Saturday, 26 June 2010

Make 26 June 'Bring The Troops Home Day'

Today is Armed Forces Day and in Cardiff, as well as in army towns around the country, the PR exercise devised by Labour to boost support for unpopular UK military operations overseas returns for another year.

The war that even Prime Minister David Cameron is beginning is realise is unwinnable, but is still prepared to spend £4bn every year on dragging out until 2015 whilst millions of people face savage cuts, is of course Afghanistan. According to the Armed Forces Day website, "we are operating there successfully, with lots of other countries, to provide a more stable and secure Afghanistan to help ensure a safer Britain and world". Who really believes this is true? Not the head of the UN monitoring mission on the Taliban, who says the British army is making security worse and there's no hope of an Afghan army being trained to take its place.

The UN also says that military operations are increasingly dangerous for soldiers as well as Afghan civilians. If those attending today's Armed Forces Day events are really concerned about the 'showing their support' for British troops, perhaps they should be asking why British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan at almost four times the rate of their US counterparts, and double that which is officially classified as "major combat".

This miserable war clearly isn't operating successfully and isn't bringing stability or security, It isn't making Britain any safer and it is likely to end in humiliation and negotiations with the Taliban anyway. Sacrificing hundreds more lives and even more injured and maimed may delay the inevitable but it achieves nothing more.

There are millions of people in Britain who would want to spare more military families that misery and suffering and that's why it really is about time we started marking 26 June as 'Bring The Troops Home' Day, rather than the shameless public-relations exercise arranged for today.

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