America gets real but Britain still in military fantasy land

#2
'American and British troops are squatting in bases all over Iraq' FFS, is he commenting on the latrine arrangements?.
I don't see Britain as being in a 'military fantasy'. We have to find the ideal solution (or a near compromise), to enable us to withdraw our troops.
I can't see us just retreating with our tails between our legs whilst the locals dance in the streets before getting stuck into a religous civil war.
Whatever the Iraq outcome will be, we will be fighting Islamic terrorists for decades, mostly on ground of their own choosing
 
#3
they also, as usual, have a soundtrack to go with it.
I'm listening now to Neil Youngs 'Living with War'.
 
#4
The Yank armed forces also have a civvy population that cares about them and want to help them to get out and stop dying pointlessly.
The Brit forces don't have any civvy interest let alone a useful back up caring about their interest.
And as I've found from some of the posters here they respond like abused yard dogs who bite hands that try to feed them.
Britain as always is a bit backward. Still, it was the Yanks that invented Rock & Roll we will catch up later.
 
#5
SLRboy said:
The Yank armed forces also have a civvy population that cares about them and want to help them to get out and stop dying pointlessly.
The Brit forces don't have any civvy interest let alone a useful back up caring about their interest.


SIMPLY NOT TRUE.
 
#6
Wessex_Man said:
SLRboy said:
The Yank armed forces also have a civvy population that cares about them and want to help them to get out and stop dying pointlessly.
The Brit forces don't have any civvy interest let alone a useful back up caring about their interest.


SIMPLY NOT TRUE.
Sad to say, I think it is. Does anyone see any real sign of public concern about the state of our Armed Forces? When was the last time our electorate forewent a tax break at election time in favour of funding better ts&cs for squaddies?

Even now with Iraq and Afghanistan taking up so much airtime and Remeberance Day just past, Joe Public doesn't think the problems of soldiers, sailors and airmen are anything to do with him.

Brother Jonathan, on the other hand, does have a genuine sense of fellowship with his serving community. Just goes to show, you can learn lessons from the most unexpected places...
 
#9
smartascarrots said:
Wessex_Man said:
SLRboy said:
The Yank armed forces also have a civvy population that cares about them and want to help them to get out and stop dying pointlessly.
The Brit forces don't have any civvy interest let alone a useful back up caring about their interest.


SIMPLY NOT TRUE.
Sad to say, I think it is. Does anyone see any real sign of public concern about the state of our Armed Forces? When was the last time our electorate forewent a tax break at election time in favour of funding better ts&cs for squaddies?

Even now with Iraq and Afghanistan taking up so much airtime and Remeberance Day just past, Joe Public doesn't think the problems of soldiers, sailors and airmen are anything to do with him.

Brother Jonathan, on the other hand, does have a genuine sense of fellowship with his serving community. Just goes to show, you can learn lessons from the most unexpected places...
But is this support down to the fact that a lot of the US public still believe Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11?

In truth, it's probably difficult to compare the UK and US on terms of public support for the armed forces. We need to remember that, only about 20-25 years ago, the US armed forces were domestically very unpopular following Vietnam. Nor did the UK armed forces receive much support for most of its activities post-WW2 (with probably the exception of the Falklands). British service personnel fought and died in Korea, Malaya/Malaysia, Aden, Kenya, Cyprus and so on without it impinging greatly on the consciousness of the British public at large. Even the casualty figures from the worst years in Northern Ireland didn't start a major debate about kit, pay, support of the wounded, etc. on the scale thats occurring now. In some ways, the fact that its happening now is a good sign I think.
 
#10
Historically the British public have not been military minded, untill someone is camped in Northen France waiting for the next ferry.

Its not going to change much for a while so why bother shoutijng at the moon.
 
#11
President George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make "a last big push" to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration's internal deliberations........

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1948713,00.html
Bush is hardly the type who will give up the ship easily notwithstanding what the popular opinion might be!
 
#12
I think the difference in attitude can be boiled down to two things.
The American armed forces fight for the American people and their nation.
The people in the Brit armed forces are by tradition in service to the crown and not the people.
Therefore, quite understandably especially at this point in time, the type of civvy who doesn't have or wish to have contact with the military, views those who do as having made a lifestyle choice to become paid armed footman to the court of Queen Bess and something nebulous that's called 'The National Interest' what ever that is.

