Saturday, 13 February 2010

UK Afghan Troop Deaths Are 12 times European NATO Allies

One of Jury Team’s key policies is that British troops should not be put in harms way more than the the troops of other NATO countries. NATO “remains the cornerstone of UK defence policy” according to the Ministry of Defence. However NATO is meant to be a co-operative endeavour among its 28 members and if the UK is not specifically threatened then there should be no reason for it to play more than its fair part and to put its troops in greater danger.

An analysis being published today shows that British troops have been dragged into the Afghan war far more than any other NATO country. We have more troops there, compared with population, than any other NATO country including America.

Compared with the size of the UK, we have had 12 times more deaths than our European NATO allies since 2006 when the army was redeployed to Afghanistan and John Reid, the Defence Secretary at the time, famously said that “our boys” might leave in three years “without a shot being fired”.

In fact during 2006-9, Britain had 240 troops killed but Germany had only 19 deaths and Italy only 16. The total deaths of troops from Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal, with a combined population of 273 million, more than 4 times the UK, has been only 76, less than a third of the number of UK fatal casualties. This means that per head of population, Britain has suffered 12 times fatalities more than its supposed NATO allies and has suffered nearly double the U.S.A.

This new analysis is taken from the latest troop numbers posted last week on the website of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan which is run by NATO on behalf of the United Nations.

The Jury Team policy is to “Limit the number of British troops sent to Afghanistan to the average number sent by other NATO countries (relative to their population)”. This would mean that instead of 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, the UK would have only about 4,000. We would still be fulfilling all of our NATO obligations but would also be saving at least £2 billion a year.

Jury Team policies are based on what the British people want. The political class have become out of touch with the electorate. As a result of vested interests and electoral cowardice, the current party system does not deliver the policies that people want. The traditional political parties do not even properly debate the issues. Using its own review substantiated by a series of YouGov opinion polls, the Jury Team has researched the areas where the political class and the public have clearly different views. Jury Team will legislate for those policies and then have an authorising referendum before they become law.

The Jury Team policy on Afghanistan was shown in a YouGov poll to be supported by 67% of the electorate to 14% against. There was particularly strong support from females (71%) and from those aged 55+ (75%).

The following table shows the latest available (1st February 2010) number of troops deployed in Afghanistan by all 28 countries of NATO as shown on the website of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) which is run by NATO on behalf of the United Nations:



Troops

Population

Troops Per Million

Deaths 2006-9

Deaths Per Million

United Kingdom

9,500

61,634,599

154.1

240

3.9

United States

47,085

308,181,734

152.8

689

2.2

Denmark

750

5,511,451

136.1

26

4.7

Netherlands

1,950

16,486,587

118.3

21

1.3

Estonia

150

1,340,415

111.9

7

5.2

Norway

500

4,799,252

104.2

3

0.6

Canada

2,830

33,880,270

83.5

130

3.8

Latvia

175

2,261,294

77.4

3

1.3

Bulgaria

540

7,606,551

71.0



Albania

255

3,639,453

70.1



Croatia

295

4,435,056

66.5



France

3,750

64,351,000

58.3

31

0.5

Belgium

575

10,665,867

53.9

1

0.1

Germany

4,415

82,002,356

53.8

16

0.2

Italy

3,150

60,053,442

52.5

19

0.3

Poland

1,955

38,135,876

51.3

16

0.4

Lithuania

165

3,349,872

49.3

1

0.3

Slovakia

240

5,412,254

44.3



Romania

945

21,498,616

44.0

8

0.4

Czech Republic

440

10,467,542

42.0

3

0.3

Slovenia

70

2,032,362

34.4



Hungary

315

10,030,975

31.4

2

0.2

Turkey

1,755

71,517,100

24.5

2

0.0

Spain

1,070

46,661,950

22.9

8

0.2

Luxembourg

9

493,500

18.2



Portugal

105

10,627,250

9.9

1

0.1

Iceland

3

319,368

9.4



Greece

15

11,260,402

1.3



TOTAL

83,007

898,656,394

92.4

1,227

1.4

AVERAGE



62.4


0.9




The table is in the order of the number of troops per million of population. It can be seen that the UK has the highest number, 154 per million, of any NATO country. In contrast France, Germany and Italy have a ratio of only 58, 52 and 52 per million respectively. The average of this ratio for all NATO countries is 62.4 and if the UK moves to this ratio then it will lead to a 60% reduction, about 6,000, in the number of UK troops deployed, saving around £2 billion from the defence contingency budget. These 6,000 would amount to about 7% of the current total NATO forces deployed. This could be made up by further troops from other countries or by reducing the area covered or the rate of training of the Afghan army. Professor Malcolm Chalmers of the Royal United Services Institute, the military think-tank, has already said it would be feasible for 'the total size of the commitment to go down to around 5,000 by 2012'.

The table also shows the number of deaths in Afghanistan up to the end of 2009 for troops of the various countries since 2006 when NATO was redeployed. Tom Coghlan said in The Times in January 2010: 'The force levels now being deployed show the catastrophic miscalculation that was made before the original deployment of 3,300 British soldiers in 2006; with the famous hope of John Reid, the Defence Secretary at the time, that they might leave in three years 'without a shot being fired' '. It can be seen that at 3.9 deaths per million population, the UK has a death rate slightly higher than Canada and much greater than the US. The UK death rate per million population is the highest with the exception of Denmark and Estonia, whose forces both suffered from serious isolated incidents, and is more than 10 times that for the troops from Germany, France and Italy.

If there is a threat to the West then every country of NATO should be deploying its troops similarly. However there seems no reason why the UK should provide more than its fair share of troops to the NATO campaign in Afghanistan. This Proposal will limit the number of UK troops to the NATO average (relative to population) although for operational reasons during handover periods the government would be allowed to exceed this limit by 10% for up to three months.

2 comments:

  1. Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!
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    Labour Dissertation

    ReplyDelete
  2. Agreed. Bring them home.

    ReplyDelete

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