GULF war veteran Terry Walker has criticised British and American top brass for adopting a "softly-softly" approach to the Iraq war.

Terry, who lives at Wheldrake, claimed lives have been lost because Britain has only one Armoured Brigade out in the Gulf, compared with two in the last conflict.

"Why have we not got two Armoured Brigades out there?" he asked.

"We have seen over the last few days Iraqi forces attacking the soft skin vehicles of the logistic corps, and reporters from TV stations.

"In the end it has cost lives, lives that should not have been taken."

He also said it was vital to keep supply routes open and secure. "The supply route at this moment is too far a stretch for the British troops: no supplies, and the battle group will come to a halt."

Terry, who is one of a number of former servicemen who claim to be suffering from Gulf War Syndrome following their involvement in the 1991 conflict, said that to keep the routes open, it was necessary to have additional forces on the ground.

He also said more soldiers were needed to keep prisoners of war in captivity, otherwise they could return home and take up arms again.

"The troops on the ground will know that the top brass in England and America have got it wrong on the softly-softly touch.

"We know that we can take the city of Basra, but our hands are tied behind our backs because the Governments of the UK and USA are going on a softly-softly touch.

"All I can say to the Governments is: let the troops do their jobs, because this is what they have been trained for."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said it was unable to comment.