Members of the South African National Defence Force. Picture: LOYISO MPALANTSHANE/THE HERALD
Members of the South African National Defence Force. Picture: LOYISO MPALANTSHANE/THE HERALD

The recent column by Tristen Taylor, "Abolish the Army" (On My Mind, July 9-15), concerns me both as a businessman and as a soldier.

The criticism of the SA National Defence Force takes no account of the significant and debilitating budget constraints it is enduring.

More worrying is the argument that SA doesn’t need a defence force. It does not appear to be based on any risk assessment and ignores the need for a deterrent against any aggression SA may face in the future. Such aggression could be physical or in the cyber domain. The author also discounts the fact that our borders are large and porous, as well as the peacekeeping missions being undertaken in Africa on behalf of the UN.

The advent of Covid-19 has confirmed the need for a strong defence force in times of national disaster. In addition to supporting the police and the health department, our army and military health service are involved in a wide range of humanitarian relief, including bridge building, water purification and food distribution.

I fear for the future of SA without a strong defence force.

Maj-Gen Roy Andersen
Joburg

The FM welcomes concise letters from readers. They can be sent to fmmail@fm.co.za

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