Dominic Raab grilled by Ranvir Singh and Afghanistan advice
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The team of pro-Brexit activists put together official data from NATO and the Ministry of Defence to demonstrate the huge sacrifice made by the UK armed forces compared to that of the EU27. Brexit Facts4EU concluded that more than 50 percent of fatalities among EU soldiers during the 20 years of war in Afghanistan were British.
They said: “Since October 2001, the UK’s military forces have been engaged in operations in Afghanistan.
“Given that during all of this time the United Kingdom was a member of the European Union, we felt it appropriate to look at the commitment of the EU28 countries to coalition forces from the early days, through the first NATO mission, to the UN-promoted peace-keeping mission from 2015.
“NATO itself presents troop numbers from each country. This, however, does not represent a true picture of the fighting forces deployed.
“Sadly as there are no figures readily available from NATO for actual combat troops from each country (as opposed to liaison officers, admin staff, and other personnel), Facts4EU.Org decided that a chart showing fatalities would be more representative of the commitment from each EU country.”
They continued: “According to the Ministry of Defence, almost 90 percent of fatalities were the direct result of hostile action. The vast majority of these took place in the Taliban stronghold of Helmand province.
“There is also the tragic number of British service personnel who have been wounded in Afghanistan, some of these horrifically.
“We have no data for the numbers of wounded from other EU countries but we would estimate that it will follow similar proportions to the UK data.
“456 British fatalitie, 5,255 UK military and civilian injured personnel were admitted to UK field hospitals, and 2,188 of these were categorised as Wounded in Action.
“The UK had 9,500 service personnel in Afghanistan in August 2011.
“This represented 90 percent more than Germany, 139 percent more than Italy, 141 percent more than France and 268 percent more than Poland.”
The shocking data comes as anger over the US approach to Afghanistan sparked plans for a European defence force from EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell last weekend.
He wants to assemble an EU force of 50,000 men and women. He said Afghanistan could be the wake-up call for Europe.
He said: “The time has come to create a military force that can fight when necessary. We are going to propose to provide the Union with an expeditionary force of fifty thousand men.”
Mr Borrell is currently working on a so-called “defence strategy” for the European Union.
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The plans and their elaboration are on the agenda of a European summit to be held in November.
But now Brussels is already using the chaos surrounding the evacuation of European citizens in Afghanistan to argue for a large European army.
Last weekend Mr Borrell had a telephone interview with the French news agency AFP from Madrid.
He had visited the temporary reception location of Afghan EU staff there with committee chair Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, president of the European Council.
Less than half of the 400 people to be brought from Kabul to Europe had arrived there.
Mr Borrell believes that the situation in Afghanistan demonstrates the need for Europe to hold its own on defence matters.
He said: “Europeans have no choice.
“We have to organise ourselves to deal with the world as it is and not with the world we dream of.”
After French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel already argued in favour of this in 2018, Europe has recently been really considering options for “operating autonomously”.
In May this year, a European summit decided that it should “take more responsibility for its own safety”.
Shortly before that, fourteen European countries, including the Netherlands, had already urged the building of a rapid European intervention force that can be deployed in international crises.
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