UK: opposition to NATO intervention in Afghanistan growing

Two thirds want British troops home from Afghanistan – Telegraph

A Daily Telegraph/YouGov poll showed 62 per cent of people opposed British troops staying in Afghanistan, while 26 per cent were in favour.

Previous polls had shown that most people backed the conflict in Afghanistan, unlike the war in Iraq. They accepted the argument espoused by ministers and the opposition that it was part of the fight against terrorism that could be exported to British streets.

But increasingly voters appear unwilling to accept that claim.

Gordon Brown and Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, have been criticised for not properly equipping British troops who were part of Operation Panther’s Claw, the fierce summer offensive against the Taliban in the run up to presidential elections. Both men have defended the Ministry of Defence and argued that service chiefs do have the equipment they need.

Report about British troops’ poor equipment.

How can it be that it takes 20 years to buy a ship, or aircraft, or tank? Why does it always seem to cost at least twice what was thought? Even worse, at the end of the wait, why does it never quite seem to do what it was supposed to?”

Ministers were accused of trying to delay publication of the report, which was originally commissioned by the former Defence Secretary John Hutton, and was supposed to have been published before Parliament broke for the summer recess last month.

…Mr Gray’s report also warned that the MoD had a “substantially overheated equipment programme with too many types of equipment being ordered for too large a range of tasks at too high a specification”.

It said agile enemies such as the Taliban were “unlikely to wait for our sclerotic acquisition systems to catch up”.


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