Time To Disband Our Armed Forces?

We are heading for a situation where Britain cannot send our armed forces into combat in the air, on the seas or the land. Why? Because commanders dare not send an airman, sailor or soldier into a situation where he might get killed or wounded for fear of ending up in court.

This is all the result of taking both the Human Rights Charter and the Health and Safety laws too far, and the rampant ‘compensation culture’ currently prevalent in the United Kingdom today. This has been proven by families making compensation claims against the Ministry of Defense (MoD) for soldiers either wounded or killed in Iraq and Afghanistan who took the MoD to court and won!

Challenger Tank

Challenger Tank

Let me give you some examples: In 2003 a Challenger tank was hit by ‘friendly fire’ and as a result two soldiers died and two more were injured. The two survivors, and the families of the dead men were allowed to sue the MoD for negligence claiming insufficient training of the men. During the case, the families lawyers argued that although their deaths occurred on the battlefield, they did not happen in the “fog of war”, but were related to a decision about equipment made in the UK. My goodness, they were in a tank for crying out loud, what sort of equipment should the MoD have given them?

None of them realized that such an incident is always a possibility in the heat of battle, as has been amply demonstrated in every conflict, including the First and Second World War. Ask the American’s about ‘friendly fire’? They know more about it than anyone else, but it is a factor that all soldiers have to live with in war.

On Patrol

On Patrol

In 2006 two soldiers were killed when their land-rover was blown up by a roadside bomb. While I have the greatest sympathy with the relatives of the two men I find it intolerable that this case was allowed to take place. The families case rested on the fact that the two soldiers were not properly protected from a roadside bomb because their vehicle was insufficient for the job. Perhaps in their minds all our soldiers should go on patrol in a tank?

The MoD tried to get the cases thrown out because of the so-called combat immunity and the incidents did not take place in the UK. The idea of HR and H&S regulations applying to serving soldiers is just too ridiculous for words. It is bad enough that these people got our government to agree that a member of our Armed Forces could not open fire on anyone until they themselves were shot at. So in effect, if you turn a corner and there is an insurgent with his AK47 aimed at you, you cannot defend yourself until he fires first. In most cases that is a certain death sentence, but there again, the family will always be able to claim compensation from the MoD so that’s alright then!

Defusing an I.E.D.

Defusing an I.E.D.

Before anyone starts asking the question, I did my time in the Forces (12 years) and was in the thick of it so let’s not have any ‘holier-than-thou’ comments from the self righteous idiots who don’t even know which end of a rifle the bullet comes out.

Tom Tugendhat, who co-wrote the report said: ‘Over the past decade, legal steps based on the European Convention on Human Rights have undone safeguards Parliament drew up to ensure military commanders have the freedom of manoeuvre to make vital decisions on the ground. The armed forces neither are, nor should be, above or exempt from the law. But, imposing civilian norms on the military is deeply misplaced’. Quite correct Sir!

According to the report, the MoD faced 5,827 claims in 2012-13 and lawyers cost the cash-strapped ministry £36 million a year. That is all coming out of the tax payers pocket, and is money that could be better spent on giving our fighting forces the best equipment.

A Soldier Returns

A Soldier Returns

A litigation lawyer, Martin Day, is reported as saying: ‘We find it very disconcerting that the Government of law and order seem so intent on desecrating the legal system, ignoring the safeguards the law provides for all individuals and continues to act unlawfully through its many departments including the MoD. Greater adherence to the laws, both domestic and international, are the only way in which the MoD’s litigation will decrease’.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond commented: ‘I remain concerned about the challenge to combat immunity arising from recent court judgments. These could make it more difficult for our troops to carry out operations in the future, and they potentially throw open a wide range of military decisions to the uncertainty of litigation. It cannot be right that troops on operations have to put the European Convention on Human Rights ahead of what is operationally vital to protect our national security’.

It does not matter whether its Iraq or Afghanistan or any other, war is war and people get killed. That is what you sign up for when you join the military, and if you and your family can’t take it, then ‘get the hell out of the kitchen’!

Roy.

2 Responses to “Time To Disband Our Armed Forces?”

  1. Alfie Says:

    That is indeed a disgrace. Although I for one would never want to afford any government the luxury of immunity in cases of malicious acts the goings on in most of these cases are part and parcel for what expects (or should) when one signs on the dotted line.

    Like

    • Hi Alfie,
      Thanks for the comment, nice to have you back. I agree with you, just because young men give away their rights to a certain extent must never mean their service be abused, but I do not think that is the case in our armed forces. The acts I described are just part and parcel of war, and and can happen to anyone in a moment of high stress or when facing a vicious the enemy. People should remember that the opponents of our armed forces do not play to same rules that ours are forced to.
      Best Regards,
      Roy.

      Like

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