Many in the military are concerned about the effect of further commitments, claiming that our armed forces are already at breaking point with around 20% of all our them deployed overseas.
This point was highlighted by Commander John Muxworthy, the chief executive of the United Kingdom National Defence Association who said recently “the Ministry of Defence would be heaving a sigh of relief if no more troops were required in Kosovo, because the British armed forces are in chronic crisis?”
Yet far from addressing the concerns of my colleagues and I the Ministers pressed on with his statement that the UK is ready to deploy a battalion to Kosovo until the end of 2008.
Those watching these exchanges will be all too aware that the Minister failed to answer the two most important questions:
1. What will be the effect of further deployments of our armed forces as a whole?
2. With our armed forces already committed so heavily in Afghanistan and Iraq should the UK continue to act as Europe’s military policeman whilst other nations sit back and do nothing?
The latter being a topic that the Government refuses to discuss. Why do our European partners expect the UK to deploy more of our military resources sorting out the world’s problems than they themselves are willing commit?
Is it about time for a rethink?