Sunday, June 1, 2008


Iraq and Afghanistan troops under pressure as more resign from Forces

By Aislinn Simpson

Last updated: 2:48 AM BST 30/05/2008

Almost a thousand servicemen have left the Armed Forces since the start of the year, prompting fears for the safety of troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Government figures released on Thursday showed that the number of full-time trained personnel leaving the services had accelerated.

From January to April 1, provisional figures showed that staff levels had fallen from 174,910 to 173,960, leaving the Armed Forces more than 5,000 troops short of its own target. The casualty rate in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the 97th soldier died this week, and the low pay of infantry soldiers have been identified as factors persuading recruits to leave early.

The latest losses represent a significant increase in the rate of departure from the Armed Forces. In the period between last October and January this year, the number of full-time service personnel increased by 130. The figures follow a report by the Commons Defence Committee, which said earlier this year that it was “deeply concerned” that the Armed Forces had been operating above the level of their resources for seven of the past eight years.


Anonymous said...

Just read the entire article. Fascinating. So the British soldiers can just quit? I resigned in protest of the war in Iraq but I was an officer, and in a service where apparently it's a tradition to let you quit like that. But anyway, if British enlisted guys can actually just quit the service the British military's in for a lot of trouble. They'll be forced to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan a lot sooner than anticipated! Also, the British equivalent of the Republican Party is the one complaining about the support the troops are getting. Also a fascinating point I hadn't heard of before.

Bill Corcoran said...

Thanks for writing. You bring up a good point. If I had "quit" when I was in the Army, I would have been considered AWOL and when they caught up to me I would have been Courts Martialed. I'm amazed more Brits haven't quit before this.

Bill Corcoran