This post was originally published on this site

Via @glynbeddau

There can be no coincidence that a House of Commons Defence Committee report says the defence budget should rise from 2% of GDP to 3% (£60bn) and Armed Forces Day falling on Saturday  30th June. 

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has reportedly demanded an extra £20bn for his department.
A government spokesman said: “We have been clear we will continue to exceed Nato’s 2% spending target.”
The committee said the extra money for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) could be spent on increasing the readiness of the armed forces and to bolster Britain’s anti-submarine warfare to counter possible threats from Russia.
The report recommends increasing the defence budget to 3% of GDP but says a rise to 2.5% would “comfortably fill the ‘black hole’ in the existing MoD budget”.
It argued that without such investment the UK armed forces’ usefulness to the US would be diminished.

The MPs’ report also notes comments by US Defence Secretary James Mattis that the UK benefits from its defence relationship with the US by £3bn a year.
“This implies that both the UK armed forces and HM Treasury benefit from our close relationship with the US,” the report says.
“However, that will continue to be true only while the UK military retains both the capacity and capability to maintain interoperability with the US military and to relieve US burdens.
At next month’s Nato summit in Brussels, US President Donald Trump is expected to repeat his demands for European allies to spend more on defence.
BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale says the committee’s report will “add fuel to what seems to be an increasingly acrimonious row between the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, and the Treasury and the prime minister.”
He says there have been warnings of a Conservative backbench rebellion if more funding is not forthcoming.

The government must not let this happen,” the report says.

As I said  with Armed Forces Day on Saturday it is an appropriate time to publish this,Armed Forces Day (formerly Veterans’ Day) in the United Kingdom is an annual event celebrated in late June to commemorate the service of men and women in the British Armed Forces. Veterans’ Day was first observed in 2006.[1] Although an official event, it is not a public holiday in the UK. 

The name was changed to Armed Forces Day in 2009. Armed Forces Day has so far been observed on the last Saturday of June.

On 25 June 2007, Jim Devine the then Member of Parliament for Livingston, tabled a House of Commons Early Day Motion calling for the day to be a public holiday, stating “that this House recognises the outstanding contribution that veterans have made to the country; and believes that Veterans’ Day should be a national public holiday across the United Kingdom.”

I do not support  Armed Forces Day it seems to me more about  supporting  Government  Military Policy than supporting those in the military and especially veterans.

In 2013 it was reported” Up to 9,000 British heroes who served Queen and country are homeless after leaving the military”, a Sunday Mirror investigation revealed

Don’t get these figures mentioned in recruitment adds

They also seem to insult Towns like Newcastle  and Bridgend with their born in-made in claim and that there is no future in these towns,

Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts has campaigned  raise the age of army recruitment from 16 to 18 ( the sort of people the above adds are aimed at) over concerns about the long-term impact on young recruits.   says young recruits are more vulnerable to mental health illness, suicide and death or injury than adult recruits.
The Ministry of Defence has no plans to raise the age, arguing enlistment could be beneficial for youngsters.
The Plaid Cymru MP is due to lead a Westminster Hall debate on the topic.She said:

 “The outcomes, the future that happens to the young people who are recruited into the army in the United Kingdom, they are not good prospects.
“It concerns me that this country still recruits people under the age of 18 when, in all honesty, we are the only country in the EU, in Europe, that does so.”

Recently the  he British army has targeted recruitment material at “stressed and vulnerableâ€� 16-year-olds via social media on and around GCSE results day,Paid-for Facebook messages suggested to 16-year-olds that a career in the army would still be open to them if they did not get the grades they hoped for.
Campaigners against the recruitment of child soldiers accused the army of cynically trying to recruit young people at a time when they are worried about their results and future prospects.

Rachel Taylor, director of programmes at Child Soldiers International, said: “Targeting army advertisements at teenagers when they are stressed and vulnerable is abhorrent. These adverts prove once again that the MoD is deliberately targeting children at the lowest limit of the legal recruitment age to fill the lowest qualified, least popular and hardest-to-recruit army roles.
“Using Facebook to target the country’s young people unwittingly and exploiting the anxiety of those who may be disappointed with their GCSE results with idealised and unrealistic advertisements is shameful.�

 Liz Saville Roberts said:

 â€œThe government’s recruitment ads on social media tell young people that exam results don’t matter. If they truly have potential army recruits’ best interests at heart, they should prioritise their education budget over the army’s social media budget.â€�

We should go back to the renaming  Armed Forced Day “Veterans Day” and concentrate on helping the plight of those who have faithfully served in the forces  and who have been constantly let down by those  who have sent them to illegal wars in order to either secure their place in history (Blair) and or to maintain the myth that the UK is a world power (Gavin Williamson and the current government)