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Friday, September 15, 2006


Unintended consequences of appeasement

UK deployments in the "War Against Terror" have reached a level where the extra troops needed to stabilise Afghanistan cannot be found from within the British Army. The operation against the Taliban is, in any event, a multi-national affair run by NATO so one would expect the allies to send what help the stretched UK and Canadian forces require. Not So.

The BBC is reporting that NATO is struggling to find the necessary reinforcements of some 2500 men. Strange then that next March the British government is disbanding three battalions of specialist internal security infantry.

The duplicity in the governments' approach to terror is highlighted by the treatment of the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment. Trained men, ready to serve are being paid off at a time when their colleagues in 1RIR are part of the dangerously undermanned Afghan adventure. Why? Quite simply to appease Republicans and their fellow travellers.

I'm not suggesting that all three threatened battalions be retained and used as world wide service troops but that the RIR become a two battalion regiment. Both battalions would serve world wide with the "new" 2RIR being drawn from the current Home Service troops who wish to keep soldiering. This is both consistent with the recent Army reorganisation and the current military requirements. It is not, however, consistent with the political requirements of Irish republicanism. For that reason UK, Canadian and Polish troops are disadvantaged in the current fight with the Taliban. Perhaps they will drop Mr Adams a thank you card from Helmand.

Aren't you working on the assumption that teh home batallions would actually be willing to go to Iraq? If so, do you really think that that is that a fair assumption?
From my discussions with serving Home Service troops I would say that between 1/4 and 1/3 would be willing to serve world wide. As things stand they will be going to Iraq or Afghanistan anyway in the pay of private contractors so why not in the Queens' uniform?

PS how did the exams go?
Went pretty good PM thanks.

I'm sorry I'm not entirely au fait with the whole army setup - but wouldn't 1/4 to 1/3 leave near enough a batallion? If not, was the option to transfer to other regiments not offered?
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