The Risks We Take in Asking Too Much of Our Forces; AN ANALYSIS OF OUR FIGHTING COMMENTARY

Daily Mail (London), May 25, 1999 | Go to article overview

The Risks We Take in Asking Too Much of Our Forces; AN ANALYSIS OF OUR FIGHTING COMMENTARY


Byline: SIR PETER DE LA BILLIERE

THE destructive war of words within Nato continues, and no doubt President Milosevic is delighted. Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, stressed that the beefed-up forces to be deployed on the borders of Kosovo might eventually push their way into that unhappy province as 'more than just a peacekeeping force'.

In sharp contrast, Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State, immediately reaffirmed her government's position that ground troops would only be deployed in a 'permissive' environment.

But amid the confusion, one thing at least is agreed.

However they are to be used, another 22,000 allied troops will shortly be sent to Macedonia to reinforce the 28,000 troops already hovering there.

They'll include a further 3,000 British paratroopers, marines and infantry, who will join the 7,000-plus UK service people already deployed ready to move into Kosovo.

For this country, with its proud military tradition, to commit 10,000 troops to a major operation may sound modest. But it is not.

'Permissive' or otherwise, the occupation and reconstruction of Kosovo will be an expensive, long-term commitment, probably lasting several years.

It will demand heavily armed, well-trained, experienced and balanced forces, prepared in the last resort to fight to defend themselves or to protect the Albanian Koso-vars who are supposed to return in their wake.

It is a military rule of thumb that for every soldier seeing active service on the ground, you need one undergoing training and one unwinding in some less demanding environment.

In other words, to fulfil our planned commitment to Kosovo, we will need up to 30,000 troops. And if things go wrong - as they have a historic habit of doing in the Balkans - we may need to increase that number suddenly and sharply.

Consider now our other commitments. We have about 16,000 service people in Northern Ireland and heaven knows how many more we might need if the peace process really does break down. There are 2,000 in the Falkland Islands, 20,000 in Germany, 4,000 in Bosnia and 4,500 in Cyprus.

In my judgment, these figures demonstrate that our armed forces are already dangerously and unacceptably overstretched.

Our service men and women are completing longer terms of duty overseas and having shorter breaks at home. The old rule that you served six months abroad and then 18 months at home has collapsed under the ever increasing burden of commitments.

The strains this imposes are becoming apparent. I know that it is still easy to recruit to the armed forces. Indeed in recent months recruitment figures are, I understand, better than they have ever been in peacetime. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Risks We Take in Asking Too Much of Our Forces; AN ANALYSIS OF OUR FIGHTING COMMENTARY
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.