British military

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Britain Cutting Army by a Fifth

Budget cuts to shrink force by end of decade

(Newser) - The British Army is taking a sizable cut as part of the government's austerity drive. The country's defense secretary unveiled plans yesterday to cut the force's 102,000 troops to 82,000 by the end of this decade, axing a total of 17 units and merging others,... More »

6 UK Troops Believed Killed in Afghan Blast

Could be largest loss of life for British forces since 2006

(Newser) - Six British soldiers were believed killed after an explosion hit their armored vehicle in southwestern Afghanistan, Britain's Ministry of Defense said today. If confirmed, it would be the biggest loss of life for British forces in the country since a plane crash in 2006 killed 14. The soldiers were... More »

Taliban: Prince Harry Shouldn't Kill

'Captain Wales' to return to Afghanistan this year; he'll be Taliban target

(Newser) - Newly qualified Apache helicopter pilot Prince Harry is expected to return to Afghanistan for a tour of duty this year, and the people he might be shooting at aren't happy about it. "A prince should use his position to help people, not to come and kill people around... More »

News of World Scandal: More Hacks, Arrests Loom

Newly revealed targets: Families of dead troops, Princess Di inquest lawyer

(Newser) - The families of British service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan can likely be added to the ever-expanding list of people whose phones were hacked by Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, according to the Telegraph . And they're not the only new target to emerge. The AP reports... More »

Prince Harry Heading Back to Afghanistan

Apache pilot expected to join unit in combat zone

(Newser) - Prince Harry is likely to return to military service in Afghanistan next year, although you won't be hearing about it when he does. The prince—whose first tour of duty in the combat zone was cut short after a media leak —has qualified as an Apache attack helicopter... More »

Afghan Flag Raised in Marjah

Government aims to win residents' allegiance with jobs, projects

(Newser) - The Afghan flag was raised today in Marjah after a two-week offensive that left at least 10 coalition troops and 150 Taliban fighters dead and set the stage for the Afghan government’s hopeful return to an area it ceded two years ago. The governor of Helmand province was at... More »

Bomb-Sniffing Dog Given UK's Highest Military Honor

Treo awarded Dickin Medal for twice locating IEDs in Afghanistan

(Newser) - A British military bomb-sniffing dog joined venerable company today when he was awarded the highest honor a war animal can receive for twice detecting IEDs in Afghanistan. The Dickin Medal was established in 1943 by the founder of an animal health organization. Treo’s handler tells the BBC that the... More »

US Tries Out British Camo in Afghanistan

MultiCam pattern could replace current digital one

(Newser) - US troops could soon be mistaken for their across-the-pond counterparts: The US is now testing out uniforms with a camouflage pattern similar to the one the British announced they were using last week. The "MultiCam" uniform is being tested by one infantry regiment in eastern Afghanistan, and if successful... More »

Obama Issues Orders for More Afghan Troops

Briefed military last night, will reveal number and other details tomorrow

(Newser) - After weeks of deliberation, President Obama has settled on a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan and ordered the military to carry it out. The exact size of the troop escalation has not been announced, but sources put the number in the neighborhood of 30,000 more troops. The... More »

Brits in Iraq: US Military Bosses Were 'Like Martians'

Leaked documents show US, UK commanders clashing bitterly

(Newser) - British military officers serving in Iraq in the early days found their American counterparts so uncommunicative they called them “a group of Martians” for whom “dialogue is alien." In documents leaked to the Daily Telegraph , the top British general says he didn't even have a secure line... More »

Rogue Afghan Cop Kills 5 Brit Soldiers

Culprit escapes after turning weapon on training team

(Newser) - Five British soldiers died in Helmand province yesterday after a rogue Afghan cop opened fire on a group of Afghan policemen and their British mentors drinking tea together. The mentors had been training the Afghans for two weeks when one of the trainees turned his weapon on them without warning.... More »

Times Scribe Recounts Ordeal as 'Taliban Embed at Gunpoint'

Afghanis, negotiators angered by operation that killed Steven Farrell's interpreter

(Newser) - Four days in the hands of the Taliban often felt more like a tour of insurgent territory than a hostage ordeal, writes rescued New York Times journalist Stephen Farrell. The militants struck his interpreter, Sultan Munadi, with a rifle when the two were seized, but did not mistreat them afterward—... More »

Radiohead Stuns With Anthem for WWI Vet

(Newser) - Radiohead made waves when they let fans download their last album for whatever price they wanted, yet a new online-only track has been released in the past week to far less fanfare. "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)" commemorates the last British veteran of World War I, who died last... More »

After Rash of Deaths, UK Rethinks Afghanistan

(Newser) - Eight British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan last week within just 24 hours, the worst day of casualties the UK had seen in 30 years. After 15 fatalities in July alone, Gordon Brown is facing severe criticism for underfinancing the war effort, particularly for not providing enough helicopters to troops,... More »

Sadistic Brit Soldiers 'Made Iraqis Dance Like Jacko'

(Newser) - British troops called Iraqi detainees "apes," beat them so that their moans of pain sounded like an "orchestrated choir," and forced them to dance like Michael Jackson, a public inquiry into the death of one of the detainees heard yesterday. The inquiry panel was told... More »

UK Military Seeks Canine Recruits

Vets told to find dogs for service

(Newser) - Short on canine recruits, Britain’s military has launched an effort to recharge the ranks, the Guardian reports. “Your country needs your dog,” the Ministry of Defence campaign proclaims, seeking German or Belgian shepherds, English springers, and Labradors in particular. The military typically gets dogs from shelters and... More »

Brits Grab $105M in Drugs From Afghan Taliban

Taliban drug factory found and destroyed in Helmand province

(Newser) - British troops have seized a huge stash of Taliban drugs after fierce fighting in Afghanistan, the Telegraph reports. Soldiers from the elite Black Watch squad discovered opium, heroin, and cannabis with a street value of some $105 million after attacking a Taliban drug factory in Helmand province. A number of... More »

Brit Families Can Sue Over Soldier Deaths

Court: Troops protected by human rights law, even on battlefield

(Newser) - A British court has ruled that defense heads can be sued for neglecting soldiers’ human rights—meaning decisions made on the battlefield could be subject to litigation, the Times of London reports. The ruling stemmed from an inquest into the heatstroke death of a soldier due to what the coroner... More »

British Town Honors War Dead With Silent Farewells

Impromptu silence as soldier's hearse passed grew into tradition

(Newser) - A lone man's silent salute to a military hearse grew into a tradition that now involves thousands who line the streets of a small British town, the New York Times reports. The bodies of UK troops killed in Afghanistan pass through Wootton Bassett on the way from the nearby air... More »

British Military Blasted Over White Male Toy Soldiers

(Newser) - The British Defense Ministry is under fire for backing a new line of all-male toy soldiers, reports the Guardian.The promotional campaign for the new toys is also all-white. The figures were created with the help of senior officials from Britain's army, navy, and the Royal Air Force. They carry... More »

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