British military at limit of capacity

September 4th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: British military at limit of capacity

Media: AFP
Date: September 3, 2006

LONDON, Sept 3, 2006 (AFP) - Britain's military is at the limit of its
capacity and can barely cope with the demands placed on it, the head of
Britain's army told The Guardian in an interview published in the
newspaper's Monday edition.

General Richard Dannat, who took over from General Mike Jackson last week,
told the newspaper: "We are running hot, certainly running hot ... Can we
cope? I pause. I say 'just'."

He said the armed forces would be in Afghanistan for "the long term", but
when asked about whether other NATO countries should contribute more troops,
Dannat said Britain was doing "more than its share of what is required in

Asked by The Guardian about the hopes of some senior British soldiers that
the number of British forces in Iraq could be halved by the middle of 2007,
Dannat stressed that those possibilities had been described as a "hope" and
pointed out that previous hopes about Iraq had not been fulfilled.

Dannat also declined to set a timetable for the withdrawal of British troops
from Afghanistan.

He added that the army was "meeting challenges on the hoof" but refused to
comment on whether the current budget allocation for defence was sufficient.

The general's comments came after news that 14 British troops died in a
plane crash in Afghanistan on Saturday, the single biggest loss of the
country's soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq since the US-led war on terror was
launched in November 2001, prompting renewed debate about the mission there.

The incident brought the number of British armed forces personnel deaths in
Afghanistan since the start of operations against the hardline Taliban
regime in 2001 to 36, including 15 in combat.
September 6th, 2006  
Although Britain has lost 36 men in Afghanistan over half of that number have been killed in accidents rather than combat. Even when you are not at war the forces still lose men due to accidents it is one of those things that happen when you use dangerous weapons. While I was in the forces they expected our unit to lose at least 1% per year of all the men due to accidents and during the war it was 12% during training
September 10th, 2006  
I have seen a statistic during my service in VietNam that said 50% of the deaths of Engineer Troops in VietNam were the result of accidents. Sorry I don't have a source for this but it always stuck in my mind since I heard it.

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