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Army are not on the brink - yet.

DEFENCE chiefs yesterday insisted British forces were not overstretched.

But they admitted it was "very hard to say" how close to the edge the Army were because of the intensive operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It was revealed that less than one in seven soldiers were now getting the rest the MoD thought they needed between missions.

MoD permanent secretary Bill Jeffrey told the Commons defence committee: "The word overstretch implies that what we are doing now is not sustainable. We do not believe that to be the case.

"The assessment is that our armed forces are stretched but not overstretched. There's no reason to suspect we cannot undertake our commitments."

He said likely troop reductions in Iraq, Bosnia and Ulster next year would help matters.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 25, 2006
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