Image: 1 Yorkshire Regiment Battle group by Sgt Mark Webster RLC-MOD (OGL)
The British Army has been deployed wearing the EU flag for the first time. What on earth has that got to do with trade?
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
The former Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, told Nigel Farage in one of those famous EU referendum debates that claims of an EU army being in the plans was a 'dangerous fantasy'.
Well we can now see that so-called 'dangerous fantasy' is coming to fruition.
A video and images of UK forces alighting from a transport aircraft in Bosnia clearly show them wearing the EU flag on their right arms.
Looking back, a report in forces.net in June, said:
"Around 40 extra personnel will be deployed to the EUFOR operation in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Operation Althea.
"The UK troops will join a specialist surveillance and intelligence taskforce during the country's presidential and parliamentary elections in October."
The elections are due for the 7th October and the Defence Secretary said back in June:
"We're going to be working as part of a much wider UN initiative just to make sure that the elections are free and the elections are fair."
The report also said that:
"The UK troops will operate alongside EU partners and NATO allies as part of Operation Althea to promote safety, security and stability in Bosnia & Herzegovina for six months.
"Operation Althea is a 600-strong European Union Force mission commanded by NATO."
All sounds rather confusing doesn't it? Especially when you learn we've been there for years. And is it for elections or general peacekeeping.
When I was part of Op Grapple in the former Republic of Yugoslavia back in the early 1990s, although I wore a blue beret as part of the UN Protection Force, the Union Jack was still at the top on my armband.
But when you go to the NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe website and look up Operation Althea, what you see is:
"The EU-led military operation ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) provides capacity-building and training support to the Armed Forces of BiH, it reinforces the BiH efforts to maintain the safe and secure environment in the region and supports the overall EU comprehensive strategy for BiH."
Operational command is exercised by the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Sir James Everard, assisted by the European Union Staff Group.
But what is the EU doing deploying troops into BiH in the first place? Why not just use the UN or NATO as we have before? Why slot in an extra command level? And what military competence does the EU have to be acting in this manner?
I've left a couple of links below in the descriptions box that will show just how many kitchen sinks the EU net contributing member states (that includes us in the UK folks) have thrown into the region to get them ready for EU membership.
And this of course includes all manner of reforms to ensure they fit in and are ready to comply with all EU instructions.
Those links are well worth taking a quick look at.
But what I find extremely puzzling is that, while the UK is trying to extricate itself from this EU mess, we are actively spending money and sending our troops there to help another nation to get embroiled in it – strange don't you think? Further, how long will out troops be there as part of an EU force and does this mean we will be part of the EU military Permanent Structured Co-Operation – or PESCO – after Brexit?
The UKIP leader, Gerard Batten, said about this:
"Nick Clegg once said that the idea that the EU was developing its own military was a 'dangerous fantasy'. This news has revealed Nick Clegg to be the fantasist."
"The sooner we are out of the EU, the sooner we will be able to rebuild our military into a force which serves the interests of our nation first and foremost. Meanwhile, British men and women should vote with their feet and not join the armed forces."
Now for the final question, this is currently a peaceful European country, so why do we need to send in the troops? Surely every council in the UK has loads of civil service election specialists in their democratic services departments that are up to the job of monitoring elections?
Then you read a recent stratfor.com report that shows how delicate the situation still is in that region of the world, where it says:
"A proposal between Serbia and Kosovo to exchange territory could lead to social unrest in both countries as groups opposing the move could resist its implementation.
"A territory swap could also threaten the territorial unity of Bosnia if ethnic Serbs in the country demand independence or seek to join Serbia."
as well as:
"Just under the surface of the relative calm that has endured in the Western Balkans over the past decade, ethnic tensions and nationalistic fervor continue to bubble."
Now I'll be controversial. When the British used to go around the world trying to quell violence and impose rules, people look back and call it imperialism. Now it's called European Union Accession. We still use troops but have tended away from the stick of violence towards the carrot of money. Discuss.
Moving on, Remainers are getting all excited about a new study that says 2.6 million people voters have ditched Brexit.
But when you look into it, this is another analysis of two previous separate polls that, when combined surveyed 15,000 people. The conclusion of this is somehow that 2.6 million people have moved from Brexit to remain and nearly one million have gone from Remain to Leave.
And based on this the Remainers expect there to be a second referendum! They obviously have no idea of the mathematical difference between over 33 million actual voters across the land and a, by comparison, minuscule sample that has had to be 'analysed'.
This all smacks of desperation to me, with Remainers running around trying to convince everyone that other people have changed their minds. I see no evidence of that, in fact I see just the reverse.
Ordinary people are looking at the downright lies they had been told by the Remain side as well as the way the establishment has colluded with the European Union in order to frustrate the inconvenient will of the people and the ordinary people are now seeing that leaving the EU is the best possible solution.