back to article No new copters for Afghanistan troops

The Coalition government, having already cut an order for vital helicopters needed by British troops fighting in Afghanistan, may now cancel it altogether, according to reports. In its last months in office, the previous Labour government announced plans to order 22 new Chinook helicopters (in addition to two which would replace …

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Wouldn't it be...

...a simpler and cheaper expedient just to bring the lads back home?

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Yes....

and perhaps we could then have a defence force rather than a policy of trying to manage the whole planet.

We are now a third world power merely hanging onto the American apron strings, time to take the only role we can actually afford.

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Anonymous Coward

Coming home.

Quite right, you either fight the war or you don't fight the war, half-fighting a war is a recipe for disaster.

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Grenade

or better yet

Send the politicians over there.

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neb
Grenade

its alright...

...the shadow defence twat Jim Murphy wringing his hands about how the current bunch of twunts are doing fuck all, when it was his bunch of inbred clowns who fucked it all up to start with

oh and @Cunningly Linguistic, it'll be bloody impossible to withdraw without adequate airpower ie more fucking working wockas!

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Sounds like a suicide mission then

"oh and @Cunningly Linguistic, it'll be bloody impossible to withdraw without adequate airpower ie more fucking working wockas!"

Getting in with no way out doesn't make me feel too good where I one one of those brought in.

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I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

I couldn't agree more... How any of the "shadow" twats have the gall to have a pop about spending cuts is utterly beyond me.

It just goes to show they really do believe we all have the memory capacity of a goldfish.

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Black Helicopters

Mountbatten

managed to get out of India nicely and swiftly without these things ...

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Anonymous Coward

India

After 200 years of rule, and a peaceful rebellion, leaving India was relatively easy for the british.

Unlike India, Afghanistan is a war zone, the locals have RPGs and other devices to shoot at the departing army.

The civil servants and militaty that left india did so in a very well planned manner - much of what was established is still in place today. There were atrocities, but overall the country did benefit from accelerated development... similar to the UK complaint : "What did the Romans ever do for us"...

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Flame

Title?..Grand Vizier of My Cup Of Tea!

comparing ipads and oranges?

pretty sure the us have more troops? thus more combats, thus more deaths?

just wiki random numbers....

US – Approximately 98,000 US personnel[4] as of 25 Aug, 2010.

UK - About 10,000 troops

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Anonymous Coward

Since they can't afford even to defend the UK...

...isn't it time they stopped wasting soldiers' lives and precious materiel in order to kill Asian people who have nothing whatsoever to do with the UK in any way?

(Besides which, if they kill enough Asians, sooner or later someone over there is going to get angry with us and do something in retaliation that we REALLY won't like. It's truly astonishing that hasn't happened yet).

Just tell Obama that we aren't playing his war games any more, and if necessary send some Sir Humphrey type over to butter him up instead.

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Stop

RE: Since they can't afford even to defend the UK...

"...isn't it time they stopped wasting soldiers' lives and precious materiel in order to kill Asian people who have nothing whatsoever to do with the UK in any way?...." Unfortunately, the Afghan government, which represents the majority of Afghans, has asked us to stay and sort out the mess. We are trying to get out, the stumbling block being we need to get the Afghan Army and Police up to speed.

".....Besides which, if they kill enough Asians...." The vast majority of victims in the Afghan theater are Afghan civillians killed by the Taleban. As with most Muslim violence, other Muslims are by far the most likely vicitm.

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RE: Since they can't afford even to defend the UK...

"Just tell Obama that we aren't playing his war games any more, and if necessary send some Sir Humphrey type over to butter him up instead."

To be fair he didn't start and had an exit strategy from the word go, for some reason it involved putting more in a vain hope to crush the opposition first but eventually 2014 their boys are coming home, lets hope we do the same. And then reserve the right for surgical strikes later for taking out any terrorist bases that might/probably pop up.

He's not great and the hero America so badly wanted but he was always going to pull them out.

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Heart

Get back in that bloody trench, you!

"lets hope we do the same" -- Wrong, while the Yanks bugger off to lick their wounded egos and win the War in Hollywood, Cameron's Masterplan to prove he's not a mere arse-pendant is to 'surge' what remains of the British Army into Afghanistan for an open-ended solo run at thrashing some sense into Johnny Arab until it is time for the invasion of Russia / China / Iran or better still all three simultaneously. Because it's always better to kill them over there than ... eh ... something about burqas on the beaches ... yeah, that was it. Anyhow, Tally-ho, onwards to Victory!

