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Intelligence officers quitting British defence ministry: report

by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Aug 12, 2007
About a fifth of Britain's military intelligence officers have resigned over the past three years, The Daily Telegraph reported in an early edition of its Monday paper.

Citing unnamed defence sources, the newspaper said that many of the officers leaving were choosing well-paid private security jobs instead, forcing the ministry to hand jobs to people who do not have relevant training or experience.

"To sustain what the Intelligence Corps is doing, losing 20 percent of officers is pretty hard," a source was quoted as saying.

"To some extent they can no longer fill posts that they wish to because they just don't have enough people. They have to give the jobs to non-specialists."

According to the Telegraph, the defence ministry is considering offering a 50,000-pound (74,000-euro, 100,000-dollar) bonus for three further years' service, in an effort to quell the losses.

A defence ministry spokesman declined to confirm whether or not any such bonuses were under consideration, commenting: "We face challenges in recruiting and retention in specific areas in all the services, not just the Army and not just the Intelligence Corps. We are trying hard to resolve them.

"Exit levels in some important areas are still too high and require us to work hard at retaining people in these areas. These are being monitored closely to see if there is a need to take further action.

"Operations are our highest priority and therefore as a result our best people are involved in all phases of operations.

"There are circumstances where some officers may substitute for senior officers. This is done on a case by case basis noting the requirements of the post capability of the individuals concerned."

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US 'surge' in Iraq 'likely to fail': British lawmakers
London (AFP) Aug 12, 2007
The US "surge" of troops in Iraq is likely to fail, a British parliamentary committee said Monday as it delivered a critical report on London's foreign policy in the Middle East.

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