Reevesey's recommended reading

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Why did Labour not order the helicopters needed when we were fighting in Iraq?

One thing coming out of the Iraq inquiry, is the admittance by Minister after Minister that there were not enough helicopters for our troops in Iraq.

Now, if there wasn't enough then, how on earth could Gordon Brown constantly defend the helicopter numbers when Nick Clegg asked at Prime Ministers Questions week after week, when where the Government going to put enough helicopters into Afghanistan?

Simple arithmetic shows if there were not enough in the illegal war in Iraq, and then you move troops immediatey, and sometimes concurrently, into Afghanistan there were less helicopters!

So, why does the government continue to say there is enough?

In July at PMQ's Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was claiming British strategy in Afghanistan was "over-ambitious in aim and under-resourced in practice".

But Gordon Brown insisted Britain did have the resources "to do the job" and helicopter numbers had increased 60% since 2006 but now as we see and hear, that 60% increase was from such a low starting base.

The row continued into October last year when Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe, 39, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, died in a roadside bombing.

In memos leaked by an official to Tory MP Adam Holloway, a former officer, Col Thorneloe said too many trips were by road, leaving forces vulnerable.

The government had denied an absence of helicopters had led to any deaths in Afghanistan.

Bob Ainsworth went on to defend the government and said "We know the value of helicopters on operations and that is why we have increased the numbers and types, improved engines and almost doubled flying hours."

He also said additional Merlin helicopters were being deployed and more Chinook helicopters would be sent during the coming year.

I think that in 30 years when Cabinet papers are released we will see that the Labour government acted, but too slowly and too late and we are still denying our troops the correct and up to date equipment to fight the battles we ask them to fight.

I appreciate we are asking the government to tighten it's belt rather than this continued wild spending, but we must not ask our troops, who are all hereos, to do the job we pay them to do with sub standard equipment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Related Posts with Thumbnails