The Yanks have also been dying in greater quantity which brings it home to more people there. There it is not unusual for parts of the military and parts of the anti war movement to collaborate.

Here, unfortunately the anti war movement is monopolized by the Socialist Workers Party for their own anti capitalist ends which in my view is why it is not the more broader cross party movement that it should be.

And to be pro armed services yet anti these particular wars must be hugely difficult for serving personnel.
I am ex services who was against the war from the beginning.
I had no trouble being able to argue against it from what could be loosely described as a peacenik point of view AND argue against it from a purely military one as well.
I can't have been alone there must of thousands like me but our views were never given an airing.

Here in Britain you had the often derided 'peacenik' approach on the one hand and on the other you had top brass like Jackson, in my mind, disgracing himself, abandoning any duty of care for the troops to do his masters and the crowns bidding's.

Blair played of both against the middle and the military now find themselves piggy in the middle with the cheap and raucous civvy support for the war now faded away and averting their eyes now things have gone tits up.
Civvys, there good for talking big about how 'WE' have got to go over there and waving flags but they are f'uck all good for much else.

In the years to come after the forces come home and the true magnitude of the cynical abuse to which they have been put begins to sink home a new covenant will have to be developed between citizen, the military and the crown.

It's British people who serve and it should be the British People who should be served by them not the crown.
One thing that I think should be introduced is completely independent counsel for the forces.
If they think what the politicians are asking them to do is illegal or plainly militarily unwise they should be able if necessary be able to argue the case in closed court.

Never again should such a case arise as it did before the war when Admiral Boyce sent a message to no10 requiring clarification of the legality of the attack only to receive a cursory e mail by a P.M's assistant telling him in effect the P.M says it's Kosher so just get on with it.

Oh and as well as that the armed forces here haven't been dying in sufficient quantities to alarm or concern the British civvy enough to cause him to raise his selfish, greedy little snout from the consumer trough from which he slurps. He is not capable of hearing the roar of war above the sound of ringing tills. Other peoples deaths deserved or otherwise do not concern him whilst his plastic still swipes nicely.

What this country needs is a Bonfire of the Vanities, a little dose of Savanarola to bring it to its senses.
 
#13
SLRboy said:
I think the difference in attitude can be boiled down to two things.
The American armed forces fight for the American people and their nation.
The people in the Brit armed forces are by tradition in service to the crown and not the people.
Therefore, quite understandably especially at this point in time, the type of civvy who doesn't have or wish to have contact with the military, views those who do as having made a lifestyle choice to become paid armed footman to the court of Queen Bess and something nebulous that's called 'The National Interest' what ever that is.

The Yanks have also been dying in greater quantity which brings it home to more people there. There it is not unusual for parts of the military and parts of the anti war movement to collaborate.

Here, unfortunately the anti war movement is monopolized by the Socialist Workers Party for their own anti capitalist ends which in my view is why it is not the more broader cross party movement that it should be.

And to be pro armed services yet anti these particular wars must be hugely difficult for serving personnel.
I am ex services who was against the war from the beginning.
I had no trouble being able to argue against it from what could be loosely described as a peacenik point of view AND argue against it from a purely military one as well.
I can't have been alone there must of thousands like me but our views were never given an airing.

Here in Britain you had the often derided 'peacenik' approach on the one hand and on the other you had top brass like Jackson, in my mind, disgracing himself, abandoning any duty of care for the troops to do his masters and the crowns bidding's.

Blair played of both against the middle and the military now find themselves piggy in the middle with the cheap and raucous civvy support for the war now faded away and averting their eyes now things have gone tits up.
Civvys, there good for talking big about how 'WE' have got to go over there and waving flags but they are f'uck all good for much else.

In the years to come after the forces come home and the true magnitude of the cynical abuse to which they have been put begins to sink home a new covenant will have to be developed between citizen, the military and the crown.

It's British people who serve and it should be the British People who should be served by them not the crown.
One thing that I think should be introduced is completely independent counsel for the forces.
If they think what the politicians are asking them to do is illegal or plainly militarily unwise they should be able if necessary be able to argue the case in closed court.

