Letter: Credibility gulf

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The Independent Online
Sir: At a time when the armed forces are having an increasingly difficult time with recruitment, and needing to rely more and more heavily on the Territorial Army, the Ministry of Defence's management of "Gulf war syndrome" is difficult to reconcile.

Mr Soames's statement in the Commons (report, 11 December) was welcome for its honesty. However, the whole affair is in stark contrast with the American approach to the treatment of their veterans who developed problems as a result of service in the Gulf.

Not only did they immediately undertake to fund research into the disorders, but they have offered no-fault compensation for those affected. In comparison, the onus has been on our veterans to prove their illnesses are genuine. For five years they have needed to fight a war of attrition to force the MoD into accepting the reality of their plight.

How are we to persuade other brave men and women to risk their lives in the fight for Queen and country when those disabled by active service are seen having to battle for the right to compensation when they return home?

G S ARUL FRCS

Captain RAMC (V)

Bristol

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