Wednesday, January 16, 2008

UK troops fire 4 million bullets in a year

The Telegraph has a story on yet another instance of the British Labour government's misleading the public. Some weeks ago, senior British officials admitted that British government representatives had in fact been negotiating with the Taliban, despite earlier government claims to the contrary. Now, the Ministry of Defence admits that it previously issued an erroneous report of the number of bullets which their forces had used in Afghanistan. Here's the breakdown of the numbers, including the earlier reported number and the corrected one:

Rounds used [by British troops in Helmand province, Afghanistan]

Aug 2006 - Sept 2007

SA80 (5.56mm)
Original report: 1,100,000
Actual number: 2,020,000

General Purpose Machine Gun (7.62mm)
Original report: 1,600,000
Actual number: 1,830,000

Artillery (105mm) Original report: 12,000
Actual number: 25,000
The shadow defence secretary noted that these figures "call into question [Defence Secretary] Des Browne's judgment that the Taliban poses no strategic threat to the Government of Afghanistan." (link)

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