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Anonymous Coward

indeed

Lives are cheap, MoD can either sacrifice poorly paid and equipped soldiers on the field or sacrifice jobs for their friends back home (shiny Jets look so much better at air shows after all as do unarmed destroyers with no capital ships to protect.)

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Megaphone

plus

the payouts to families, replacements and training costs are far far cheaper than one downed chopper. Choppers only need one ageing SAM to take it down. Bean counters only see numbers.

Sad facts indeed.

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Sir

Perhaps kickbacks are larger on frigates than they are for choppers.

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Useless Puma's

Lewis

Meanwhile, the MOD is upgrading 35 year old Puma's which no one wants to use...

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/britain-prepares-to-modernize-its-puma-helicopters-03784/

R

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Another letter to my MP.

Not that I expect it will do much good, but on the flip-side it can't do any harm and maybe, just maybe, it will have an effect.

No carriers, no navy jets, no gunboats, and soon no helicopters (once the accursed defenders of their lands get it into their heads to target the copters) - but we keep deep-penetration bombers, tanks and air-defense jets.

I wonder what our government expects to happen to justify this stance?

ttfn

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Anonymous Coward

Too little too late

I thought the point was that we wouldn't be there by the time the helicopters had been delivered, checked out for use and put into service.

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FAIL

This old chestnut?

While the article is correct in that helicopter capability for our armed forces has been deficient for years, blaming the current lot for not fixing it is pretty unfair. The author is under the delusion that the 22 Chinook order would remedy the problem. It was all a lie and was just spin by the previous government (and Gordon Brown as he was the chancellor refusing to fund the extra helis) to get the press/public off their case. The MOD could never get 22 Chinooks into service to make a difference in Afghanistan and the current lot at least have the good sense to know when the money is being pissed away for political spin!

The answer by Peter Luff just means that they are still conducting the MOD's planning round and you cannot place contracts until you have had the money confirmed as being available. A bit like trying to buy a car without checking you have the cash in your bank balance or a suitable loan first! This problem is for every project and is pretty routine, it does not in itself mean they are going to cancel the Chinook order. They are probably realising that they have the money for the Chinooks, but they have not funded the extra enginners or pilots to fly them! Something the previous Government completely ignored!

Jeez, try and report facts not speculation and spin!

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Re : This old chestnut

"It was all a lie and was just spin by the previous government"

"The MOD could never get 22 Chinooks into service to make a difference in Afghanistan "

"They are probably realising that they have the money for the Chinooks, but they have not funded the extra enginners or pilots to fly them! Something the previous Government completely ignored!"

"Jeez, try and report facts not speculation and spin!"

OOOOOooo irony - thy name is neb.

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neb
WTF?

no its not...

...my name is neb and i'll do the ironing round 'ere

plus i swear more cos its biggerer and clever!

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This is a fcuking disgrace!

Either kit the lads out properly or stop pretending we're serious about Afghanistan and bring them home.

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Seems the unwashed of the granuiad have found el reg

Thing is, one of the reasons there haven't been any serious terrorist attacks in the last few years is that the truly dangerous types have been tied up in Afghanistan etc.

Also may people on the ground there do not want the taliban back, however they are growing weary of the fighting as they can't understand why we don't "take the gloves off"....simple answer...a populace who believe that joining the military should equate with no chance of loss of life ala muppets like a certain Mrs Gentle.

Compare the number of dead in WW1 (another vanity war) with both Iraq wars and Aghanistan, the numbers of lives lost are many many times lower.

However the Tories are seriously guilty of negligence, they claim to be the party of the military, yet whenever they get back into power the first thing they do is to slash our military capability and continue to do so throughout their time in power. in 2015 will Gideon still be blaming labour or will he instead blame climate change, misalignment of the zodiac or something else for his economic bumbling? The man is an incompetent fool who sits to the far right of those in the US Tea Parfy.

Flame on :p

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Anonymous Coward

Isn't the Pakistan region the bigger problem?

Unless I've been misinformed by the news outlets .. I believe the majority of the successful and unsuccessful terrorist attacks in the UK were all by British residents who had spent time in Pakistan (and of course the british countryside) learnng their "craft".

In fact to quote BBC News from 12:01 today (6 minutes ago) ...

"The ringleader of the 7/7 attacks received bomb-making guidance in phone calls from Pakistan in the days before, the inquests have heard."

Afghanistan is a "Team America - World Police" war against the Taliban and their idea of an islamic state ohh and supposedly stopping the drug trade (the country's major export 8-).

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RE: Seems the unwashed of the granuiad have found el reg

I can play that game too:

The "911" attacks were due to the gulf war as well as America's continual interference in areas such as Afghanistan.

