Monday, July 08, 2002

Going out of our minds

Britain is preparing to devote 30 000 troops to toppling Saddam. With a fighting force of 90,000 and an effective force of under two thirds of that (that's training, leave, etc, etc) that means that we are going to devote more than half of our army to a war in which we have no interest.

Let's recap things:

1) Iraq blocking off the oil supply isn't all bad news for an oil exporter like the UK.
2) Not that Islamic extremism has much to do with the UK, but Saddam is hardly baddy number 1 in this respect, or in the top 5 for that matter.
3) Saddam's survival is not a living mockery to either the Prime Minister's or the Queen's family.
4) What contingency do we have if things kick off in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Afghanistan (we're still there), Sierra Leone (ditto), etc, etc. Or do we just assume that potential enemies will not deign to attack us while attention is elsewhere.

To devote more than half your army to a task should only be done if the cause is a vital national interest.

And where is the national interest? To be seen as the loyal follower of America?


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