Britain’s opposition Conservatives, tipped to win power in an election next year, said yesterday they would pull the country’s 25,000 troops out of Germany as part of a reorganization of NATO forces.
Defense spokesman Liam Fox told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that other NATO allies could take over the role of continental defense and free up British forces for operations outside Europe, such as the war in Afghanistan.
Polls put the Conservatives, led by David Cameron, on course to oust British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party in an election scheduled by June.
“If other countries are willing to take up roles in continental defense, that leaves Britain and France able to take on expeditionary roles,” Fox said.
“Finding a more creative diplomatic solution in NATO will be a priority for an incoming Conservative government … it’s more important that we have more effective burden sharing so we can be freed up from some responsibilities,” he said.
Calls for NATO allies to step up their contributions to operations in Afghanistan, where Britain has 9,000 troops in the second largest deployment after the US, have caused tension within the alliance.
Fox said: “We need to be clear that there are constitutional and political reasons why some NATO countries will not be able to do the same amount when it comes to expeditionary warfare.”
“We can either hammer on about burden sharing, or we can start looking at what countries will be able to do within their political, constitutional and military constraints,” he said. “Far better in NATO that countries have roles which they are 100 percent willing to carry out.”
Britain has about 25,000 troops in Germany alongside US forces. They were there initially to guarantee German security against the Soviets in the Cold War and later, to ensure NATO could respond quickly to events on the continent.
An uncrewed Chinese spacecraft has acquired imagery data covering all of Mars, including visuals of its south pole, after circling the planet more than 1,300 times since early last year, state media reported yesterday. The Tianwen-1 successfully reached the Red Planet in February last year on the country’s inaugural mission there. A robotic rover has since been deployed on the surface as an orbiter surveyed the planet from space. Among the images taken from space were China’s first photographs of the Martian south pole, where almost all of the planet’s water resources are locked. In 2018, an orbiting probe operated by the European
QUARANTINE SHORTENED: A new protocol detailing risk levels and local policy responses would be ‘more scientific and accurate,’ a health agency spokesman said China’s revised COVID-19 guidelines, which cut a quarantine requirement in half for inbound travelers, also create a standardized policy for mass testing and lockdowns when cases of the disease flare, showing that the country still has a zero-tolerance approach to the virus. Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) solidified the position during a trip to Wuhan, where the pathogen first emerged in 2019, saying that China is capable of achieving a “final victory” over the virus. The “zero COVID-19” policy is the most effective and economic approach for the country, Xi said during the trip on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported. The first
A former South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber who risked jail time to leave Seoul and fight for Ukraine said it would have been a “crime” not to use his skills to help. Ken Rhee, a former special warfare officer, signed up at the Ukrainian embassy in Seoul the moment Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy asked for global volunteers and was fighting on the front lines near Kyiv by early March. To get there, he had to break South Korean law — Seoul banned its citizens from traveling to Ukraine, and Rhee, who was injured in a fall while leading a special operations
Yogesh Zanzamera lays out his bed on the floor of the factory where he works and lives, one of about 2 million Indians polishing diamonds in an industry being hit hard by the war in Ukraine. With the air reeking from the only toilet for 35to 40 people, conditions at workshops such as this in Gujarat state leave workers at risk of lung disease, deteriorating vision and other illnesses. However, Zanzamera and others like him have other more immediate worries: the faraway war in Europe and the resulting sanctions on Russia, India’s biggest supplier of “rough” gemstones and a long-standing strategic ally. “There