I may be wrong but I think it would be harder for young British men and women could be radicalised to the extent that they were willing to become a suicide bomber if the motivation was "Muslim lives are being lost because the UK won't help." rather than "Muslim lives are being taken by the UK every day.". Granted, there are likely to be dipshits who want to kill themselves for raisins either way -- but I can't see not acting being considered worse than acting. Heck, the UK could even condemn the illegal Oil wars -- that may get them some points.

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Boffin

RE: RE: Seems the unwashed of the granuiad have found el reg

"....The "911" attacks were due to the gulf war as well as America's continual interference in areas such as Afghanistan....." No, Islamist extremism has been around for far longer back than the Gulf Wars, and has been targetting the West for decades. Al-Quaeda itself was an off-shoot of Islamic Jihad which in turn came from the same Muslim Brotherhood that is protesting in Egypt. Probably the first real evidence of a written desire to "destroy" Western culture can be found in the writings of Sayyid Qutb, one of the earliest "leading lights" of the Muslim Brotherhood, way back in the '50s.

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@Matt Bryant

I am fully aware that, in some ways, Islam has been at war with "the west" since the day the religion started.

However, I postulate that the cockmunchers who targeted New York and London were motivated by more than just some old fool with an evil mind and a copy of the Qur'an. Or have there been Islamic terror attacks in "The West" before which have gone latgely unreported(genuine question, my initial post was more a counterpoint to the one I was replying to)?

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if it is about the heroin trade it seems to be working..

"..and supposedly stopping the drug trade... "

In fact to quote BBC News from 16:13 on Monday..

"The Serious Organised Crime Agency claimed the dramatic drop of heroine use in the UK was due to supply routes being cut off."

So at least the previous lot got it right.

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Boffin

RE: @Matt Bryant

"I am fully aware that, in some ways, Islam has been at war with "the west" since the day the religion started....." Not really. Around 634AD there were the first concerted Arab actions to avenge Byzantine (AKA the Eastern Roman Empire) attacks on villages on the borders of what we would call modern day Saudi Arabia, which had been in turn caused by individual Arab tribes raiding into Byzantine territory. The Arabs, under the first four Caliphs, then pushed outwards into the Byzantine lands, leading eventually to the Muslim invasions of areas such as Spain, Turkey and Yugoslavia, but at this point they were more about seizing land and exporting Islam rather than seeking to "destroy" Western culture. The express "battle" with "Western culture" is relatively new and is indeed seem by many moderate Muslims as a social defensive measure to maintain current Muslim lands and standing (much in the way the Fwench moan about the inroads of American culture on their own language, film industry and literature). Unfortunately, for extremists it means the conversion of the non-Muslim lands to Islam by any means. Bin Laden himself has quoted Qutb as his prime inspiration.

".....However, I postulate that the cockmunchers who targeted New York and London were motivated by more than just some old fool with an evil mind and a copy of the Qur'an....." Regarding the London bombers, there is a record of concerted "influencing" such as exposure to Jihadist material and videos meant to encourage the idea that the West is "at war" with Islam. Similar material has been linked to the men that attacked on 9/11 and some of them are known to have been in direct contact with AQ fighters from Afghanistan, so it is obvious where they got their viewpoint from. In the case of the 7/7 bombers it seems a willful denial of the many sources of evidence (for example, the NATO had only recently gone to war with Serbia to protect Muslims in the former Yugolsavia) that would have given doubts to their obsession, played a part in their subsequent dedication. This is common amongst those that accept extremist views as shown by cults like the followers of the People's Temple (mass suicidees), Solar Temple (more mass suicides), Branch Davidians in the Waco Siege (armed conflict with the federal authorities followed by suicidal refusal to escape the subsequent compund fire) - they will reject clear scientific evidence in favour of what they are told is "the truth". My personal view is that anyone that wants to accept the idea of the creation of the World by a holy deity is flying in the face of years of scientific evidence, but as long as they don't bother me that's their business. In the cases mentioned, there was more to it than just "some old fool with an evil mind and a copy of the Qur'an".

However, I must raise the point that the London bombers are all thought to be heterosexual with two having been married with kids, and the 9/11 bombers are noted to have spent money on prostitution and strippers, so I would suggest you withdraw your homophobic descriptor. Frankly, I'm surprised it escaped Ms Bee's wrath!

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: RE: @Matt Bryant

Wasn't me, Matt, but in any case I would take that as a general insult, like 'asshat', rather than anything literally homophobic.

But if you need more grist to the outrage mill, hey, them boots are made for fillin'.

