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May be of interest to some.
Not a moment too soon, the UK Commons are now discussing Yemen:
We should never have pulled out of Aden in the first place.
Maybe not, Don, but the cost and logistics of maintaining a presence there indefinitely would have been tremendous.
Since we pulled out there has been the prolonged issue of Northern Ireland and the Falklands War, as well as multiple demands on Britain's armed forces in other areas (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.). Add to this the fact that successive governments have reduced the strength of the armed forces, and the prospect of remaining in Aden/South Arabia would have been unjustifiable to most people.
The cost of providing a military presence in the Falkland Isles was £61 million in 2012 - 13 and those costs were predicted to increase by £2 million each year. That is approximately £20,000 per islander and does not include accommodation, electricity, fuel and other costs incurred by the troops.
I was in Aden at the end, and it was becoming obvious to even a humble soldier such as me that to stay there would have required a much larger military force than had existed. We were hanging on by our fingertips, and did we really have the right to be there in the first place?
The parts of South Yemen that I was privileged to serve in, as far north as Dhala and east from Al Habilayn to the Dhanaba basin have left a lasting impression of the sheer beauty of the massive jebels and of a proud, hard working people.
But to have remained there? I'm not that sure. Too many had died in what was then only the beginning. I fear that we would have become embroiled in a conflict that would have had dire consequences.
I am British born and bred with my heritage being Adeni, every time I've visited Aden the people wish for the Brits to be back. Why because Adeni were used to having fantastic facilities, such as the Educational system, the Hospitals, the Justice system, the sense of security, the core values etc... This all went downhill extremely fast when south Arabia (aka south Yemen) joined with the northern side.
Their leader was and still is uneducated, that can barely read and write, extracting out as much resources as possible during his rain. Today with its endless problems, people wish the Brits not the US but the Brits could come back as they believe just like I we need a strong and just country that will be rid of the people that have used it as a haven to preach extreme views whilst keeping themselves rich and the poor in their place.
I found on my visits to Aden this desire for the Brits to be back in Aden. The problem is the British mentality has changed so much in the past 50'years that there are probably nobody who could put together a government in South Yemen which would be at or a higher standard than what's was in place upto October 1967. Look at our current politicians on both sides of the house. Would the Yemen population want any of them governing them. I think not.
I agree with you that the current politicians in the UK and, for that matter, those that have held sway for the past few decades, are hardly fit to be in charge of a NAAFI queue.
I also feel that the British public has no stomach to have our troops involved in yet another country's problems, whether it be in a peace keeping role or as participants in a conflict, for that's what would be required in order to provide security for any potential political involvement in Yemen.
The mere fact that the people of Aden want us back is, I'm afraid, insufficient reason for to become involved in the affairs of a country so distant from our shores.
Our armed forces have been cut to the bone and are overstretched dealing with their current commitments.
Unlike the other countries that fell under our colonial wing and subsequently gained their independence, Aden was a protectorate. There is little difference. However, after decades of exploitation (for that's what it was), we decided to throw the towel in, with a little help from FLOSY and the NLF, to name just the principal perpetrators.
As the result of successive civil wars, Yemen has become a humanitarian, structural and economic disaster.
It would take many, many years and an unimaginable amount of money to restore the infrastructure to anything resembling its former state.
What the future holds for this country after Mrs May's dithering finally delivers Brexit is anyone's guess. Whatever the outcome, though, I'm convinced that dark years lie ahead for us, and the prospect of further involvement overseas will be a matter that would, from my point of view, be out of the question.