ME and Ophelia

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Down with Gordon Brown!  
Former British commander in Afghanistan says 
Treasury is crippling war

Brigadier Ed Butler

(Heathcliff O'Malley)

Brigadier Ed Butler, who says the Treasury has hampered the British campaign in Afghanistan

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The British military operation in Afghanistan was crippled by a spending cap imposed by the Treasury, a former senior officer told MPs yesterday. Brigadier Ed Butler, who commanded 16 Air Assault Brigade in Helmand province in 2006, told the Defence Select Committee that the financial constraints meant that the Army could “just about hold the line, but couldn’t sustain a higher tempo” in its campaign against the Taleban.

The brigadier resigned his commission last year, claiming that he wanted to spend more time with his family. But his premature resignation was widely acknowledged to be in protest at the handling of operations.

His brigade suffered high casualties during its six-month tour. Thirty-five members of the Armed Forces died during the brigade’s tour of duty, although 14 of these were killed when an RAF Nimrod caught fire in mid-air and exploded.

Many soldiers who were killed by enemy action died in isolated outposts such as Musa Qala in northern Helmand where the Taleban launched multiple attacks on the district centre, which was being guarded by only a 30-man platoon.

Brigadier Butler told the committee that in 2006 the Treasury had “capped” resources available for the operation, limiting funding to £1.3 billion for a “three-year campaign”. The Government has always denied imposing a cap on resources for the mission. “There was a Treasury-imposed cap on the number of troops we could have in Afghanistan,” he said.


Blair should have taken a leaf from Thatcher's book, and gripped the Treasury. She wouldn't have them in her War Cabinet during the Falklands War. But Blair didn't have her guts. He allowed Brown to have his way and the soldiers suffered as a consequence.
Julian Thompson, London, UK

Two Words: EURO FIGHTER. Those magic two words solve all Brigadier Butler's problems. The total cost of the Euro Fighter program to the UK is 180 Billion of which we have yet to see a working fleet of planes a decade after it began. Thats about 6000 helicopters, two for every solider in Afganistan.
George, southampton, UK

Lions led by Treasury donkeys. You cannoy dig a hole without a shovel. Give the military the tools and men and they WILL do the job. If we cannot afford the human and financial cost, AND WE CANNOT, get out now. Don't make the boys fight one handed. People, remember this when you vote next year. 

CD, Kabul, Afghanistan

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# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 6/10/2009
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