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Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:45PM
British soldiers in Helmand Province, Afghanistan

British soldiers in Helmand Province, Afghanistan

Britain’s army has resorted to a series of live television advertisements from Afghanistan as it is struggling to find volunteers for its unpopular war. There will be 17 live adverts on ITV over the next two weeks, each lasting around one minute, demonstrating how Territorial Army soldiers work alongside their Regular Army colleagues. The first series of the advertisements aimed at helping recruitment to the Territorial Army, were broadcasted on Saturday. The recruitment drive comes after the British government pledged to increase the number of the volunteer forces from 15,000 to 30,000 by 2018. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) is committed to spending an extra £1.8 billion over the next ten years to improve the Territorial Army 's equipment and training, and will rename them the Reservists. However, critics believe that a larger volunteer force will put a strain on small business, as they could be forced to release employees for military duties. The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism. The invasion removed the Taliban from power, but Afghanistan remains insecure despite the presence of tens of thousands of US-led forces there. The prolonged war, which has caused record-high civilian and military casualties, has become the longest military conflict in the US history. Foreign forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and hand over responsibility for the country’s security to the Afghan government. The British military’s death toll in Afghanistan has reached 440 since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001. SSM/JR/HE
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