The Ministry of Defence has today confirmed that Essex is to enter a bid to host the next war in the Middle East. Defence Secretary Liam Fox proudly boasted ‘despite not actually being in the Middle East, Essex already has some wonderful infrastructure in place that makes it ideal as a warzone, Dagenham for example, and I’m sure that the people of Essex can pull together to make the rest of the county just as hostile as Helmund in time for the war.’
Fans of the British armed forces have already been backing the bid. War fan Des Portal said ‘we haven’t hosted a war in this country since 1651. It’s about time war came home‘. He also made the point that conditions in Essex would be more suited to British military personnel that the hotter desert climates where so many recent wars have been contested, especially in endurance campaigns. Military historian Richard Holmes added ‘history shows that home advantage makes a huge difference, and I think we can expect to see many more medals awarded to British participants on home soil.’
Critics have however queried the cost of bidding for and hosting the war, voicing fears that lottery money could be earmarked for the project at the expense of other military projects. ESCOW (the Essex Committee for the Organisation of the War) has however pointed out that the bid is to be funded by a combination of public and private money, with a number of leading oil companies and arms manufacturers already having been appointed as official partners for the war. It has also reassured the public that other wars will continue to be funded around the world, and has argued that a successful bid would leave a lasting legacy, not just for Essex but for the whole of the country.
Essex faces stiff opposition however from rival bidders Iran and North Korea, whose bids are expected to be supported by the US, which has made it no secret is keen on sending its forces to wars in those regions. There is also a possibility that the war could be awarded once again to Afghanistan, as it has a proven track record in hosting wars over the last 30 years. A joint committee made up of representatives of the UN and the Taliban will however be reviewing all bids before making a decision at the end of the year.
The successful bidder will also host the Parawar, a parallel contest to be held shortly after the main war for participants with disabilities.