UK: New UK General had this to say about the war and he has a good chance of ticking everyone off. Yes, I know the title seems odd, but his entire list of comments, some I don't agree with is interesting to go thru.
|TONY BLAIR’S foreign policy was in tatters last night after the head of the Army said that the continued presence of British troops in Iraq was responsible for bloodshed at home and abroad.
The scathing comments by General Sir Richard Dannatt directly contradict the Prime Minister, who has repeatedly claimed that the invasion of Iraq played no role in galvanising Muslim extremism in Britain and bringing about the 7/7 bombings.
Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, last night ordered Sir Richard to report for a meeting at the ministry this morning where his future will be discussed.
Sir Richard, who took over as the Chief of the General Staff from General Sir Mike Jackson in August, appeared to give no warning to Mr Browne or the senior hierarchy at the Ministry of Defence before making his comments. In an interview Sir Richard said that the continuing presence in Iraq of 7,200 British troops was “exacerbating the security problems” and said they should come home soon.|
Interesting part about the lack of Christian values being defended against a predatory Islam.
|Sir Richard even linked the presence of British troops in Iraq with the growing Islamic extremism taking hold in Britain. He said that failure to support Christian values in Britain was allowing a predatory Islamic vision to take hold. “When I see the Islamist threat in this country I hope it doesn’t make undue progress because there is a moral and spiritual vacuum in this country.”
Sir Richard also condemned the treatment of injured British soldiers who had been forced to share wards with civilians at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham. His remarks were particularly surprising since the most senior officials of the MoD’s defence medical services briefed journalists yesterday that wounded troops who had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan were receiving the best possible treatments. But Sir Richard said that it was unacceptable for “our casualties to be in mixed wards with civilians”.|
Sir Richard has pissed off some people in his command in Iraq.
|General Sir Richard Dannatt came under fire last night for his outspoken comments from sections within the Army, of which he is in overall command.
"I think that his remarks about us being part of the problem are a little inaccurate," said one senior serviceman in Basra.
Another senior officer who returned from Basra in the past few days could barely hide his anger.
"In the past few weeks we are beginning to have a positive effect on the local population but we realise our time here now is limited," he said. "These comments are hardly good for morale."
But Sir Richard has shown that he is fearless of the political impact in speaking out – in stark contrast to his predecessor, Gen Sir Mike Jackson – as the Army's top soldier.
Within a few days of becoming Chief of the General Staff, he was able to articulate what his supposedly tough predecessor failed to say during three years in office.
Sir Richard is said to be a quiet, considered, brave, intelligent and focused man whose life was said to be singularly affected after a near fatal incident at the hands of the IRA while serving in the Green Howards in Northern Ireland.
In an interview just a few days into his new job in August, he dared to suggest to his political masters that fighting a war on two fronts was going to dent the Army.
With a few choice words, he swept away the inertia of the Jackson years by warning the politicians and public that the world's foremost Army was close to breaking point. The Army was "stretched" and "running hot", he said. But Sir Richard's comments last night appeared to cause division in the Army, and defence sources questioned what effect they would have on the morale of his soldiers who have to continue serving on Operation Telic.
Troops believe that they have begun to make a substantial difference to the lives of citizens in Basra in southern Iraq after the launch of Operation Sinbad. This has concentrated on taking back the predominantly Shia city district by district.
The city now has street lighting at night for the first time since the 2003 invasion and water is running almost permanently. All schools are fully open to girls and boys and good relations have been built with local politicians, the police chief and city governor.
Liam Fox, the shadow defence minister, said: "It is unusual to see such a senior officer be quite as candid as this although not quite as surprising as it might seem at first.
"Troops on the ground have been saying they are becoming less and less welcome. I think there needs to be a balance so that senior officers are not just going to be rubber-stamping government policy but they should be listened to as well." |