The Inquirer (Monrovia)

12 February 2013

Liberia: Indeed, the Army's Strength Must Be Increased

editorial

YESTERDAY AT THE 56th Celebration of the Armed Forces Day of Liberia former Foreign Minister, George Wallace called on the Liberian Government to increase the strength of the national army for efficiency in enabling it protect the entire territorial boundaries of Liberia.

WALLACE WHO SERVED as keynote speaker at yesterday's occasion said the strength of the army must be increased from its present strength of 2,000 soldiers to at least 7,000. The Liberian career Diplomat, lawyer and Administrator said the increment in the strength of the AFL is necessary to enable them adequately protect and defend the territorialborders of the country.

HE SAID GOVERNMENT must ensure that there are more soldiers in the Air Force of Liberia, and that the Liberian Navy be increased or organized for the protection of Liberia's airspace, its territorial waters and the emerging oil discovered in the sea.

WE SHARE AMBASSADOR Wallace's call for an increment in the strength of the national army, considering the fact that indeed, there are many emerging challenges in terms of the growing numbers of problems along our borders and in the West African basin.

THE FACT IS that if the strength of the army is increased to at least 7,000 as recommended by Amb. Wallace then we will believe thatit will adequately execute its responsibilities that include, defending and protecting the country and more to that take over the security of the entirestate in the absence of UNMIL.

AT THE SAME time, while we share Amb. Wallace's concern over the strength of the army, we are also concerned about the logistical support for the army by the Government.

THERE MUST BE adequate resources that include logistics, equipment and most importantly accommodations for the soldiers.

GOVERNMENT MUST PUT into place proper mechanisms that will address the issue of accommodation at the various barracks because if these issues cannot be addressed some of the young men and women may not be able to undergo such tension and might leave the barracks.

THE NATIONAL ARMY cannot be active in the absence of resources and accommodations though they are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country and people.

AGAIN, WE SUPPORT Amb. Wallace's concern but let the appropriate authorities ensure that our soldiers are well paid and accommodated as they play their role by defending and protecting the territorial boundaries of Liberia.

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