19 Jul 2009

UK Ex-defence secretary John Hutton says army needs more support

The political row over government support for troop numbers and military spending in Afghanistan escalated today as the former defence secretary John Hutton said UK forces need "more logistical support".


The Tory leader, David Cameron, also weighed into the row as he questioned the government's commitment to the operations, while the business secretary, Lord Mandelson, insisted military leaders had neither made a request for extra troops nor been turned down. Hutton said the mood among forces on the ground over the need for more manpower, helicopters and protection from roadside bombs was "unequivocal", adding that a review of troop levels could not wait until the autumn.

Hutton, who left the cabinet last month, also said European members of Nato must do more to support allied troops in Afghanistan, through manpower, equipment or money, saying they could not expect the Americans "to do all the heavy lifting".  Guardian.co.uk