British Army’s “smug” attitude over NI success led to US criticism of UK’s Afghan ops…

IN an extensive interview just published by the Economist, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, has accused British armed forces of being “too complacent” and “smug” after its experiences in Northern Ireland and Bosnia. He said: “You are only as good as your next success, not your last one. You can never rest on your laurels and I think we may have done that. If you go around and ask enough Americans you will find some who are critical to a degree. . . of the way that the British do things and the approach that the British take.” But it’s not all negative. The Economist notes that a British general, Graeme Lamb helped win over American sceptics by recounting how he had overcome his own revulsion at dealing with the IRA for the sake of peace, leading to useful contact with Sunnis in the fight against al Qaida in western Iraq.

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