Aiding the Enemy?

This is the official response to my piece on the British Army Review.

British Army Review
MOD Director of Media and Communication Nick Gurr has responded to Stephen Grey’s article in The Sunday Times in which the MOD is criticised for ‘blocking’ publication of a piece about UK efforts in Afghanistan in the British Army Review (BAR) – an official Army publication.

Mr Gurr said: “British Army Review has for many years published thought-provoking and controversial articles from a wide range of contributors about the British Army and its activities. It continues to do so. Mr Grey quotes at length from a critical piece in the latest edition of BAR by US Colonel Mansoor in his article and his colleague, Mike Evans, ran a double page spread earlier in the week on a number of others.

“Unfortunately, BAR has been seized upon in recent editions for easy stories and cheap headlines. A Sunday newspaper ran a splash in July about one article written last year by a junior officer based in Whitehall as evidence of ‘failing’ strategy in Afghanistan. This was seized upon as an authoritative and up-to-date ‘view from the ground’ – which it was not. At no point was it made clear that this was a dated article written by someone who had never served in Afghanistan. In order to avoid giving such propaganda gifts to the enemy in future we have found that, regrettably, we need to be a bit more cautious about what we publish or – in this case – republish. Hopefully, this will not always be the case.”

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