Yet more criticism of the way things are done at the Ministry of Defence. Air Vice Marshall Martin Routledge raises serious concerns. These issue should be given serious investigation and put right:
Former member of RAF top brass says MoD should embrace benefits of unmanned drones and remote systems
Steven Morris in The Guardian: “The Ministry of Defence is not “agile” enough in investing in military technology that could save the lives of personnel in battle zones such as Afghanistan, a senior RAF officer said today.
Air Vice-Marshal Martin Routledge said processes were “too bureaucratic and unwieldy” to capitalise on fast-developing technology. His comments came after a government minister was forced to withdraw an admission that British troops lacked helicopters in Afghanistan.
Routledge, who has just stepped down as chief of staff for strategy, policy and plans at RAF HQ Air Command, was speaking at a conference showing the latest developments in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones.
He said drones could play a vital role in Afghanistan, in preparation for troops’ routes, though their detection of improvised explosive devices – weaponry planted by the Taliban that has killed many British troops in Afghanistan in recent months, including the bomb disposal expert Captain Daniel Shepherd, who died on Monday…”
Bad news from the ECB, Kevin Pieterson will be unable to play in further Ashes matches.
England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the npower Ashes series after undergoing surgery for an ongoing Achilles tendon injury today.
Pietersen was assessed by a leading specialist where the decision was made to undergo surgery which will rule him out of all cricket for up to six weeks.
ECB chief medical officer Nick Peirce said: “Following a consultation, involving scans and testing, with the world’s leading Achilles specialist Kevin Pietersen today underwent surgery on his right Achilles tendon.
“The operation involved a small incision and trimming of the blood vessels and nerves around the inflamed tendon and appears, at this early stage, to have been routine.
“Kevin will look to undertake a comprehensive rehabilitation programme to ensure there is no risk of recurrence. This is expected to be approximately six weeks but will be taken at an appropriate pace following constant review.
It now seems that Mugabe the man who appointed himself president of Zimbabwe has now to be known as the Supreme Leader. Thus with the blessing his of his fascist zanu pf party he elevates himself to a new height of lunacy. One might ask this Mugabe what is he supreme leader of – a country that he made a total economic ruin? A country that can only survive with generous handouts from democratic countries!
Alex Bell SW RADIO AFRICA
21 July 2009
Hopes that ageing dictator Robert Mugabe would be retiring soon have been dashed, after his party endorsed the 85 year old as ZANU PF’s ‘Supreme leader’, in a move that a leading political analyst has dismissed as unconstitutional.
The party’s Midlands Province Coordinating Committee made the resolution over the weekend, apparently ending the ZANU PF succession debate that observers have said threatened to divide the party. In May the ZANU PF politburo set up a committee to look into the issue of choosing new leaders for the party, a move that was seen as a sign the party was finally looking for a Mugabe successor. But Emmerson Mnangagwa, ZANU PF Secretary for Legal Affairs, who was also rumoured to be harboring his own presidential hopes, said this weekend the ZANU PF Midlands grouping had agreed they are satisfied and committed to Mugabe’s leadership of the party.
Thanks to Brett at Harrys Place for highlighting Gordon Brown’s talk to TED it is indeed well worth viewing.
I look forward to day when the collection of nobodys that sits in the House of Lords can be made redundant along with their titles. Lord Malloch Brown having said that there were not enough helicopters in Afghanistan has clearly had his ears pulled by higher authority and Lord Foulkes has disgracefully attacked and insulted Sir Richard Dannatt Chief of the Genral Staff and Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup Chief of the Defence Staff. Lord Foulkes of course won’t be seen heading out into Helmand province in an army Land Rover though he might use something similar for his shopping trips. I suppose Lord Foulkes is desperate for brownie points, the man is unaccountable and should be retired to a home somewhere near Kabul.
Minister Lord Malloch-Brown admits to Afghanistan helicopter shortage
Lord Malloch-Brown conceded that the Prime Minister’s future looked ‘bleak’ Photo: Geoff Pugh
Professor Michael Clarke, director of defence think tank the Royal United Services Institute, said Lord Malloch-Brown’s comments were an ‘astonishing’ challenge to the Government to rethink its Afghanistan strategy.
Lord Malloch Brown is to step down at the end of the month
Foreign Office minister Lord Malloch Brown has rowed back on comments made in a Daily Telegraph interview that the UK did not have enough helicopters.
Amid an on-going political row over resources, he had said “We definitely don’t have enough helicopters”.
But in a “clarification” issued by the Foreign Office, said there were “without doubt sufficient resources” for current operations.
The Lib Dems said he was “right the first time” and looked “dotty”.
In a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Wednesday morning, Lord Malloch Brown, who is stepping down as a minister this month, said: “It is important that I clarify the comments that are reported in today’s Daily Telegraph.
“On the issue of helicopters in Afghanistan, I was making the point – as the prime minister and commanders on the ground have also done – that while there are without doubt sufficient resources in place for current operations, we should always do what we can to make more available on the frontline.”
Lord Muppet otherwise known as Lord Foulkes of Cummlytown
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, I add my tribute to the fallen and to Henry Allingham. I am deeply grateful to my noble friend for her reply. Would she agree that in this media-dominated age, it is even more important than ever to maintain a united front in dealing with ruthless and cunning enemies such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda? Was she therefore surprised at the public comments of Sir Richard Dannatt and Sir Jock Stirrup, which threaten to undermine our effort in Afghanistan and give succour to the enemy? Could my noble friend consider gently reminding those gentlemen of the importance of loyalty, particularly when we are engaged in a very difficult war where victory is essential for the future safety of this country?
We are living in the 21st Century, the days of rule by aristocrats, nobility and gentleman farmers have long gone. Yet here we are, our parliamentary representatives now embark on an overlong break from 21 July 2009 to 12 October 2009. Such a long break is totally unacceptable, the general public is not getting value for money. I’ve no doubt that there will a few MPs engaged in local constituency business and as for the many?
Many of us want to see parliament modernized: this current state of affairs has to change and change soon.
This is gim news I hope Kevin Pieterson will be able to play in the third test but clearly his injury looks to be a problem:
“It’s an uncomfortable injury to have,” England coach Andy Flower said…”