27 April 2010

Afghan War as Political Football in the UK

The election is causing all sorts of angst about the mission in Afghanistan between the candidates.

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth accused the Conservatives on Monday of undermining public support for forces in Afghanistan by making false accusations that troops are not properly equipped.

With the Labour party behind in opinion polls 10 days before an election, Ainsworth also attacked the Liberal Democrats, saying their plans for updating Britain's nuclear-armed submarine fleet were disingenuous.

The Conservatives and Lib Dems have repeatedly accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown of failing to give Britain's 9,500 troops in Afghanistan enough helicopters and armoured vehicles to protect them from lethal roadside bombs.

"I've found it disappointing that the Conservatives have gone beyond the legitimate activity of an opposition of criticising the government's record on providing equipment," Ainsworth said in a lecture at the Royal United Services Institute, a defence think-tank.

"They have misled the public about equipment improvements on a number of occasions. They would have the public believe that our troops are not properly resourced.

"In doing so they are both painting a false picture and they are also undermining public support for the mission," he said.

To be fair, it's not like complaints about the kit just appeared on the campaign trail. They've been going on for 5 years now.

By: Brant

No comments: