12 December, 2006

The human cost of Tony Blair's unfulfilled promises.

More evidence of inadequately equipped British servicemen being deployed on combat zones has emerged. The BBC reports that Sergeant Major Jeffrey Elson, of 2 Royal Tank Regiment has been telling an inquest, into the death of Sergeant Steven Roberts in Iraq, that Sgt Roberts may have survived if he had had the correct kit. However, three days before the incident Sergeant Roberts had to give up his enhanced body armour because of shortages. According to the Daily Telegraph,

Yesterday's inquest heard that the sergeant and other soldiers in his tank group had accepted the body armour order because they had been told "guys on the ground needed it more than us".
It gets worse. The BBC:
[Sergeant Major] Elson criticised the MoD's "just enough just in time" policy on kit distribution for servicemen going to war.

"The policy that the government has got is beyond what the soldiers can comprehend sometimes.

"During the Cold War, stores (of kit) were prepared just in case the Russians came screaming across the border. But that was changed.

"You do not get the kit on time to do your job. And troops do not have enough time to familiarise themselves with the pieces of kit before they get into theatre and have to use them for real."

During the Iraq war in 2003 he said troops in his squadron were forced to use masking tape to hold their body armour on.

Those not forced to hand back their armour altogether had to slot potentially life-saving protective plates into their pockets as they did not have vests needed to hold them in place.

He said most men had some items of protective kit but not all the necessary components.
How many times has Tony Blair told the lie that the troops have all the equipment they need, and, three years later, still the British army in Iraq and in Afghanistan is undermanned and under-equipped.

In Wednesday's Daily Telegraph, Con Coughlin lays into the MoD.
Another day, and yet another shameful example emerges of the Government's almost criminal incompetence in protecting the lives of soldiers fighting on the front line of Tony Blair's wars.

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