Tuesday, July 12, 2011

War in Afghanistan: Comment

Following the tragic death of yet another young soldier in Afghanistan, the message to the Government must be what? To give up the apparently utterly futile conflict in Afghanistan and bring all British forces back home as quickly as possible? Or to dig ourselves in for yet another few more years before we pull out? After all we commited ourselves to aiding the Afghan people by removing terrorists (and inadvertently the Taliban) and traditionally, we are a stubborn lot, we like to see things through.

I wasn't born until the 1970's but as far as I know, during the previous 80 years the only time we've ever retreated with our pride damaged was at Dunkirk and during Suez. Every other conflict we've been involved in we've been a thorn in the side of the opposition.

Is that enough to remain? To maintain our prestige and in addition, more significantly, to preserve the memory of the fallen can only but strengthen our resolve to see this conflict to the bitter end. And despite the recent deaths, it is quickly coming to and end. The Taliban are in disarray themselves and have split several ways into rival factions. But whose propaganda can we believe?

Some would argue however, that this is a war which should never have been begun. Almost 400 British lives have been lost, and many more times that number have been injured and maimed. Afghanistan is basically still a medieval tribal country, with regions dominated by local warlords and an economy almost entirely based on opium. What possibility is there of forcing it to become a western-style democracy and establishing human rights as we understand them in the west?

The original reason for invading 10 years ago was to capture Osama bin Laden and destroy his terrorist organisation, Al Qaeda. Hasn't this been done? Bin Laden is now dead and his international terrorist group is nominally based in Pakistan, Sudan, and Somalia.

Frank Roberts - HMForces.co.uk

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The British Armed Forces has a long tradition of custom, pagentry, and history.

Trooping the Colour
Like it or not, the naval and military services are bound up in the cultural life of the United Kingdom; its languages, architecture, religion, philosophical views, art, and music.

Whether you are loyalist or republican, that cultural life is part of this Island’s great cultural heritage which you are a part of, surrounded by and invited to join, irrespective of your background – something the British (whether that’s Irish, Welsh, Scottish or English) have always been reticent and moderate in talking about – you should have and will have chances to enjoy all that the military has to offer. If you’re a spouse of a service member, your child or friend, or sibling may be serving, get involved, don’t miss the opportunity to have some great fun.

Even if you’re not part of the forces or a friend is serving, you can be a part of it too, as the majority of people who enjoy these event are not military.

Not only is our cultural heritage important per se (Why? Well it is a part of your identity and moral duty to learn and enjoy these events), it also gives you and your family great opportunities to celebrate events together, create ideas for get-togethers and parties at home and in your local community – specially if you live on the patch. It’s a great way to meet and make new friends, for you and your children.

We’re going to list the events for you in chronological order starting with January but focusing on the lesser know events and days rather than festivals like Easter. On that note, movable feasts change dates year on year (such as Easter) never falling on the same date but rather on the same day. In addition this is a list of British events, not celebrating exclusivity.

Furthermore, not all events are Bank Holidays (there’re only 8 official Bank Holidays while some years have extra such as a Royal Wedding or holidays in lieu if Christmas or New Year fall on a weekend) but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate something or take it as an excuse to have a party! However, some Regiments have holidays that are not enjoyed by the Public such as the Queen’s Official Birthday. So if you want more holidays get involved with the Armed Forces!

Just Click on a link below to take you to a page which will show you all the events for that month.