Never again should such a case arise as it did before the war when Admiral Boyce sent a message to no10 requiring clarification of the legality of the attack only to receive a cursory e mail by a P.M's assistant telling him in effect the P.M says it's Kosher so just get on with it.

Oh and as well as that the armed forces here haven't been dying in sufficient quantities to alarm or concern the British civvy enough to cause him to raise his selfish, greedy little snout from the consumer trough from which he slurps. He is not capable of hearing the roar of war above the sound of ringing tills. Other peoples deaths deserved or otherwise do not concern him whilst his plastic still swipes nicely.

What this country needs is a Bonfire of the Vanities, a little dose of Savanarola to bring it to its senses.
Good analysis, SLR - agree with much of this. However, to state that few care very much about the Armed Forces is, IMO, untrue. I have strong military connexions, so am not typical, but many people with no such links DO have great pride in the British military; talk/ argue a lot re current situations, and are very concerned for serving personnel. I have often heard it said that whenever "military types" are interviewed on TV, they make a far better impression than most politicians. Many of the much maligned "civvi" population hold the military in high regard.

As always, the voice of the "quiet majority" is rarely given much air time, and - as we all know - opinion polls, surveys, "Question Time" audiences etc are inherently unbalanced, and are rarely truly reflective of real opinion on the ground.

Best wishes,

Wessex.
 
#14
SLRboy said:
and on the other you had top brass like Jackson, in my mind, disgracing himself, abandoning any duty of care for the troops to do his masters and the crowns bidding's.
It is/was his job FFS! 8O Without wishing to get back to the Dannatt/CGS argument, this whole thing that the CGS/CDS must stand up against the Govt in support of the military at all costs is starting to get up my A**E! :evil:

Agreed there is an element of 'support' required when conditions and support are lacking, but to suggest the CGS (as SLRboy said - rather than CDS?) should stand up and say "no" to going to war (remembering that the "overwhelming evidence" supported WMD in Iraq) is b*ll*x..... :x

That is not his job, that is why we have an opposition, however in/effective they may be.... :roll:

This is not a personal rant against SLRboy....sorry if it seems that way.... :(
 
#15
SLR Boy,

I take issue with your comments about "the Crown".

Yes we serve the Queen. Thank God for that.
But the Queen is not responsible for us being in Iraq.
Tony B Liar, as voted in by the British public, is responsible for Iraq.

The Queen and her family have far more time and respect for the Armed Forces than politicians, or the public ever will.

Do you see the children of our elected representatives joining up? No.
The children of the Royal Family? Yes.

Your analysis is seriously flawed and just shows your political leanings.

But I agree Gen Jackson was a dissapointment.
 

untallguy

Old-Salt
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#16
bobath said:
Historically the British public have not been military minded, untill someone is camped in Northen France waiting for the next ferry.

Its not going to change much for a while so why bother shoutijng at the moon.
I think bobath has got it right. The British public have never been keen on the military throughout the centuries - as the future Field Marshal Robertson's mother said in 1877, when he joined as a trooper:

"I will name it to no one, I would rather bury you than see you in a red coat."

This attitude was not uncommon and having children join the Army was seen as a sign of social failure. This continued through into the 20th Century - until 'someone is camped in Northern France waiting for the next ferry' in 1914 and 1939. Right up to the beginning of both wars, the Armed Forces (including Reserve Forces) had recruiting, retention and budget issues (!).

Look at the situation now:

- The 'Iraq/Afgan' factor affecting recruitment;

- Stereotypes on telly (eg came back from Iraq/Afghanistan/Falklands/Bosnia with PTSD; screaming Sgt Majs);

- People basing their views on the Armed Forces from when they did National Service (finished over 40 years ago) or read in the papers (very few dedicated defence correspondents, MOD issued Pravda, journalists trawling ARRSE for comment rather than conduct their own enquiries);

- People agreeing that the Armed Forces need more money but not prepared to pay for it (Torygraph poll back in the summer)

- rant, rant, rant, etc

There are some positive factors at the moment but the British public/government has always had a difficult relationship with its Armed Forces whereas the USA has always had a very different relationship with its Forces - often because joining the Army was viewed by immigrants as being an honourable way of proving their loyalty to the State and the State agreed with this.

