Part Time Pongo: Not a Continuation of the CGS Thread.

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The MoD has made an UNCLAS statement on this vexed matter. For those without access to the MODWEB, it would seem only fair to share it. Any snot gobbling journo will have seen it anyway. Lifted direct from the MoD Home Page this morning;
General Dannatt said:

"Over the last few weeks I have made a particular point of saying that I would keep under constant review my decision to deploy Prince Harry to Iraq with his Troop. As with any military operation, circumstances do change, and therefore so should decisions, if necessary".

"I have decided today that Prince Harry will not deploy as a Troop Leader with his Squadron. I have come to this final decision following a further and wide round of consultation, including a visit to Iraq by myself at the end of last week".

"There have been a number of specific threats – some reported and some not reported - which relate directly to Prince Harry as an individual. These threats place not only him but also those around him to a degree of risk that I now deem unacceptable. Now that I have decided that he will not be deploying with his Troop, the risks faced by his Battlegroup are no different to those faced by any other Battlegroup or other of our Servicemen in Iraq".

"I have to add that a contributing factor to this increase in threat to Prince Harry has been the widespread knowledge and discussion of his deployment. It is a fact that this close scrutiny has exacerbated the situation and this is something that I wish to avoid in future".

"Let me also make quite clear that as a professional soldier, Prince Harry himself will be extremely disappointed. He has proved himself both at Sandhurst and in command of his Troop during their training. I commend him for his determination and his undoubted talent – and I do not say that lightly. His soldiers will miss his leadership in Iraq, although I know his Commanding Officer will provide a highly capable substitute Troop Leader".

"In conclusion, two further points: First, I have asked Prince Harry’s Commanding Officer to continue to develop Prince Harry’s professional career in the Army, but I am not prepared to speculate, either now or in the future, on what Prince Harry might be doing over the next few weeks, months and years".

"Second, I pay tribute once again to the excellence and commitment of all our Servicemen deployed around the World and I thank them, and their families, for the way that they are doing their duty in the best traditions of the Armed Forces."

The MoD statement goes on to say;
This was a military decision based on a military assessment, taken by CGS. Clarence House, Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street and the Defence Secretary have been informed. Whilst MOD acknowledges that the security situation in Iraq is challenging and demanding for all our troops, this decision was taken as a result of the very specific threat to Prince Harry. This is not the first time that deployment plans for individuals have changed in the light of a specific threat. This does not mean that Prince Harry will never deploy. Both Prince Harry and his elder brother Prince William will continue to play a full role within their regiments, with future overseas deployments considered on a case-by-case basis. Lessons will be learnt from the widespread knowledge of Prince Harry’s deployment. CGS's preference is to say nothing or the absolute minimum about any future deployments of the Princes for reasons of operational security. Although some insurgents might try to paint this decision as a success for them, the reality is that UK operations in support of Iraq's government will continue, and deny them such a high value target. Prince Harry's troop will still deploy, commanded by a suitably qualified individual.

The man acknowledges that the Media have made matters impossible, as has open and loose debate. Whether that includes RR, ARRSE, Pprune and Goat (who could take that seriously?) is something we need to think about, I suppose. What price free and open discussion between, mostly, professionals? I am not inviting further comment, though.
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