Saturday, April 25, 2009

Britain 'cannot afford to send more troops to Afghanistan' because of the recession - Telegraph

Britain cannot afford to send more troops to Afghanistan because of the mounting costs of dealing with the recession, military commanders have been told.

The Daily Telegraph has learned that the Treasury is blocking Ministry of Defence plans to match a US troop surge with thousands more British soldiers on financial grounds.
Alistair Darling announced in his Budget on Wednesday that the Government will have to borrow £700 billion over the next five years as tax revenues fall and spending on items like welfare payments soar.

In private Whitehall discussions about Afghanistan, his department has argued that the ever-worsening state of the public finances means the Government simply cannot spare more money for an increased long-term commitment to the country.

Britain currently has around 8,300 troops in Afghanistan, the second-largest force after America's, which is set to grow to more than 50,000 this year.

Gordon Brown has authorised a short-term deployment of several hundred extra troops to Afghanistan to provide extra security for the country's presidential election this summer. That temporary increase will still go ahead.

For the full article on the Telegraph website click here

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