On the BBC news I think I heard, although I have not been able to verify it, that this figure quoted, so unbelievable, as the cost of maintaining soldiers in the Middle East, I doubted my hearing but it was repeated at the time. I in no way believe that I have the answer to anything like those in charge of the army, I can only postulate my own views, from a basis of ignorance, tinged with commonsense. Perhaps what I am suggesting is already in place, but it is not being published to the same extent as the military condition.
As I understand it, the infrastructure in Afghanistan and Iraq has suffered considerably as a result of the wars, and the insurgents are consequently hard to riddle out. I gather the population in these places has been suffering from a severe lack of quality or even a basic infrastructure to a point where there is practically none. In any process of renewal one has to start at the most advantageous point, and then work out. I understand that attempts have been made to bring the basic necessities in some areas of the population, as the military clear the way. The only way of winning over the hearts and minds of people in such dire straits is to make their lives at least a little more than bearable. It therefore seems reasonable if we are spending a third of one million per soldier, that amount of money in the eyes of the resident population would be staggering if it was applied to the infrastructure. That also applies in this country. The logistics of carrying this out are immense, but it would seem that if companies that are involved in agrarian and simple manufacturing, were encouraged and financially supported, while being protected, in the way areas were protected in Northern Ireland, thus generating jealousy, greed, or just pure necessity, it would be more persuasive as a tool.
From my own experience in war and local uprisings of a serious nature, it is wrong to speculate because one is never in full awareness of all the facts. I therefore accept that what I have remarked here could be written off as nonsensical rubbish, but one of the advantages of having one’s own blog, is it allows one to make statements like the above, if for no other reason than to generate a debate.