I am not too happy about how the government views the deployment to Afghanistan, Simon Jenkins is also getting rather hot under the collar about it. I also find it rather distasteful that the government says that more troops will be sent if needed but that no request has so far come.
This is an abuse of the relationship between the military and the government. When soldiers are given a task and to the resources available they have a habit of getting on with it without complaining. If the army were firemen, or train drivers they would have refused to go into Afghanistan so poorly resourced. They are not firemen or train drivers, they are soldiers and as such they get on with the job without complaint. They should be given the tools to do the job right from the start and not have to beg for them now.
We also need to ask ourselves whether the job that the Paras battle group is doing now is the job that we were told they were sent to do. It seems to me as if it is not. This is not the first time that British airborne troops have experienced "mission creep" recently. I am beginning to suspect that there was a political plan that was not made public and the troops mission has been amended once in theatre. I have no proof but if this is the case it shows a deep-seated lack of honesty both towards the troops involved and towards the country as a whole.
The Parachute troops (Para Reg and support regiments) are very, very good at what they do. The loss of five soldiers from this deployment in such a short space of time is very, very alarming. I wrote some time ago about my fears that the 16 Brigade deployment was being done on a shoestring and could end in disaster. I hoped then that I was wrong, I still hope I was wrong, I fear that I was not.
The BBC reports another member of the 3Para Batlegroup has been killed