No Hero’s Welcome for British Troops

No Hero’s Welcome for British Troops

LONDON -- The business of war-fighting just got more difficult. These days, British troops -- over-stretched, under-funded and ill-equipped -- must contend not only with implacable enemies abroad, but also with a seemingly disinterested Defense Ministry and a sometimes hostile public at home. No surprise, then, that morale has plummeted.

The low level of morale was highlighted in a survey -- the first ever -- that was conducted among more than 24,000 service personnel across the armed forces. It revealed that almost half are ready to quit. The reasons are not hard to find. During October alone, the British government was castigated by two separate inquests into the deaths of British troops on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Oxford, Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker said British officials should "hang their heads in shame" over the death of Cpl. Mark Wright in September 2006. He was killed while trying to rescue six colleagues who had strayed into an unmarked minefield in the murderous Helmand province of Afghanistan.

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