Monday, May 28, 2012

David Richards sells out

Afghanistan close to anarchy, warns general

· Nato commmander's views in stark contrast to ministers'
· Forces short of equipment and 'running out of time'

The Guardian,

Corrupt local officials were fuelling the problem and Nato's provincial reconstruction teams in Afghanistan were sending out conflicting signals, Gen Richards told a conference at the Royal United Services Institute in London. "The situation is close to anarchy," he said, referring in particular to what he called "the lack of unity between different agencies".

He described "poorly regulated private security companies" as unethical and "all too ready to discharge firearms". Nato forces in Afghanistan were short of equipment, notably aircraft, but also of medical evacuation systems and life-saving equipment.

Military chief defends edict restricting contact with MPs

Advice restricts members of armed forces from talking to MPs – even informally – without permission of government minister

The Guardian, Monday  May 28, 2012
by Nick Hopkins

In a statement to the Guardian, General Richards added: "It is very important for us to maintain good relationships with MPs and others in society. We do this by holding many engagement opportunities and ensuring that all parties have access to the level of understanding they require. However, as is the case for any disciplined organisation, this requires a coordinated approach with certain rules to guide our conduct and to ensure we remain within established security guidelines.

"The Permanent Under Secretary and I reminded our staff of these rules recently."

The MoD said the DIN "does not seek to constrain a member of the Armed Forces or MOD civilian contacting their constituency MP on a purely personal matter. This means that an individual remains free to raise with their constituency MP matters directly concerning, for example, their personal pay, allowances or accommodation."

What a difference a promotion makes.