Azara Blog: Army head complains about the alleged poor treatment of soldiers by the people

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Date published: 2007/09/21

The BBC says:

The head of the British Army says he is becoming increasingly concerned about "the growing gulf between the Army and the nation".

Gen Sir Richard Dannatt said soldiers were sometimes greeted with indifference on returning from service.

A "willingness to serve in such an atmosphere again" could be sapped, he said in a speech in London.
Gen Dannatt told the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London: "Soldiers want to be understood and they want to be respected for their commitment.

"When a young soldier has been fighting in Basra or Helmand, he wants to know that the people in their local pub know and understand what he has been doing and why."

"Soldiers are genuinely concerned when they come back from Iraq to hear the population that sent them being occasionally dismissive or indifferent about their achievements," he added.

Is this guy naive or what? Iraq is an unpopular and illegal war and you can hardly expect "people in the local pub" to enthuse about the war with returning soldiers. (And many people just treat the war in Afghanistan as an extension of the war in Iraq.) Of course it is not the fault of the soldiers that they are in an unpopular and illegal war. But it's not the fault of the people either. And you can bet your last pound that the people treat the returning soldiers better than the MOD does.

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