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Special Case
Armed Forces, Issue 1380
sas.jpg
SAS quad bike teams take on Islamic State
The UK’s Special Forces like a low profile, so what lies behind almost daily news stories lately of their activities in Syria and Iraq?

None of this excitedly reported activity can be confirmed or denied by the government. What can be confirmed, however, is that in March 2013 the government was intent on clipping the wings of UKSF, cutting some units by up to 40 percent and packing off two territorial SAS regiments to the regular army. The SBS was to be cut from four squadrons to three and cuts would be imposed on supporting and reconnaissance units – the very units that now find themselves so much in demand.

Part of the UKSF’s new found popularity with government stems from effectiveness on the ground. But political expediency also plays a role.

In an annex to the Twelfth Report from the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, published on 20 March 2014, dealing with parliament’s role in “core decision making”, the government published a list of “exceptions to requirement for approval” for the use of force.

Two exceptions are relevant: “Approval is not required for a conflict decision if the decision covers one or both of the following only: (A) members of the United Kingdom Special Forces; or (B) other members of the UK forces for the purpose only of their assisting (directly or indirectly) activities of the United Kingdom Special Forces.”?

Parliamentary approval for deployment is no longer necessary under such a system.

‘Squarebasher’

More top stories in the latest issue:

CRAPITA RECRUITS
Gavel Basher on the disastrous outsourcing of army recruitment.

RUSSIAN IN
More Moscow-linked cash arrives in Conservative party coffers.

FREE ADVICE
Free advisors from PwC are helping both Labour and Tories in the run up to the election.

UNHELPFUL HELP
Meanwhile, Labour’s Kate Green gets a research assistant from Deloitte.

SPAM SURVEY
Lib Dems use petition over science cuts to mailshot 100,000 people with a survey about heritage.

BRINGING THE PARTY INTO DISREPUTE
Ukip branch party dissolves in disgust over treatment of its parliamentary candidate.


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Next issue on sale:
9th December 2014.
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Private Eye Issue 1380
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Nursery Times: Prince Charmless to continue ‘heartfelt interventions’ when king… Sir Cliff to Raid BBC Shock… Why those Christmas songs are patronising and wrong… The Secret Diary of John Major KG, aged 77 3/4… Geldof joins fight against Plebola… Controversial picture of enormous arse provokes debate… Tony Blair’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown

And also...

- Staying Indoors and Staying Put: A letter from Baghdad
- Health Check: The NHS is still paying millions of pounds over the odds on PFI contracts
- PLUS: Child’s prey – Russell Brand’s Trickster Tales
For all these stories you can buy the magazine or subscribe here and get delivery direct to your home every fortnight.
Next issue on sale: 9th December 2014.

Private Eye Issue 1379
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