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By Jason Moore

THE main purpose of the British military is to defend British citizens and interests. Much of the Ministry of Defence´s recruitment policy is centred around saving British nationals who are caught-up in a war zone. So what exactly has the British military been doing with hundreds of British citizens caught up in the crisis in Libya? Britain´s response has almost been laughable. A chartered plane which was meant to bring back stranded British citizens suffered technical difficulties and was delayed.

This was a civilian aircraft. Why couldn´t the Royal Air Force use some of its aircraft to bring British citizens home? Despite the defence cuts Britain still has the biggest military transport fleet in Europe, which includes a squadron of C17 aircraft, some of the biggest in the world. To make matter worse the Royal Air Force has a very large base on neighbouring Cyprus along with a squadron of helicopters.

At a time when the British military want to get public support to fight the defence cuts they lost a golden opportunity to shine and show that they are always ready to rescue British citizens. I also found it quite amazing yesterday that the Special Boat Squadron of the Royal Marines was on standby to rescue British workers on oil rigs. However, these rigs are in the desert not at sea!