18 Sep 02. The news that the UN has agreed with Iraq to send in weapons inspectors must have come as a welcome relief to Tony Blair in his support for an Iraqi invasion. A number of commentators have noticed the failure of Chancellor Gordon Brown to comment on the war situation apart from an expected cost of £2bn+. Sources close to BATTLSPACE suggest that the readiness state of the UK armed forces is in an atrocious state with a senior commander stating that his men are ‘exhausted’. In addition we have received reports that the fleet is desperately short of fuel and that a huge restocking would be required for the task force to operate within the required support envisaged by the Prime Minister.
Lastly and not least the looming fireman’s strike in the UK will require at least 1600 soldiers to replace striking firemen.
As we said in our February issue, the Chancellor appears keener to conserve funds than confront the terrorist threat in a similar vein to his European counterparts. Our visit to the USA has clearly demonstrated the US intent to defeat terrorism with one observer suggesting that London had now become the ‘easy option’, target. The election turmoil in Germany has further threatened projects such as Meteor, A400M and a drop in Typhoon buys, when will Europe sit up and take notice about the terrorist threat? The Global Security Conference being held in London in July may answer some of these worries. BATTLESPACE will be publishing a special monthly ‘Global Security’ e-mail news service which will be free to our subscribers. (See GLOBAL SECURITY LAUNCHED).