General says MoD 'out of touch' with reality
Monday 22 March 2010
A former British commander in Afghanistan has called for an overhaul of the relationship between policymakers and soldiers on the front line, saying Whitehall "loses sight" of realities on the ground. Major-General Andrew Mackay, who left the Army last year, criticised the Ministry of Defence for struggling to adapt to the realities of fighting an insurgency. He agreed earlier "severe deficiencies" in equipment had improved, but not rapidly enough.
General Mackay, the British commander in Helmand when his men recaptured the strategic town of Musa Qala, complained privately of a failure to provide adequate reconstruction to win the hearts and minds of locals.
On BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend, he said: "Any policy generated out of Whitehall or Washington ... in the end requires a soldier to leave an operating base and ... talk to the population or government of that country. Sometimes I think policy loses sight of that hard requirement at the other end."
With the first Strategic Defence Review for 13 years due after this year's election, the general saw an "opportunity" arising from tighter spending, but said "We have very tough choices ahead. Whether or not we will make the right choices remains to be seen."
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Kim Jong-un proves 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...