The first British female soldier to be killed in Afghanistan, along with three of her comrades, had been inadequately trained and they were killed unlawfully while on active service, a coroner has recorded.
Cpl Sarah Bryant was one of four soldiers who died when their Snatch Land Rover hit a bomb during an operation near Lashkar Gah in June 2008. A verdict of unlawful killing was also entered for the three SAS reservists, Cpl Sean Reeve, L/Cpl Richard Larkin and Pte Paul Stout. At the inquest into their deaths Wiltshire and Swindon assistant deputy coroner David Masters said there was an 'inadequacy' in training given to the soldiers and lack of adequate equipment.
David Masters highlighted widespread concern among soldiers about the limitations of Snatch Land Rovers and the inadequate training for detecting improvised explosive devices, the biggest killer of troops in Afghanistan. It was his intention to relay his findings to the MoD along with the fact that there was a poor supply of EBEX mine detectors for training and use on the ground.
This damning verdict comes just days after Gordon Brown insisted he had met all requests for equipment in Iraq and just a few weeks after General Sir David Richards, chief of the general staff, sent a memo to his ministers which said that recent cuts to the defence budget are having a 'cumulative and corrosive effect on our soldiers and their families.'
Is it any wonder his Cabinet Office has instructed a news blackout on the war in Afghanistan during the general election campaign?
Brown approves of our participation in the Afghanistan war or he would have made preliminary withdrawal arrangements by now in line with other countries. He must be aware equipment is inadequate and yet he still insists the military have everything they need to perform their work.
Craig Murray tells us about the billions of dollars in cash leaving Afghanistan while Munguin has his own message for the Prime Minister.
Along with other bloggers I will be very happy to publish any material from the military, their families or friends during the general election campaign. Your privacy will be respected. My email address is on the right under 'contact information'. Fausty has a note of other bloggers wishing to keep the truth flowing from Afghanistan.