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16 June 2008

Barrett highlights ‘critical troop overstretch’

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West today warned that troop overstretch was threatening the UK’s ability to react to unexpected conflicts across the world.

Mr Barrett was speaking during Defence Questions in the House of Commons following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the number of British soldiers in Afghanistan would be increased to over 8,000.

The news comes after the Prime Minister’s assurance to US President George Bush that there would be no early withdrawal of British forces from Iraq.

John said:

“With more British troops now heading to Afghanistan and little prospect of those in Iraq returning home any time soon our forces are being pushed to breaking point.

“Our own Generals have warned that critical overstretch has left us in no position to respond to unexpected world events. With tensions rising in the Balkans and elsewhere there are real questions marks about our ability to respond adequately to the shifting challenges of the world.

“Our troops do a fantastic job under the most difficult of circumstances. However, we owe it to them not to send them into harms way unless they have the support and resources they need.

It is time for the Government to gets to grips with the problem of overstretch, starting by beginning to withdraw British troops from Iraq.

 

Notes

General Sir Richard Dannatt last year warned that overstretch has left the UK with “…almost no capability to react to the unexpected”.

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.