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January 12, 2011


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Did you spot Richard Norton-Taylor article on Sherard Cowper-Coles' foreign affairs committee evidence yesterday? A few quotes:

"then head of the army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, had told him in 2007 that, if he did not use the battle groups coming free from Iraq in Afghanistan, he would lose them in a future defence review."

"In the eyes of the army, Afghanistan has also given our forces the chance to redeem themselves ... in the wake of negative perceptions, whether or not they were justified, of the British army's performance in Basra."

"the "supply-side strategy" was reflected in the policy of rotating entire brigades through Helmand every six months. He said ministers were reluctant to question military advice for fear of leaks to the press suggesting they were not supportive of the troops."

"I remember the RAF producing a paper arguing for Tornado bombers to be sent to Afghanistan, even when Nato ... made clear that the one category of weapons system [it] did not need more of was ground-attack jets."

"I cannot help remembering an RAF movements officer in Helmand showing me a pie chart of British helicopter movements in southern Afghanistan ... 27% of the helicopter movements were for moving VIPs around theatre. ... And most of those VIPs were senior military tourists from London."


This just gets worse and worse.

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