KUALA LUMPUR: Reading the story below and realising how much the economic crunch are affecting our armed forces, dont you think we should reconsider our commitments to the UN peacekeeping duties? Malaysian Defence believes it is prudent to do so in these trying times, especially when the countries we have peace keepers have mostly returned to normal.
Malaysian Defence understands that the UN pays some/most of the funds for such operations but we have to fork out the cash first to pay for food and other items first before it is reimbursed by the world body. For example, the police even bought new APCs for its troops in Timor Leste. But in these trying times, shouldnt we be paying our attention to our own shores first before trying to help others? What is the use of protecting a foreign country when we cant even afford to sent ships or planes to patrol our borders?
If the economic crisis really goes from bad to worse, we need every sen and men to protect our back yard. Since we can withdraw from the troubled province of Mindanao, which is in our own back yard, what is stopping us from leaving Timor Leste and Lebanon? The Aussies have a big contingent in the former Indonesian province and I do not believe Syria or Hizbullah will start attacking Israel.
Malaysian Defence understands that the Malaysian peace keeping contingent are not big, between 500 to 800 personnel (mostly in Lebanon and East Timor) but supporting them far from away from home are certainly not cheap, money which could be use to pay for the Somalia piracy operations and Ops Pasir commitments.
It may not be a pretty for the PR types but what is more important, us looking good or a more secure border? Malaysia Defence feelings is pretty clear on this one. Feel free disagree….
Poland troops may leave Chad, Lebanon to cut costs
WARSAW, Poland – Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Jan. 31 that Poland may withdraw its troops from Chad and Lebanon as part of a 3.9 billion euro cost-cutting plan to help ward off the financial crisis.
“We will consider whether it makes sense to continue with certain foreign missions. We will certainly take a decision about Chad and Lebanon this year,” he said.
The government said on Jan. 27 it is cutting spending by 17 billion zlotys ($5.06 billion) from the 321.221 billion zlotys it had planned to spend this year, in response to the global economic crisis.
Poland’s current 400-member mission in Chad is the second-largest in the European Union’s peacekeeping force after France.
Last month Defence Minister Bogdan Klich said the size of its mission could be cut to 300, when the EU’s U.N.-approved mandate expires in March and the mission is passed to the world body.
Poland also has nearly 500 troops in Lebanon as part of the U.N. peacekeeping force (UNIFIL), which is helping to monitor a cease-fire between Israel and the militia group Hezbollah after a monthlong war in 2006.If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment