New Army Chief Marches In

General Sir David Richards today became the new head of the British army.

He takes over from General Sir Richard Dannatt, whose last weeks in charge have been marred by political controversy.

General Richards may have to face-down similar problems, as disagreements over military resources continue to simmer.

His biggest challenge will be the ongoing war in Afghanistan, following a recent upsurge in British personnel fatalities in the region.

General Richards's grounding as head of the International Security and Assistance Force, has given him first-hand experience of the country.

He also has extensive operational experience in East Timor and Sierra Leone.

General Richards has said he will not present the government with a "shopping list" for military equipment.

"It is impossible to say whether having more equipment of a particular kind would lead to less casualties, and pretty fruitless speculating about it," he said in an interview with the Times newspaper.

"The enemy's tactics will always reflect, and try to exploit, how we operate - my American comrades first taught me the adage, 'the enemy has a vote' - and our own tactics must reflect the equipment and troop numbers we have.

"It is a truism to state that the more we have, the more we can do."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 October 2008
New British Army Chief Named
General Sir David Richards, the former commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, has been announced as the new officer to head the British Army. Currently serving as Commander-in-Chief Land Forces, Gen Sir Richards will take up the post as Chief of the General Staff in August 2009. He will replace General Sir Richard Dannatt.
15 October 2012
Royal British Legion President Quits After Sunday Times Sting
The president of the Royal British Legion has quit his post following allegations made in the Sunday Times. The weekend newspaper reported that Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely claimed he could use his honorary position to help defence companies lobby ministers and senior figures in the UK military.
01 July 2010
No Peace Talks Says 'Victorious' Taliban
A Taliban statement rejected peace moves has been today described as "uncompromising, almost contemptuous". The Taliban in Afghanistan have told the BBC that there is "no question" of their entering into any kind of negotiations with Nato forces - as they say they are winning the war.
21 January 2005
TUC calls for 2005 to be 'year of equal pay'
The TUC have announced that the gap between men and women's pay scales is still "as wide as ever".
05 February 2009
Richards Arrested Over Alleged Assault
Manchester City defender Micah Richards has been questioned by police in relation to an alleged assault outside a nightclub. Manchester police quizzed the 20-year-old England international, who became the youngest defender to be capped by his country in 2006. He has been released on bail.