Posts Tagged ‘War’

Afghan strategy ‘right’ – Brown

September 4, 2009 Leave a comment
Lunch with the Welsh Guards
Image by Downing Street via Flickr

The Prime Minister has presented a speeech at the Institute for Strategic Studies in London.  It is a clarification of the government’s position.

BBC NEWS: “Gordon Brown is giving a speech defending Britain’s mission in Afghanistan, a day after a ministerial aide quit over government strategy.

Labour MP Eric Joyce, a parliamentary aide to the defence secretary, resigned saying a time limit should be set on troop deployment.

The prime minister said he would not walk away, adding: “A safer Afghanistan means a safer Britain.”

He also said British military spending in Afghanistan was increasing.

Downing Street has been keen to stress that the speech was not a response to Eric Joyce’s resignation and had been planned for some time..”

BBC NEWS | Politics | Afghan strategy ‘right’ – Brown.

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Eric Joyce resigns from Brown’s government.

September 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Channel 4 News has released a copy of a resignation letter issued by the parliamentary private secretary to the defence secretary Eric Joyce. Clearly this will be a blow to Brown’s conduct of the war in Afghanistan. Eric Joyce rightly criticises government policy for failing to do its duty towards our military personnel.


As you may know, I told Bob Ainsworth some weeks ago that I intended to step down as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Defence Secretary before the start of the new parliamentary term. This seems to me the least disruptive time to do that. I have been privileged to work as PPS to four senior Labour ministers in four government departments and now feel that I can make my best contribution to the Labour effort in parliament by concentrating on helping, as a regular back-bencher, to show that Labour remains sound on matters of Defence.

Labour was returned to power in 1997 on the back of your great success in turning the Economy from a weakness into a strength for Labour. Our continuing success in helping people from all parts of society become more prosperous, while helping the least well-off most, is built upon that. More quietly, during the 90’s, Labour’s then shadow defence team showed how Labour had become, after the disaster of the early 1980s, ‘sound’ on Defence. It seems to me that your personal success on the economy won the deal in 1997, while colleagues at Defence sealed it.

We are now, I think, once again at a critical time for Labour and Defence. The Conservatives, of course opportunistically, think they can convince the public that we have lost our empathy with the Defence community. We must not allow this to happen. I know that you have great commitment to our armed forces and this was clear when you visited Afghanistan this week, yet there seem to me to be some problems which need fixing with the greatest urgency.

As you know, two Black Watch soldiers gave their lives during your visit. I do not think the public will accept for much longer that our losses can be justified by simply referring to the risk of greater terrorism on our streets. Nor do I think we can continue with the present level of uncertainty about the future of our deployment in Afghanistan.

I think we must be much more direct about the reality that we do punch a long way above our weight, that many of our allies do far too little, and that leaving the field to the United States would mean the end of NATO as a meaningful proposition. The British people have a proud history of facing such realities. They understand the importance of the allied effort in Afghanistan/Pakistan and I think they would appreciate more direct approach by politicians. We also need to make it clear that our commitment in Afghanistan is high but time limited. It should be possible now to say that we will move off our present war-footing and reduce our forces there substantially during our next term in government.

We also need a greater geopolitical return from the United States for our efforts. For many, Britain fights; Germany pays, France calculates; Italy avoids. If the United States values each of these approaches equally, they will end up shouldering the burden by themselves. The first place to start is an acceptance this week by them, and by the Afghanistan electoral authorities, that there must be a second round in the elections there. I do not think the British people will support the physical risk to our servicemen and women unless they can be given confidence that Afghanistan’s government has been properly elected and has a clear intent to deal with the corruption there which has continued unabated in recent years.

Most important of all, we must make it clear to every serviceman and woman, their families and the British public that we give their well-being the highest political priority. Behind the hand attacks by any Labour figure on senior service personnel are now, to the public, indistinguishable from attacks on the services themselves. Conversely, in my view we should allow our service personnel greater latitude to voice their views on matters which make distinctions between defence and politics pointless.

I believe the next election is ours to win, thanks greatly to your personal great economic success. But we cannot win unless we grip defence. Above all, Labour must remember that service folk and their families are our people. We say that we honour them for their risk, bravery and sacrifice and we must at literally all costs continue to show by our actions that we mean it.

I intend to do what modest amount I can to help from the back-benches.

