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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Saturday, October 07, 2006

It's the fifth anniversary of British troops entering Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, and to mark the occasion, Tony has promised those troops 'whatever they need' to increase their effectiveness on the ground.. or to be more precise, in the air..
The anaysis suggests that those helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in the region are clapped out, and desperately need replacing..
Yet with British forces fighting on two fronts, in iraq and Afghanistan, it remains to be seen how the national budget can cope with more disposable spending..
There are that many Home Affairs issues which are demanding cash, the likes of the National Health Service and Education, that it's going to be exceedingly difficult to stretch tax resources to continue the 'War On Terror' on the scale the military will be asking for.. This is reflected in the latest reports especially on Education, where students entering high school are finding themselves forced to attend schools which have been judged sub-standard. Some of these schools, according to the Education Secretary, should either be shut down completely, or thoroughly re-structured..
While most on the Island are sympathetic with the need to deal with terrorist groups, they are also disillusioned with the government's handling of home affairs, and there doesn't seem to be much room for maneuvering towards a happy medium..
While the US, with it's population and tax base, might well be content to continue with an economy which is almost dependant on wars to keep it's industries in operation, Britain is not quite in the same league..
There are far fewer of us, thus leaving far fewer to contribute either in downstream industries, or direct taxation. We must buy our ammunition.. our raw materials to manufacture the means of war.. and with little hope of an end to these conflicts, the outlook is bleak..
This is going to be a serious issue for Gordon Brown, when he takes over Labour.. and it's a surety the Conservatives will be looking at this cost of foreign involvements and comparing the good this cash could do at home, to the positive effects produced in the Middle East..
As a side note, figure released from Iraq show that there have been 8 thousand Iraqi Police killed since the invasion and the toppling of Saddam, and another 12 thousand wounded.. Those in power in that country have announced that unless there is some detant reached with insurgents within two months, that country will be in civil war.
Not quite what was intended..

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