Monday, 12 November 2007

At least one third of casualties avoidable

According to an investigation carried out by the Independent on Sunday: "more than one in three servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan might still be alive if not for avoidable blunders and equipment problems". The investigation has revealed that of the 254 deaths in the two conflicts, 88 were the result of avoidable accidents, friendly fire incidents or equipment shortages.

The publication of these figures on Remembrance Sunday only serves to add to the damning indictment of both the Labour Government and the MoD. Were this negligence to have occurred in a private company, the directors would have been arrayed for corporate manslaughter.
The politicians and officials responsible must be brought to account for this criminal disregard for the lives in their care.
An example:
"Much of the evidence of blunders is revealed only at inquests. For example, reservist Private Jason Smith, 32, died of heat stroke in August 2003 in temperatures approaching 50C. Initially the MoD implied his death was attributable to his health. It was only at his inquest four years later that it emerged there was no air conditioning where he was stationed, no medics and that hydration tablets had run out."