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- Me, Myself, and I
- the marines are part of the british armed forces that under go opperations both inland and abroad. there are marines currently serving in the middle east where men and wemen are risking their lives for their country and trying to promote peace in the middle east.
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Gordon Brown has announced British troop numbers will be reduced in Iraq as he fought back after claims of dithering over a snap election.
In a key address to Parliament on Iraq policy, Mr Brown said British forces in the south of the country would switch from a fighting role to an "overwatch" role.
As he announced the UK will reduce its force in the country - currently numbering over 5,000 - to 2,500 troops from spring 2008, thousands of anti-war demonstrators could be heard outside Westminster.
Mr Brown also promised a resettlement package for some Iraqis who had worked with UK forces for more than a year to move within Iraq or apply to come to Britain.
He said: "We plan, from next spring, to reduce force numbers in southern Iraq to a figure of 2,500.
"Existing staff who have been employed by us for more than 12 months and have completed their work will be able to apply for a package of financial payments to aid resettlement in Iraq or elsewhere in the region, or in agreed circumstances for admission to the UK."
Earlier, during his monthly press briefing, he responded to accusations that he had treated the public "like fools" over his decision not to hold an autumn election.
Mr Brown confirmed he had considered calling a snap election but said he wanted more time to set out his vision for the future of the country.
He said: "Yes, I did consider holding an election. Yes, I looked at it.
"My first instinct, if I were honest with all of you, was that I wanted to get on with my job of putting my vision of what the future of the country was to the people of the country and deliver on it before there was ever an election."
He continued: "But I did listen to people. I looked at what people were saying. I heard from candidates in marginal seats - those candidates in marginal seats were telling us we would win the election."
"I happen to believe we would win at any time. I made my decision on this basis: I wanted more time to set out my vision for the future of the country.
"We had had a summer dealing with issues from foot-and-mouth to floods to terrorism to economic and financial crisis.
"I had not yet had a chance to put forward my vision about health, about housing, about education, about the future of our economy and prosperity generally, and that is why I made the decision I did."
Asked if he thought he received good advice from those around him, he responded: "I take full responsibility for everything that has happened."
Asked by reporters whether the situation had been handled well, Mr Brown joked: "I think your weekend has been better than mine."
He said of his decision: "I could have made it earlier, perhaps I should have made it earlier, but I decided I would make my statement at the end of the party conference season."
While insisting he does not want an election yet because he wants time to spell out his vision for the country, he conceded: "Obviously I saw the opinion polls."
The Prime Minister said an election is "not likely" in 2008, but declined an invitation to name a date in 2009 for the poll.
Later, Mr Brown is expected to address the Parliamentary Labour Party - a traditional engagement for the party leader when the Commons returns from its summer break.
0 Comments 298 weeks
The Queen has paid tribute to the thousands of servicemen and women killed since the end of the Second World War at the dedication of a memorial to honour them.
The Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall joined her at the ceremony for the new National Armed Forces Memorial.
The National Memorial Arboretum, in Alrewas, Staffordshire, pays tribute to members of the UK's Armed Forces killed on duty or as a result of terrorist action since 1948.
The royal party entered the ceremony as a military band, seated in front of the memorial's Portland stone walls, played the National Anthem.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, MPs and families of those whose names feature on the memorial watched as prayers for the deceased were said by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
There are currently 16,000 names carved on the memorial, with space for 15,000 more. It includes those who have died in Palestine, Korea, Malaysia, the Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.
Opening the ceremony, Vice-Admiral Sir John Dunt, chairman of the Armed Forces Memorial Trustees, said: "I hope that those who have been bereaved and colleagues of those whose names are engraved find this a fitting place to remember and reflect.
"There will be sorrow for family and friends who come here, but I hope they will also be uplifted and proud - proud that these men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice have done so by serving their country."
His speech was followed by prayers and hymns and a reading by the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, led more prayers before the royal party were escorted to view the memorial.
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TO ALL EX BOOTYS & CROAKERS
1* why did they stop issuing tropical combat kit for CS95/cs2000 kit which dont last that long?
2* why did they stop issuing our old chunkys.... best hi leg boots ever going for these light weight issue , ive never worn them danners or magnums or the good ol chunkys.
any answers let me know
The force of Wednesday's blast levelled the block of flats0 Replies 288 weeks
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has announced the start of a major offensive against al-Qaeda militants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
"Today, the troops have moved to Mosul... and the fight there will be decisive," he said in Karbala city.
The move comes after 34 people died and hundreds were injured in a blast on Wednesday at a block of flats in Mosul.
A day later a local police chief and two officers died in an ambush after they toured the scene of the explosion.
Brig Gen Saleh Mohammed Hassan was fleeing the area after gunmen opened fire on his convoy, reports say.
The convoy was hit by an explosion that also killed two other police officers.
The flats where Wednesday's explosion took place was believed to have housed a bomb-making factory.
The blast occurred when troops surrounded the building with the intention of raiding it following a tip-off about a suspected arms cache inside.
More than 200 bystanders were hurt in the incident, which levelled the three-storey block of flats, located in one of the poorer areas of western Mosul.
The ethnically mixed city of Mosul has seen an upsurge in violence in the past year.
Correspondents say the increased violence appears to be a consequence of the offensive by US-led forces in and around Baghdad, with Sunni Arab insurgents believed to have transferred their operations further north.
The BBC's Jonny Dymond in Baghdad says that, all of a sudden, the largest and most divided city in the north appears to be on the edge.
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