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Gloucester MP backs troops deployment to Mali

By citizennick  |  Posted: January 30, 2013

Comments (7)

BRITISH involvement in Mali should not be seen "through the prism" of previous experience says Gloucester's MP as he backed the deployment of troops to West Africa.

Richard Graham was responding to concerns raised by a fellow Conservative MP over the risk of UK forces being drawn deeper into conflicts such as in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He pointed to the support of neighbouring countries and awareness of the dangers of "mission creep".

Mr Graham also called for the Department for International Development (DfID) to make a "wholesome contribution" to the cost of the training mission.

It came as Downing Street announced the deployment of about 330 military personnel to support the French-led mission to drive out Islamist militants.

This includes 200 soldiers sent to neighbouring African countries to help train a regional intervention force for Mali, and up to 40 military advisers to train soldiers in Mali.

There are also 70 with the RAF Sentinel surveillance aircraft, and 20 on a C17 transport plane.

But Number 10 insist British troops would not be involved in combat operations against the insurgents.

Responding to his colleague's warnings over UK troops being drawn into "ever-deepening conflicts", Mr Graham said: "He is surely right to raise the high human and financial cost of earlier interventions under the previous Government, but there is a danger of seeing everything through the prism of previous experience."

He added: "I support the Defence Secretary's commitment today to deploying considerable British military training capabilities alongside allies, with the support of neighbouring countries and with full awareness of the dangers of mission creep in Mali, for the better security of Europe."

Mr Graham asked the Secretary of State: "Does he agree, however, that training in fragile areas comes under the heading of conflict resolution and that it would, therefore, be appropriate for DfID to make a wholesome contribution to the costs of this training mission?"

Responding Mr Hammond said: "My ears are always open to any suggestion that anybody else might contribute to activity that otherwise falls on the defence budget, but as I said earlier the funding for this operation will come from the conflict pool and from pooled funds that are available for precisely this type of intervention.

"This is an arrangement that is working extremely well across Government and is one of the successes of the past couple of years."

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7 comments

  • MrGarnet  |  January 30 2013, 8:37PM

    TheNub Why don'y you add Blair, the recluse of Kirkcaldy and the norbert that represented Glos posing outside post offices then driving to London to close them! Just to say like?

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  • TheNub  |  January 30 2013, 6:36PM

    why dont you go as well Richard Graham and take silver spoon cameron with you

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  • lordigaga  |  January 30 2013, 11:56AM

    i think our mp should get his coat

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  January 30 2013, 11:20AM

    While it's always see good by some, to have a bit of Tory bashing, let's remember that Tony Bliar took us into Iraq & Afghan. What worries me, is that we Brits are seen as the infidels, and will be targeted. Much better that it's a UN operation. The unpalatable truth though, is the rise and rise of Muslim extremists, and the fact that the so called non-extremists either can't, or won't do anything about it.

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  • Bratfurd  |  January 30 2013, 10:08AM

    Nothing like British-French imperialism. Make sure this time you don't end up making 3 separate conflicting promising... and oh, try not to give away land to extremist from another religion who apparently were promised the land by God, even though they made home in countries thousands of miles away.

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  • Freeborn_John  |  January 30 2013, 9:30AM

    Conservative MP backs war that doesnt affect UK in any way... Remember all those soldiers who died pointlessly in Iraq and Afghanistan? Apparently not.

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  • Lecorche  |  January 30 2013, 8:03AM

    Theres nothing like a Holy War to boost the Arms Trade. Especially if Oil is involved.

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