Yours sincerely

Eric Joyce MP”

Tributes to ‘outstanding officer’

171 British service personnel of all ranks have given their lives in the struggle against various assorted Taliban bandits in Afghanistan. Many British military personnel have been serverly wounded and have lost limbs. We should all value their commitment and service to us all. We must not take out military service personnel for granted, the job they do is hard and worthwhile. In Afghanistan they give their lives for their country to help Afghanistan progress in reconstruction.

BBC NEWS: “The highest ranking Army officer to be killed in action since the Falklands War is one of the two latest British casualties in Afghanistan.The Ministry of Defence said Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, 39, from Oxfordshire, of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, died in Helmand on Wednesday.The head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, said he was “an outstanding commanding officer.”It brings the number of British deaths in Afghanistan since 2001 to 171.Trooper Joshua Hammond, 18, from Plymouth, of 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, died in the same explosion…”

Lt Col Thorneloe, who was commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, and Trooper Hammond died near Lashkar Gah when an improvised explosive device was detonated under their Viking armoured vehicle…”more

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President Barak Obama’s tribute to D-Day heroes

A LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) fro...
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Tributes were paid to the heroes of the D-Day Normandy landings on June 6, 1944 that eventually led to the defeat of nazi tyranny in Europe. President Barak Obama made a magnificent speech.

Let us remember Nazism is still with us here in our homeland and that we need to smash the Nazi scum in the anti-British BNP:

BBC NEWS: “Allied leaders have been paying tribute to veterans of D-Day, as they mark the 65th anniversary of the landings at a series of events in Normandy.US President Barack Obama said the bravery and selflessness of a few changed the course of a whole century.He was speaking alongside French, Canadian and UK leaders at the American cemetery near Omaha Beach, scene of fierce fighting on 6 June 1944.The Allies suffered 215,000 casualties on D-Day and in the Normandy campaign.Germany suffered similar losses as the Allies fought desperately up the beaches and into the French countryside to form a bridgehead…”

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N Korea threatens military action: BBC NEWS.

Dangerous times as the lunatic regime in North Korea threatens war.
. The recent news and developments from this bizarre regime is reaching an alarming level. Just how the world can respond to these latest threats is difficult to see.

Violence on the rise in DR Congo: BBC NEWS.

April 25, 2009 1 comment

The news from the Congo doesn’t get any better; the carnage, the suffering continues. The BBC News headline I find bizarre “violence on the rise in DR Congo” well BBC when was it never on the rise???

War, war, war is the Congo’s fate, abandoned by the UN; abandoned by the African Union; abandoned by France; looted by African gangster militias of one kind or another; looted by soldiers of the Congo Army; looted by corporations; the Congo is merely a playground for the scoundrels of Africa.

The cost is the constant suffering of the Congolese.

For God’s sake when will the people of the Congo enjoy peace and security?

BBC NEWS: “Civilians in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have subjected to escalating reprisals at the hands of armed groups, aid agencies say.

The atrocities, which include rape and arson, come amid continuing fighting between the army and Hutu militiamen.

In the Lubero territory in North Kivu 250 homes were been burned down in the last week, Oxfam said.

In Luofo, a nearby village, Hutu rebels are said to be conducting a house-to-house terror campaign.

Local authorities say rebels operating in the village, which is 170km (274 miles) from the regional capital, Goma, have been telling those they visit “you will all die”, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

‘Not enough peacekeepers’…”

For more see the link below;

via BBC NEWS | Africa | Violence on the rise in DR Congo.

Crisis in Sri Lanka – International Crisis Croup.

April 20, 2009 Leave a comment
Sri Lanka. Source: CIA

Sri Lanka. Source: CIA

For some time now a major crisis has been evolving in Sri Lanka as the government begins to deal with the menace of terrorism in regard to the Tamil Tigers.  The problem is that there are and have been occasions when civilians have been caught in between combatants and apparently the Tamil Tigers in common with terrorist organizations uses civilians as human shields.

Nevertheless, there is a responsibility on governments to protect civilians and clearly some doubts arise over whether the Sri Lankan government is doing this.  The UK’s noisy left was quite active during the recent Gaza conflict in making pro Hamas statements and protests and yet were deaf to the war in Sri Lanka, for some reason the left cares little for events in Sri Lanka!

More on this see the link below:

International Crisis Group – Crisis in Sri Lanka.