Alex Massie

Richard Dannatt is “playing politics” too

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General Richard Dannatt may well be correct to demand additional men and equipment for the Afghan campaign and the military has certainly been ill-served by this government (though not only by this most recent ministry). But when the accusation of "playing politics" is thrown around let's not forget that the good General is perfectly adept at playing that game himself.

Perhaps it really is the case that he can only tour Afghanistan in an American helicopter. Perhaps it is even "self-evidently" the case that he's only using a US chopper because there aren't any British ones. As I say, this could all be true but it is also most convenient for General Dannatt that it be seen to be true. In other words, he's "playing politics" too and trying to increase pressure on the government.

Dannatt is defending his interest and there's nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't mean he's not above a spot of spin-doctoring himself...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleSocietyafghanistandefence