Military cuts as we consider arming Al Qaeda
Thursday, June 20, 2013
FOLLOWING an embarrassing spat between Prime Minister Cameron and President Putin of Russia over Syria in the lead up to the G8 summit of World leaders at Lough Erne, the Ministry of Defence gives 5000 British Regular Soldiers their redundancy notice on the second day of the summit.
In effect here is some cash and your services are no longer required!
The spat or difference of opinion, spin it how you wish, was over the arming of Syrian Free Army by Western powers in an attempt to support the Syrian Free Army in the overthrow of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and his brutal dictatorial regime. One can only speculate the thoughts contained within the mind of President Putin a former KGB officer, towards Prime Minister Cameron who is the most hawkish of the G8 leaders.
Fears abound over arming the Syrian Free Army by many, as contained within their ranks is fanatical elements aligned to Al Qaeda and other disparate groups who are hell bent on attacking Western forces, including British Soldiers. It is ironic that in one theatre of war Al Qaada and others are killing British Soldiers and yet in another theatre of war, we have a British Prime Minister seeking to arm them!
Assurances sought or given that advanced weapons supplied by the West would not fall into the hands of undesirables contained within the ranks of the Syrian Free Army are unrealistic due to the fog of war and the heat of battle.
The parallels with the war in Bosnia are stark and are replicated in Syria, insofar as the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad are equipped with heavy weapons known as stand off weapons with significant range, such as tanks, artillery, ground attack aircraft and helicopter gunships. The Syrian Free Army on the other hand is largely equipped with small arms, including automatic riffles, handheld rocket propelled grenades and light automatic anti-aircraft guns all of which must be considered short range weapons. It should come as no surprise that the Syrian Free Army choose to fight in towns, cities and villages as they are outgunned by Syrian government forces, for to fight out in open would be suicidal. Tactics such as these have resulted in many towns, cities and villages in Syria held by the Syrian Free Army being completely destroyed or severely damaged to such an extent that some are simply uninhabitable. There are reports that Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons namely Sarin Gas an extremely potent never agent to wipe out remaining pockets of resistance.
In Bosnia after three years of bloody war the solution to the lifting of the siege of Sarajevo and the ending of the Bosnian War, was to send in the British Field Artillery consisting of two 105mm Light Gun Battery's and supporting mortar and artillery locating radar, backed up by NATO ground attack aircraft flying from NATO aircraft carriers and airfields in Italy. Hardly suitable weapons to equip a fledgling army! Alternatives such as handheld anti-tank weapons and surface to air missiles have been suggested. Handheld anti-tank weapons are of no use in destroying artillery that is firing from positions that are ten kilometres away, and surface to air missiles are not the weaponry that you want falling into the hands of Al Qaeda and other disparate groups as they can be easily used to bring down an airliner. The Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2010 saw the decommissioning of HMS Ark Royal and her Ground Attack Harrier Strike Force along with a number of Artillery and Armoured Regiments. Key weapon systems that are purpose built to destroy enemy armor and artillery
Whilst Prime Minister Cameron may cite the success in Libya, there is no doubt that had HMS Ark Royal been deployed in the Libyan war, that war would have been shortened as there would have been more aircraft spending time over target seeking out targets of opportunity.
Prime Minister Cameron learnt a hard lesson at this G8 summit from President Putin. If you are intervene other than at a political level, then you need to have armed forces that are properly equipped, with the right weaponry and in sufficient numbers to get the job done. The failure of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary to understand Fire for Effect and most importantly one's enemies Fire for Effect, at best has contributed to giving the Syrian people who seek freedom false hope. Please note: Fire for Effect is the science of delivering bombs, bullets and missiles on the heads of one's enemies.
Expecting or encouraging others to fight wars on our behalf or by proxy, no matter how noble is indefeasible. The gap between what we can achieve as a nation and what our politicos believe can be achieved has to be squared. Today we have lost 5,000 good men and women from our Armed Forces who have years of experience, to be replaced by part-time soldiers who have yet to be recruited!