Now, I know it's the case that both the British government and the British press are all up in a heaval these days, but seriously . . .
The Guardian today:
Thousands more troops could be sent to Afghanistan within months under an emergency review of the UK mission being carried out by the Ministry of Defence. ...The Independent today:
An MoD source confirmed that ministers were "re-examining" troop numbers in Helmand following the bloodiest day for UK ground troops since the start of current operations. "Troop levels are under review. They could go up, depending on events on the ground," said a defence spokesman. It is believed that the maximum extra deployment would be 2,000. ...
Ministers are secretly planning to cut the number of British troops in Afghanistan, at a time when defence chiefs are appealing for thousands more reinforcements to meet the deadly threat from the resurgent Taliban.Sunday Times of London today:
Hours after the death toll of UK forces in Afghanistan rose above the number killed in Iraq, The Independent on Sunday established that Gordon Brown wants to bring up to 1,500 service personnel home from the war-torn country after its elections next month, seemingly on grounds of cost. ...
Senior Labour figures accused the head of the army last night of playing politics as he said that there were too few troops and helicopters in the Afghan war zone.Somebody in one or more of these places is just making shit up, innit? And here I thought the Republican Party and Fox News were the reigning world champs at that. Help me out here, won't you? Who's full[est] of it? Thanks!
One minister expressed fury that General Sir Richard Dannatt, the chief of the general staff, had attended a private dinner with Tory MPs and suggested an extra 2,000 troops were needed in Helmand province.
The general’s remarks put him at odds with the official government line, that the 9,000 British troops already in Afghanistan are sufficient to cope with the offensive.
A Labour minister said: “General Dannatt has crossed an important line. He is playing a high-risk game.” ...