Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tories call for Home Guard

It's not strictly true, but it's hard to resist the analogy of the latest Tory call for a homeland security force.

Plans for the establishment of a dedicated homeland defence force to help the civil authorities with major terrorist incidents and national emergencies will be outlined today by a Conservative group on security.

But don't we already have a "homeland defence force" - the Army? What is the purpose of the Army if not to "defend the homeland"? I can't see any benefit of setting up yet another separate force under a different command structure to do a job that we already have a force in place to do. Why not just fund them properly, give them manpower, tools and equipment they need to do the job and let them get on with it?

It's also worth noting that the BNP are already well ahead of the game on this. They propose - and I fully support - the restoration of the county regiment system and this would be the perfect force for what Cameron is suggesting - and being located in the counties they would be well placed to respond to terrorist incidents or national emergencies.

I'd even take it a step further and have a degree of conscription into county regiments. Young criminals who repeatedly re-offend would be offered a choice of 2 years national service or a similar jail term (with no prospect of early release). I believe that a fair number would take the national service option and would benefit substantially from the discipline and challenge it presents.

The county regiments - although part of the Army - would be dedicated home defence forces and not for use in overseas engagements except on exercise. The senior NCO's and officers could be recruited from ex-Army veterans who could instill their experience and knowledge into the younger recruits and conscripts.

Because they are unlikely to face conventional forces, there would be no real need for them to have the heavy equipment of the conventional army, although they would require transport, light armour and helicopter lift capability - all of which could be drawn from older stock being withdrawn from front line use.

I'd make it a requirement for each county to have at least one regiment of 500 troops, but would not prevent them from having more if they wanted. Larger counties - such as Yorkshire should really have 2 or 3 (one for each Riding in Yorkshire's case).

So, all in all, I think the Tory idea is a good one - but I don't like the way they are going about it. The BNP had the idea before them anyway - and their idea is much better.

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