The London Olympics are fast taking on the appearance and tone of a full-scale land, sea and air military operation rather than an international sporting event.
With surface-to-air missiles stationed on top of residential apartment blocks, Royal Navy battleships on alert and Royal Air Force fighter jets and helicopters patrolling the skies over Britain’s capital there is a foreboding sense of a nation at war instead of an occasion of internationalist fraternity that the ancient Games are supposed to embody.
The total troop deployment in and around London represents 7,000 more personnel than is currently on British operations in Afghanistan.
This figure is in addition to the 10,000 extra police officers and a division of 10,000 private security guards. It was the disclosure that G45, the private security firm with the Olympics contract, could not fulfill its manpower requirements to cover the Games that prompted the latest enlisting of additional soldiers.