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An Army of 50,000 ?

#1
Story today alleging that the Chancellor has been putting about 50k as the end state for the regular Army. Plenty of reaction against this reported, with comparisons to European armies used as justification as to why not.

Chancellor Philip Hammond angers defence chiefs by telling PM the Army only needs 50,000 troops — and that's smaller than Germany's

Two things emerge for me. The first is cost. The fall in the value of the pound has squeezed procurement budgets considerably and people are expensive; who will pay more tax to keep the Army at current levels ?

Second is historical; a large standing Army is very much a post war phenomenon. For much of the history of the UK the regular Army was a small affair, kept to march up and down Whitehall and show the flag every now and again. A loose Reserve was kept as an insurance policy but the focus of defence spending was very much teh Navy, being an island and all that.
 
#2
Can’t we recruit that Captain America chap? I’ve seen a few documentaries about him & he seems pretty handy in a scuffle.

Rest of the cash can be spent on beefing up GCHQ.
 
#3
Total privatisation, coming to a barracks, dockyard or airfield near you.

Actually that’s quite a large chunk of MOD real estate. Let’s just sell it off for housing (immigrants) and pay someone else to pick up the defence of the realm.
 
#4
Perhaps we should rethink our role in the world and concentrate on ourselves rather than play world police.
 
#5
Story today alleging that the Chancellor has been putting about 50k as the end state for the regular Army. Plenty of reaction against this reported, with comparisons to European armies used as justification as to why not.

Chancellor Philip Hammond angers defence chiefs by telling PM the Army only needs 50,000 troops — and that's smaller than Germany's

Two things emerge for me. The first is cost. The fall in the value of the pound has squeezed procurement budgets considerably and people are expensive; who will pay more tax to keep the Army at current levels ?

Second is historical; a large standing Army is very much a post war phenomenon. For much of the history of the UK the regular Army was a small affair, kept to march up and down Whitehall and show the flag every now and again. A loose Reserve was kept as an insurance policy but the focus of defence spending was very much teh Navy, being an island and all that.
But we have millions of migrants who are all making a net contribution to the economy. Surely that would cover it?

And if not, we should import a few million more to cover the budget deficit.

If we imported 10s of millions more we'd be the richest country on earth..
 

AfghanAndy

On ROPS
On ROPs
#6
Story today alleging that the Chancellor has been putting about 50k as the end state for the regular Army. Plenty of reaction against this reported, with comparisons to European armies used as justification as to why not.

Chancellor Philip Hammond angers defence chiefs by telling PM the Army only needs 50,000 troops — and that's smaller than Germany's

Two things emerge for me. The first is cost. The fall in the value of the pound has squeezed procurement budgets considerably and people are expensive; who will pay more tax to keep the Army at current levels ?

Second is historical; a large standing Army is very much a post war phenomenon. For much of the history of the UK the regular Army was a small affair, kept to march up and down Whitehall and show the flag every now and again. A loose Reserve was kept as an insurance policy but the focus of defence spending was very much teh Navy, being an island and all that.
Interesting.

You seem to forget that wage bills are by far the biggest overhead.
 
#7
Like most of the european states, looks like we are moving towards an armed forces we can afford rather than what someone thinks we need. If that's so, the person who's likely to know what we can afford is the Chancellor who knows the MoD pretty well.

Personally I don't disagree, being able to fully fund and support a countrys armed forces being a much better philosophy than having an armed forces that is forced to be everything to everyone, despite not being equipped and trained for it, and continually holding reviews bringing drastic change whenever the government sees fit.

I don't trust Hammond one bit, but something needs to change because the country can't fund (note I didn't say afford) the armed forces we currently have with the equipment held rapidly falling out of usefulness.
 
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#10
Does this figure of 50,000 include the Reserve component? The article makes no mention of this - or am I just being a bit dense.
 
#12
It'll save Corbyn a job if he wins the next election then if the army has already been reduced to less than a militia, though I'm sure he'd like the satisfaction of doing it.
 
#13
Isn't it normally the case that we've had an Army with less manpower than the German one?

Considering that modern Germany in the 19th & 20th generally had regular and reserve forces totalling some 4-5 million, thats not really much of a yardstick.
 
#14
Simple question - what can't an army of 50,000 do that an army of 78/82k can when matched against the governments desired defence policy? Phillip Hammond was a bloody good SofS - a numbers man through and through as befits a businessman, he also inherently got the problem that the Army has - namely no one knows what it quite wants to do or why the answer is 'deployable division'.

Pushing for an Army of 50k would offer a sustainable bde equipped to TES standards, enough to do some cool SF stuff and mentoring and also allow mass disposal of land and estate to meet efficiency targets to ease pressure on the defence budget.

Its not actually a bad plan to force the Army to 'show continued rationale for its existence' to be honest...
 

TheresaMay

ADC
Moderator
DirtyBAT
#16
Simple question - what can't an army of 50,000 do that an army of 78/82k can when matched against the governments desired defence policy? Phillip Hammond was a bloody good SofS - a numbers man through and through as befits a businessman, he also inherently got the problem that the Army has - namely no one knows what it quite wants to do or why the answer is 'deployable division'.

Pushing for an Army of 50k would offer a sustainable bde equipped to TES standards, enough to do some cool SF stuff and mentoring and also allow mass disposal of land and estate to meet efficiency targets to ease pressure on the defence budget.

Its not actually a bad plan to force the Army to 'show continued rationale for its existence' to be honest...
Dangerous line of thought that.

What do the fire brigade do when they're not putting fires out?

"There's been no fires for at least a week chaps - it's time to start letting some of you go..."

I think given the choice when it comes to our nation's security, both at home and interests overseas, most people would opt for the 'condom approach' - rather have it and not need it...

You know the rest ;-)
 
#17
Dangerous line of thought that.

What do the fire brigade do when they're not putting fires out?

"There's been no fires for at least a week chaps - it's time to start letting some of you go..."

I think given the choice when it comes to our nation's security, both at home and interests overseas, most people would opt for the 'condom approach' - rather have it and not need it...

You know the rest ;-)
Thats fine - but what do they actually 'do' and when would we need an army of 82k vice 50k?
 

TheresaMay

ADC
Moderator
DirtyBAT
#18
Thats fine - but what do they actually 'do' and when would we need an army of 82k vice 50k?
Same as the fire brigade when they're not putting fires out.

Training.

Edited to add:

Whingeing about pay, watching porn, having loads of time off etc
 
#20
If that plot gets put into action, it has got to impact on Bde Guards.
However, will it impact on all the Cols etc working on Defence Liaison overseas? More Brigs than Bns etc.
 

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