Ministers. Lorimer still hasn't been given an explanation. One can only assume it's to do with lack of availability, equipment shortages and cost-saving."
Scandalous, yes. Surprising, no. I will add the MoD's response when they get it on line.

Update 20.11.06

From the Mod Defence News
A newspaper reports that the army officer who will command British troops in Afghanistan next year, Brigadier John Lorimer, has been told that a request for additional equipment and troops has been denied. No decisions about the force package for Afghanistan in 2007 have been taken and no requests have been turned down. Brigadier Lorimer said:

"Suggestions that I am angry or frustrated are simply not true. I have conducted my reconnaissance and made recommendations. I am perfectly happy that those are being considered in the normal way and I am closely involved in that process."
A classic non-denial denial.

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