Thursday, September 01, 2011

Troop Numbers to be Cut; Ghurhas Treated Differently (Again)

Someday I hope somebody can explain this government to me. We have troops in Afghanistan and Libya, yet they want to cut numbers? There were mooted threats to use troops in the recent riots, yet they want to cut numbers?

Though the MoD says that the troops in these geographical areas will not be affected, who will replace them if the conflicts and peacekeeping duties continue for an extended period of time? Saying they will not be affected is misleading.

And what about troops to aid in violent civil unrest; one thought during the riots was that troops would need to be used because of the reduction in police numbers due to cuts (something we were told would not happen). But now the MoD is to reduce the number of our armed forces as well. Where is the logic? Where is the sense?

One could take a cynical view and consider that with an increasingly disillusioned police force and armed force (though in my view the distinction between the two is becoming blurred somewhat) they might be willing to support a violent rebellion, much as happened in Russia in 1917. Is that the government’s real fear?

And the government’s view that the cuts are necessary because of a £38 million ‘black hole’ left by the previous government also has me questioning the logic of these cuts. When did our armed forces become a profit making concern? Any money spent on defence goes into a so-called ‘black hole’. Once again, the choices are cuts or taxes. We all know which side of the fence the Tories fall on.

But the most heinous aspect to these cuts is the disproportionate cuts the Ghurkhas will bear. Defence officials claim this greater burden is necessary because of the changes to the Ghurkhas terms of service fought for and won in 2008. This gave them similar terms as the rest of the army. Except, it appears, when it comes to cuts.

They go on to say it is more expensive to employ them. Sorry, misrepresentation; it is more expensive to employ them that it was when their terms of service were unjust; it is now no more expensive than to employ any other soldier in the British army.

This just oozes ‘revenge’; it screams payback; it is as unjust and unfair as treating our bravest, most loyal troops as second class ‘Johnny Foreigners’.


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