The US government also, in general, stands by the covenant it has with its soldiers - you risk your life for us and we will look after you (college education, medical treatment, respect for veterans etc). Does the UK government even understand this? Would the British public ever force them to change their mind?
 
#17
Roguetrooper,
Without going into the ins and outs of a cats arse, the evidence for WMD.
was only overwhelming to those who only wanted to look at evidence no matter how dodgy that supported the case for war whilst ignoring all else.

I am sure that the Armed Forces only assessment where only 'what is' facts apply rather than political considerations was markedly different.

However, on the point about command and duty I agree it is more nuanced than I first expressed.
The relationship between the military high command and their civilian political masters must be an on going subject of study and debate which due to its nature can never be fully resolved.

It involves law, philosophy, politics and precedent amongst many other things. And though, no doubt, volumes have been written about the protocols involved none the less conflicts are 'live' issues and hence in such a time the relationships between the various parties, civilian and military and their varying interests also are 'live' and have I suppose, to be treated as a work in progress.

The situation for all concerned I rather think must be similar to the use of rear view mirrors when driving.
One must always use them at certain critical times and in a prescribed manner. Yet one must always bear in mind not entirely to trust them to tell all of the story of what is going on in the relationship of your manoeuvres and the manoeuvres of others.

What it always boils down to in the end is the personalities involved.
A story that always amuses me is one from the second world war.
Things were going wrong for Rommel in N. Africa and he kept sending increasingly frantic requests to Berlin seeking an audience with the Fuhrer.
These requests continually went unacknowledged. Then suddenly, out of the blue came a demand from Hitler to come and meet him at his mountain retreat.
It was with great relief that Rommel travelled to Germany.
When he arrived he was kept waiting for a couple of hours.
Then Hitler appeared carrying a daschund. Without greeting him he immediately began to tell him how the dog Mitzi had a growth in its stomach and could Rommel suggest whether the dog should have an operation or should Hitler have the dog put down.

Rommel respectfully told his Fuhrer that as he was not qualified in dog care he had no helpful views on the matter. This deeply upset Hitler who sent Rommel back to Africa without so much as offering him a cup of tea let alone discussing the desert campaign.
If one knew no more about the second world war than this one could tell that the Germans were obviously going to lose.


To me the conception and execution of the wars that America and Britain are involved in taken as a whole have appeared to be like badly cut, appalling flawed diamond.
From which ever angle one inspects this particular stone one is able to get a different specific take on how atrocious the whole stone actually is.

I apologise for the excess of metaphor but:

During the build up to this catastrophic impasse in which we now find ourselves, I watched closely the gestation of the mother of all train crashes.

I could see all these lying, scheming politicians who had not done a days military service in their lives working up their plans that would necesitate thousands of people who spent their whole lives in the military executing them.

It was like watching people who not only didn't know how to read music but couldn't be arsed to know the difference between a crochet and a quaver, demanding that professional honest orchestras immediately learn and played symphonies that only they the politicians could hear in their tiny lying little heads.
 
#18
LineDoggie said:
On a side note, in America we have groups to support our Wounded, their Families, & those still "incountry"

http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/site/c.iqLTI2OBKlF/b.1109075/k.9013/Headquarters.htm -as an example

http://www.supportasoldier.org/ Is there something similar in the UK?

As for Jenkins, F-him, until he's carried a weapon his opinion aint shite
Whether you like it or not he writes a column for The Times and therefore is an influential opinion former, even though he's probably never held a weapon. Indeed his opinion will influence far more people than yours ever will. :wink:
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#20
Ord_Sgt said:
LineDoggie said:
On a side note, in America we have groups to support our Wounded, their Families, & those still "incountry"

http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/site/c.iqLTI2OBKlF/b.1109075/k.9013/Headquarters.htm -as an example

http://www.supportasoldier.org/ Is there something similar in the UK?

As for Jenkins, F-him, until he's carried a weapon his opinion aint shite
Whether you like it or not he writes a column for The Times and therefore is an influential opinion former, even though he's probably never held a weapon. Indeed his opinion will influence far more people than yours ever will. :wink:
Bit of a point scoring exercise that one mate. Of course his opinion will influence more.....unless ARRSE suddenly has a larger readership.

Back to the thread. SLRboy....some of the best posts I have read.
 

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