The SA National Defence Force (SANDF), stretched to almost the limit, will be late in getting to its latest battlefield, the Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique where Islamic insurgents have held sway for three years.SA is leading the Southern African Development Community’s (Sadc) military intervention in Mozambique with only an advance team already in position.Botswana has begun deploying its 1,000 troops and Rwanda’s soldiers, though not strictly part of the Sadc mission, have been in action since July 9 with initial successes in overrunning some insurgent positions.SA’s slow response is a sign of how defence budget cuts have affected the defence force. The air force has only two serviceable Hercules C130 transport aircraft. These have moved soldiers and equipment within SA and also 2,500km away to Pemba in Cabo Delgado. It meant aircrews often make nine flights in a day. Armoured vehicles will be moved by road.SA cannot renege on its commitment in Mozambique because the...

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