Politics OnLine UK
Uploaded: 6 july 2003
Territorial Army sent to Iraq.
A close personal friend has been sent to Iraq. He has been out there for a month living in a palace in Basra. Shortly after he arrived he was called out for riot duty and was, along with the rest of his unit, in his words, 'Shitting himself!'
What is remarkable about this is that he is a member of the Territorial Army, and has said he is being asked to do things that he has no training for whatsoever. He is an engineer.
What is the government doing sending the TA into Iraq? Who made this decision? The tension in Iraq surely demands our most highly trained and capable troops if we are going to continue to be a presence there. The decision to send in the Territorial Army beggars belief.
I received an email on 15 August 2003 from a Royal Engineer giving me some more relevant information and setting me right on a few things. I originally said that my friend was conscripted. He was not. This was an error in my understanding of the process by which troops are sent to serve wherever they are needed. It would seem that the TA was sent because the Regulars Army is severely undermanned due to world wide commitments.
The following is from the email:
"The Regular Army is
severely under manned due to world wide commitments.
If Mr. Blair is to be believed then we are indeed at risk, but from the new global threat of terrorism. If he is right, a home guard would seem to be very necessary, but I rather tend agree with my correspondent above.
© Keith Lindsay-Cameron 2003