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Pirate

RE: @Matt Bryant - warning; history lesson follows!

"....Or have there been Islamic terror attacks in "The West" before which have gone latgely unreported....." Sorry, forgot to answer that point. No, the advent of Islamic attacks on explicitly the West is also recent in historic terms. For example, the attacks by groups like the PFLP and PLO in the '60s and '70s such as the TWA hijackings were more nationalistic ("Palestinian") than Islamist. Ignoring the old European history of conflict with Islam, and conflict from the Amercian Sphere of Influence / Empire such as the Phillipines, the Islamists have been kept from making attacks directly on the West by simple geography. At least until the second half of the last century, when the rise of militant African-American groups in the States became mixed with Islamic extremism.

In my view, the first criminal act that can classed as an Islamic attack on "the West" is thought to have been the events of 14th April 1972, when members of the Nation of Islam alledgedly ambushed NYPD officers attending a fake emergency call to the Mosque Number 7 building in Harlem. It can be classed as an attack on the West as Louis Farakhan's Nation of Islam were motivated by the idea of "replacing" the US's laws and constitution with those of Sharia, and the attack expressly targetted officials of a Western government. Some experts have disputed the labelling of the event, preferring ot class it as more racial than Islamic (i.e., black on white terror). Indeed, most Americans remember the 1977 Hanafi Siege in Washington DC as the first Islamic terrorist attack in the West, mainly because it was more widely reported. In Europe it is probably the 1985 El Descanso bombing. However, all those events pre-date the West's invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan by many years, so exploding the myth that Islamic terror is just a response to Western efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Megaphone

re: if it is about the heroin trade it seems to be working..

Until you consider that 10 mg of pharmaceutical grade heroin (diamorphine) - a very decent fix - costs the NHS around a fiver.

Studies in Switzerland and Portugal suggest prescribing maintenance heroin minimises harm to addicts while crippling the black market and its ability to recruit new customers.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/clamour-grows-for-heroin-on-the-nhs-1786847.html

But say you are determined to carry on losing the traditional war on drugs on behalf of Daily Mail readers. A fraction of the billions flushed in Afghanistan could saturate the UK's streets with police and ports with customs agents. Effective or not, they would be less likely to wind up in body bags - and HM Govt would still have enough change to equip a couple of aircraft carriers.

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RE: "cockmunchers"

Ms Bee was right -- I could have said "fucktards", "arsewipes", "shit-for-brains" or anything else. Having had the potentially homophobic nature of the statement pointed out, however, I think that calling people who hate homosexuals "cockmunchers" may be a good idea anyhow -- after all people who actually do like gay sex are hardly going to be offended by being called "cockmunchers" but, on the other hand, people who get all their ideas and thoughts spoon-fed by bigots would be insulted. Win-win I say.

I refuse to call these imbeciles "terrorists" because I find them to be objects of ridicule rather than fear.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: RE: "cockmunchers"

Gawd.

I call people all sorts of genitalia, but I do not think those are bad things in and of themselves. See also: dogs, pigs, rats. I like all these animals but they still serve as specific insults for people.

'Cockmuncher' is a good insult and context is everything thank you bye.

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Go

Psst! Going cheap, low mileage and only two owners

The Canadian government is tiring of fighting wars started by the U.S.A.

They have some used Chinooks for sale. They bought them from the U.S. forces for only $282-million.

So far there have been no takers for the five CH-147D choppers. If no buyers are found for the Canadian Chinooks they will be packed up and brought home when the combat mission ends in July.

So if Cameron figures out the cost for shipping these back to Canada - the props come off - tosses in an extra couple of million for goodwill he'll have the gear in situ and for a bargain!

The Canadian looking after this deal is Brigadier-General Charles Lamarre.

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Comparitive death rates in Afghanistan

"Besides, America is losing more lives there than we did, despite having more helicopters- they've lost 26 troops in the worst areas in 3 months, whilst we only lost 106 in 9 years in the same area." - AC 11:00

Actually, in Afghanistan overall the UK army death rate overall is double that of the US army, I presume inferior equipment and resources will contribute to that.

The UK has 350 deaths for 10,500 deployed, 1 out of 30.

The US has 1472 deaths for 98,000 delpoyed, 1 out of 66.

The increasing military death rate is surpassed by the increasing civilian death rates. Maybe we should give the children chinooks too, to reduce their death rate too. It would certainly be cheaper to end the war and buy the UK troops each a private Cessna and a year off on full pay.

