- 05-06-2011, 21:49 #61
Before we can start talking about what deck chair to move to what deck we need to decide on our fundamental strategic assumptions, when these have been articulated beyond vague feel good bullshit only then can any sensible force structure be designed
- 05-06-2011, 23:04 #62
The Really Large Corps to change its name to the Moderately Sized Corps.
The AGC to become the Adjutant Lance Corporals Corps.
The REME to become Kwik Fit.
The Royals Signals to become the Royal Corps of Signing Up Mobile Phone Contracts.
The Royal Engineers to become the Meccano Nostalgia Corps.
The Army Air Corps to really become Teeny Weeny Airways.
The Royal Armoured Corps to become the My Little Tank Group.
The Royal Artillery to become the Queen's Birthday Fireworks Display Regiment.
The Intelligence Corps to become the Pre-school Teaching Corps
The Corps of Army Music to become the Recorder and Triangle Marching Band
The current Medical Arms to become the Aldershot Family Practice
The Brigade of Ghurkas to become the Pensioned Off Back in Nepal Brigade
The Army Physical Training Corps to become a Private Gym in Darlington
The UK Special Forces to become the Not So Special "When I" Corps (but will still have more members than any of the others)
Well, that's the Corps taken care of.I can say the name of that railway station in Wales, as well.
- 05-06-2011, 23:09 #63
I think the only political assumptions we can make about the role of the Armed Forces once we're out of Aghanistan are that:
a. We're out of the expeditionary warfighting business for the foreseeable
b. There won't be a coherent foreign policy driving a UK defence strategy also for the foreseeable
c. The next time we fight it'll be nothing like Afghanistan, Iraq or Bosnia and we'll probably totally fail to learn the relevant lessons from our recent experience and spend some considerable time fighting the last warYears since living the dream and having to make an honest living:
- 05-06-2011, 23:13 #64Arrse's very own bartender imparting wisdom, wit and all things boozey.
Crime & Punishment in Colonial Kenya: Bibliography Thread
- 05-06-2011, 23:20 #65
There are loads of simple international lessons to be learned. If you look at the Bundeswehr for example, one of their Panzer Div Hqs in the field (perhaps the only one left) is about the size of one of our brigade HQs. They only have two officers per company which means that going up the fighting force CoC they are leaner across the board.
In recent times, some countries have taken a much bigger axe to their defence forces than we have, with no obvious degradation. Of course we don't have resource gobbling conscripts to get rid of, but then again nor do the french.
The USMC is bigger than all our armed forces but not by much. We could base our structure on theirs, just scale it to fit. Of course there are some things the USMC does not do for itself, which would need to be factored in, and thus affect the overall structure.
The word that no-one wants to hear; 'joint', rears it's ugly head, but why not? 30 Sigs and the TCW do the same job for example, every service has its own movers and personnel centres, we all have medical services, cooks, logistics, depots and soon. There is a fortune to be saved there without throwing out the baby with the bath water.
Personally i think some of the starting assumptions are based on the false premise that we need to scale for the past.
I know this is drivel and not necessarily coherent, but I shall have another go tomorrow when I am not so 'tired and confused'.
- 05-06-2011, 23:29 #66
- 05-06-2011, 23:41 #67
Assumption One: The UK will continue to reserve the right to use military force when necessary in defence of critical national interests, even over objections from the EU etc.
The second type of stimulus which might provoke the use of military force is the enforcement of international agreements - essentially, at least at the moment, enforcement of UN Security Council resolutions calling upon member states to provide military forces for the resolution of issues otherwise not capable of resolution.
Assumption Two: The UK will continue to provide military force as part of joint international operations in support of UN resolutions
The third type of stimulus which might provoke the use of military force is less tangible - it's essentially political, but may have a moral character as well. This is where military forces are deployed in support of an aim which is essentially humanitarian in nature, but which will require the use of armed force to deliver the humanitarian element of the aim. Often this will be occasioned by public or media agitation.
Assumption Three: The UK will continue to make occasional military interventions for altruistic or humanitarian reasons
The fourth type of stimulus which might provoke the use of military force is in order to respond to either bilateral requests from close allies or as part of wider obligation to which we are subject (NATO Article 5 etc).
Assumption Four: The UK will continue to consider deploying military force in support of its allies on request
We can make some geographic assumptions as well. We clearly need to be able to operate in Europe and its fringes and to maintain the ability to support troops in our economically vital area - which is essentially the Gulf. The UK is dependent upon two commodities and one geographic choke point: oil and natural gas and the exit from the Arabian Gulf. We therefore have a vital strategic interest in maintaining a steady supply of both commodities from the Gulf and of ensuring free passage of both from there to here.
Assumption Five: The UK will need to maintain a capability to operate throughout Europe and North Africa and to support forces deployed in the Gulf
Further geographic assumptions: the UK has a legacy commitment to the Falkland Islands and an interesting set of claims to some interestingly sporty-looking resources in the South Atlantic generally.
Assumption Six: The UK will need to maintain a capability to project military power, when needed, to the South Atlantic and to control the old TEZ (200 nm) around the Falkland Islands if required
International alliances. We can assume that NATO will stagger along as a common operational framework for a few years more. Our future close alliances are likely to be with a subset of the greater NATO + Commonwealth - I'd suggest the USA, Canada, Australia, France, Denmark, Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic as a start, based on close and effective relations in battle and on common and shared interests.
Assumption Seven: The UK will continue to form part of a subset of Western powers willing and able to use military force in pursuit of common objectives
Economics: Even if the economy recovers post-2015 and the deficit is paid off, it's highly unlikely, absent a clear and growing threat from a competing unfriendly geopolitical actor, that the defence budget will increase in real terms. Hardware will continue to become more expensive and manpower ever more elusive to recruit as unemployment improves and the chances of going into combat decline. £30Bn or so is it and we needn't expect too much generosity from the Treasury in funding future little tiffs, either.
Assumption Eight: The UK defence budget will remain static or declining in real terms for the foreseeable future.
Efficiency: the current climate actually gives the military the opportunity to think heretically and constructively, assuming we can get a Haldane to lead the process and knock heads together. We should assume that sensible management and financial controls will be imposed and shared services and common procurement will become the norm.
Assumption Nine: UK Defence may continue to look as it does at the moment, in terms of having an RAF, and RN and an Army, but many of the supporting capabilities for combat elements will become officially, operationally and philosophically purple, to match what is increasingly the reality on the ground. Look for intelligence, logistics, communications and IT and administration to go formally purple.
Does that provide a framework for this discussion, do we think, or is there stuff in there which is wrong - or any major omissions?Years since living the dream and having to make an honest living:
- 09-06-2011, 22:59 #68
.....aaaaaaaaaaaaaand that seems to have killed the thread. Sorry 'bout that.Years since living the dream and having to make an honest living:
- 09-06-2011, 23:49 #69
Hold on, been busy looking at tits, will have a think
- 09-06-2011, 23:51 #70