Wednesday, June 22, 2011

War-mongering policies split Britain

Source: Press TV

The ties between the UK military and civilian officials are increasingly becoming strained with the head of the army questioning the premier's plan to end the Afghan war.

General Sir Peter Wall, the Chief of the General Staff, warned that Prime Minister David Cameron may fail to meet the 2015 deadline set for ending combat operations in the South Asian country, British media reported.

The warning came after the Prime Minister publicly slammed military chiefs for calling into question the government's war strategy.

Cameron had angrily rebuked the heads of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Navy for questioning the Libya mission, saying “You do the fighting, I'll do the talking”.

In a Downing Street news conference on Tuesday, Cameron appeared clearly frustrated with reports of deepening concerns among senior military figures about the impact of the Libyan and Afghan wars on the country's armed forces.

General Wall suggested in an interview for Afghanistan “whether or not it turns out to be an absolute timeline or more conditions-based approach nearer the time, we shall find out”.

British army commanders are increasingly concerned that the deadline set for withdrawing will potentially jeopardise military progress against the Taliban.

Meanwhile, General Lord Dannatt, the former head of the Army, has warned against excessive haste, saying the Prime Minister should not “risk the investment in blood and treasure just for a domestic political agenda”.

The Prime Minister is also under mounting pressure over the operation he initiated in Libya in March. After more than three months and thousands of air strikes, Col Muammar Gaddafi is still in power and Cameron is facing questions about the costs of a prolonged operation.

One MP close to the Prime Minister said there was growing anger in Downing Street at the military chiefs' actions over the Libyan conflict.

He accused the top brass of trying to use the conflict to reverse cuts made in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).

This is while that Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the First Sea Lord, warned last week that if the Libyan operation continued into the autumn, ships would have to be taken away from other tasks.

Moreover, Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant said in a letter to MPs this week that "huge" demands were being placed on the RAF and morale among airmen was "fragile" as a result.

He said the RAF's ability to conduct future operations would be compromised if the Libyan conflict lasted beyond September.

And now, it is General Sir Peter Wall, who is questioning the 2015 deadline for withdrawing from Afghanistan.

The developments mean the country's armed forces cannot sustain such an immense pressure they are imposed by three consecutive wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

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