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Aid missions wearing out UK Navy’s abilities: Fmr. minister

Muslim Times (Web Desk) -The UK’s Royal Navy should stop cease its overseas aid mission, including saving drowning migrants in the Mediterranean, says a former British armed forces minister, arguing that such operation will wear the force out.

Mike Penning, a senior Tory, said Sunday that while London would proudly help saving the lives of migrants but only if the cost doesn’t adversely affect “our military capability.”

“The question to be asked is why it should be our ships and troops that are being used when there are other ways to deliver help,” he wrote in an article for MailOnline.

He said Royal Navy ships were not being put to their best use in these operations and it would be wiser for the UK if it paid to lease ships that are developed for this specific purpose.

“There are many alternative ships that are better designed to save lives and help desperate people climb aboard. Other countries involved in this rescue effort are doing just that,” Pennington argued.

Since the beginning of their mission, the UK Navy has reportedly saved some 18,000 migrants in the Mediterranean as part of a refugee crisis caused by foreign-backed wars in some Middle Eastern and African countries.
Penning, who has also served as a lawmaker, called on the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) to take action and stop the UK military from being used like a “cash cow.”

“The MoD has got to stop being a soft option, it needs to spend what it has wisely and stand up to those who see it as a cash cow,” he said.

“The core and the backbone of our operational defense capability is being stripped out at a time when our enemies are testing us every day,” Penning added.

The UK military has been struggling with a major spending hole as a result of the government’s austerity measures and budget cuts over the past few years.

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