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Anonymous Coward

Lots of things could explain difference in figures

operational area, tactical choices, a large number of non-combatant troops (laundry, canteen operatives, mechanics and drivers for the brass-hats' motor pool) distorting percentages.

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Boffin

RE: Lots of things could explain difference in figures

Figures I have read state that at any time during the Viet Nam war, between only 8% and 10% of US forces in the theatre were actually directly involved in combat operations, the rest were all in support and administrative roles and never saw a VC or NVA combatant. I'm told the ratio hasn't changed much with current US operations, which is massively differerent to European forces where we have typicaly seen around 30% in NATO operations. That last figure could be out-of-date though, it's based on the campaign in the former Yugoslavia, but I can't see the cuts since having generated more admin roles in European forces.

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@Mike JVX

Taking a swipe at Guardian readers is fine, but calling the grieving mother of a dead soldier a 'muppet' and misrepresenting her views is contemptible.

Mrs Gentle never said "joining the military should equate with no chance of loss", just that the risk should not be increased due to lack of equipment, like the cost-cutting that led to her sons death. She raises funds for military charities and is well respected in in army circles, even among those who disagree with her that Blair lied the UK into Iraq, and you sir should show a bit of respect.

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Get your facts right, Lewis..

As usual, a couple of points need correcting:

1. The Tornado GR4 fleet has *not* escaped intact after the SDSR (Section 2.D.13: "The withdrawal of Nimrod MRA4 and Harrier, as well as the *reduction* in size of the Tornado fleet..."). Word is that two GR4 squadrons will disband this year.

2. The Chinook HC3 *has* entered serivice - according to Flight it achieved IOC (Initial Operational Capability) with the RAF about a year ago.

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Grenade

The UK is...

...a second-rate nation. We can no longer afford to fight these stupid Merkin-led crusades. We are only fit to defend our own shores.

And with all our shit tied up in the east, wouldn't now be a good time for the Argies to try again to take back the 'Malvinas'..?

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Stop

maybe...

someone has realised that the UK is more important than some jumped up opium battle?

seriously, the UK is on its knees. bring the boys home and sort this mess of a country out before you spend any more on a war against opium and for oil. companies are going to the wall at an alarming rate, massive unemployment and they haven't even hiked up interest rates to force the rest of us to lose our homes (coming soon, we have seen it before from the tories)

maybe, invest some of the cash wasted on this war into green fuels or something. so we arent as reliant on the bloody middle east

soon the UK will be a worse place to live than Afghanistan. at least their petrol is cheap and opium is very cheap. maybe let us go out laying down with a smile on our faces?

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Stop

I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

"(coming soon, we have seen it before from the tories)"

Tell you what, I'll make a deal with you... you stop labour fucking up the economy *every* time they get into power and I'll stop the tories administering the nasty medicines needed to sort it out.

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Black Helicopters

Opium..?

I thought the whole Afghan thing was to hunt down Bin-Laden, or at least that's how it started...

So what are we still doing there, I seem to have lost track..? Oh yeah, that's right, there's a new oil pipeline to protect, isn't there...

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The Bigger Picture

"So what are we still doing there, I seem to have lost track..? Oh yeah, that's right, there's a new oil pipeline to protect, isn't there..." ... ici.chacal Posted Wednesday 2nd February 2011 13:29 GMT

I think you will also find that it is vain protection of the failing dollar via the no longer fit for purpose,Military Industrial Complex Machine Methodology that is the Root Driver of Foreign Field Aggression, ici.chacal. This famous/infamous read by a decorated US Marine, ....... http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm ..... explains the reason for that premise, quite clearly.

Quite what Blighty think they are doing in that theatre though, other than trashing any national reputation that they may have once held and valued, and have been held and valued about them, is a valid question which may be easily answered because the person[s] responsible for entry were guaranteed easy rich pickings and quango appointments and lucrative speaking engagements and fistsful of dollars in return, and for not having some dirty little secrets about them exposed. 'Tis normal practice at such depths/levels.

Things are never as they appear in the mainstream media, they are always more colourful and perverted in real life.

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Mercenaries != Conscripts

I loathe to see the "bring our boys home" argument being applied to people who are actually _paid_ to be there. Grievance would be legitimate only if they were forced to serve there.

Also, with uneployment so high I suggest reducing the available helicopters.

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FAIL

Its not about airframes

Unless you recruited and started training the pilots to fly the airframes several years ago, you will have NO PILOTS today.

An airframe (Chinook or otherwise) is just an expensive paper weight without aircrew and ground crew to go with it.

The longest lead time is for the pilot.

So there is no point in buying airframes to please the media, if the previous government arsed up the personel planning since they got into office.

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