Liberal Democrat Shadow Defence Secretary, Nick Harvey MP, has launched Forces Focus, a new website concentrating on the state of our armed forces (click on headline above to view).
Nick says, “Our 2005 Manifesto stated that one of our priorities was to look after our Armed Forces so they can look after us. At a time when our forces are committed to fighting on two fronts, as well as operations around the world, this holds just as true now as it did three years ago.
“With continued operations around the world, defence remains at the top of the agenda and it is essential that the Government’s ‘duty of care’ to service personnel is fulfilled.
“However, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have proved to be more challenging and more hostile than anticipated. More than ever in recent history our forces are at a point of critical overstretch. Numerous senior ranking military officials have voiced their concerns about the impact of Iraq and Afghanistan on the troops and on morale, retention and recruitment, and the British Legion’s ‘Honour the Covenant’ Campaign brought personnel welfare to the forefront of the political agenda.
“We need to ask what is the real cost of operations and the impact of overstretch on our current operations overseas and the future for our armed forces? I suspect it will be both great and far-reaching. It goes without saying that if we continue to stretch our Armed Forces as we are doing something will have to give.
“As a party we are well placed to continue these campaigns and feed into wider debate on the future for our Armed Forces and the nature of defence in a changing international and strategic landscape.
“That is why I, and my colleagues on the defence team, have set up the Forces Focus website. We want to continue to spark debate about defence and offer the chance to discuss issues ranging from welfare to disarmament and procurement, as well as keeping you up-to-date on what we as a team are working on.”