Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Military Blunders and More Deaths in Afghanistan
The death toll of our military increased to 357 yesterday when the MoD announced two soldiers were killed in a fire (thought to be a boiler explosion) and another was killed by an IED while on duty. The first two soldiers, from the Royal Logistics Corps, were killed at Camp Bastion. The third soldier, from the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, was killed in the south of the Nahr-e Saraj district.
There's much talk in the MSM and the blogosphere about the manner in which 38 warrant officers were sacked. It beggars belief that the basic courtesy of an interview with their commanding officer(s) was omitted, but will the WOs be too upset at their sacking? They may feel insulted at the manner in which their many years of service have been reduced to a brief email but I should think they're quite content to leave the Army. They will realise they are fortunate insofar as they have received a year's notice compared with the one month of less many receive in civilian life.
All have completed at least 22 years service and knew they were susceptible to manning cuts. Each will receive their full pension - that is assured. Some politicians and commentators have stated they will also receive redundancy pay although I have yet to have this confirmed. Their opportunity for employment in civilian life is excellent.
The PM is 'furious'. It looks good doesn't it? He, along with his political colleagues, should be looking at the reasons for and the results of this war, not voicing his dismay at another MoD or military blunder. They happen all the time. Our elected representatives sent our armed services to fight in Afghanistan against the wishes of many of their electorate, who were ignored once again and yet they refuse to examine their decisions.
A quarter of trainee RAF pilots are to be sacked because they are surplus to requirements. Training a pilot is a costly business and it does seem ridiculous to have pilots and no planes, but is it sensible to sack those just a few hours from qualifying? Of course not. Another MoD and military blunder. What should happen is those who are x number of hours from receiving their wings should be allowed to complete their course. In such cases a clause could be written into their terms of service stating that they have to make themselves available for service in case of emergency. Some have made a plea to the RAF high command for a year's sabbatical, while others have offered to take a drop in pay in order to qualify. The RAF has plenty room for manoeuvre and can surely come to some compromise.
It's my opinion these cuts are far too speedy and ill thought out - hence the blunders. It would be good to see some common sense entering into this decision.