Thursday, 13 December 2007

National Recognition Study launched to improve the nation's understanding and appreciation of the Armed Forces

The Government has commissioned an independent study led by Quentin Davies MP into how the British public can better express its support and gratitude for the nation's Armed Forces. The study will also look at ways to encourage more public activities like civic parades and commemoration days.
Over recent months several towns and cities across the country have hosted homecoming parades for local troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. These opportunities for the public to express their support and thanks have proved very successful with thousands turning out in such cities as Norwich , Salisbury and Nottingham.
Whilst people are proving only too ready to support "our boys" at an emotional level, there still seems to be little understanding about what the armed forces are actually doing in the war zones.
The MoD is currently failing to provide the public with coherent information on the strategies, campaigns and goals of our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. For most people these wars are remote both physically and intellectually; few families have relatives or friends directly involved in the conflicts from whom they can get first-hand accounts.
This study is therefore to be welcomed particularly as we are now told that British forces will be engaged in Afghanistan for several more years and the support of the British public is going to need to be sustained over a long period. If the Government and the MoD want to win over both hearts and minds, they must be prepared to provide more information in a more structured way.

MoD Defence News: Study into Public Troops' Support