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February 12, 2011

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Internationalist

Sorry Paul but you should think these things through a bit.

First of all, the British presence in Germany has been significantly cut since the end of the Cold War.

Second, the Germans have nothing against the presence of British (or American, or French) troops in the country. Oh wait a bit - some Germans do object - the neo-Nazis who see it as an affront to their national pride.

Admittedly there is some hypocrisy in the German position. They want to prove to the world how peace-loving they are so they get the British and American taxpayers to stump up for their defense.

Third, the British Forces in Germany contribute about €1,5 billion to the German economy and the Americans many times more.

Fourth, the reason they are still here is that the bases and infrastructure is here and because NATO has an integrated command structure. Nothing to do with Ruperts being dim. If you brought those soldiers home overnight then you'd have to find accommodation for them - and I can assure you, that would cost a lot more than 170m.

Fifth - and this is my main point - the facilities have to be maintained and that costs money. Or would you prefer to see British soldiers freezing to death through the winter, or living in less comfort than prisoners? Anyone who has any experience of life in the army, much of which is spent roughing it in the field or slogging your way round training grounds in all weathers will know how much a few home comforts are appreciated.

Sixth, most of those squaddies are working class kids not Ruperts. If they were not in the army they would be putting demands on those essential services "back home".

River

There was a great demo in PReston today against the ConDem cuts. Here's my report: http://riversstream.blogspot.com/2011/02/lancashires-outcry-against-cuts-grows.html

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