While Armed Forces Day sounds like a nice idea in theory, I do fear that it will be used by the government as a way of avoiding the big questions. Not just how long Britain will be in Afghanistan, but more basic concerns about the mental health of soldiers and their poor equipment. As the excellent Defence of the Realm points out, the government and Ministry of Defence have long made every effort to cover up problems rather than deal with them:
“The Ministry makes a considerable investment in coroners’ courts, supplying “liaison officers” whose task it is to “assist” inexperienced coroners in reaching the “right” verdict, helpfully supplying MoD documents and witnesses, while ensuring that hostile evidence is kept at bay.”
Whatever you like of the war in Afghanistan, no-one but the Taliban benefits from soldiers having substandard equipment. Soldiers with poor equipment become more distrustful of the local populace, which increases the number of times civilians are arrested or even killed by jumpy soldiers.
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