SNP concern at over stretched military
Commenting on news that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has today pledged extra UK troops for Afghanistan, SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson, Angus Robertson MP, has expressed concerns over the escalation in military commitments.
Mr Robertson said:
“We have long been concerned about mission creep, but today’s announcement goes beyond that, and is obviously an escalation in our military commitments.
“Hopes previously raised that troops would leave ‘without firing one shot’, suggest there has been a strategic underestimation by Ministers to date.
“It seems clear that, because of the quagmire in Iraq, the government has taken its eye off the ball in Afghanistan. The Taliban have been able to regroup, narcotics production is recovering and corruption is sadly prevalent.
“All of this contributes to an extremely dangerous situation, which our brave service personnel have to face. If this deployment gives short term security relief then so be it, but we need the government to resist a further escalation of our military commitments.
“There are very real difficulties faced by servicemen and women as well as their families by the ongoing overstretch and regular breaches of the Harmony Guidelines, which are supposed to guarantee sufficient time at home between deployments.
"Gordon Brown should not be allowed to put more of our brave troops in harm’s way without specific new authorisation from parliament.”