Defence chiefs are hurriedly drawing up plans for a faster withdrawal from Afghanistan, after George Osborne said so. Spooked by the latest random gesture from Gorgeous George, hardened soldiers are revising their strategy for a 'staged handover of power to the Afghan authorities', to an 'almighty bug-out'.
"You need to watch these Chancellors", said Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, rather nervously slipping his copy of the Guardian over a dog-eared 'Mein Kampf'.
The precise schedule for the withdrawal is being with-held from the front-line troops at this stage, but the tempo of their fitness training has been stepped up radically in anticipation. "George has given us strict instructions that we are to bring all the stuff back, as it was so bloody expensive", stated a senior staff officer in procurement.
To improve troop readiness for the withdrawal, a new drill has been instigated, where troops are drugged, blindfolded and wake up next to a girl demanding marriage "after last night, wiv no protection and all".
"We hope to have them ready to get from a standing start, or to be precise, undressed in bed, to out of the door in full battle order, like all the demons in hell were after them in under five minutes. They will be trained remember to have all their personal issue with them, armoured personnel carriers and suchlike. We made those 'starred items' so the boys would rather forget their testicles than turn up for exfil without them. Thus we hope to encourage an orderly and efficient exit, with the added element of surprise so the locals can't bugger it up", confirmed the Chief of the Defence Staff.
Dame Vera Lyn has been drafted to compose a number one hit in time for Christmas, in a duet with Sir Paul McCartney, by which time we hope it will all be over.