And its goodbye from him??? Dr Fox's letter to PM leaked....

#1
Defence cuts: Liam Fox's leaked letter in full - Telegraph

SofS letter to PM in Torygraph, oooeerrr.... consequences of cuts.....

Is it classic bad decisions made, get your revenge in first, - people, I did my best, but what more can you do? I'm off.

Or I did the bizzo and the PM listened to me?
 
#2
Defence cuts: Liam Fox's leaked letter in full - Telegraph

Dear David

We are nearing the culmination of the work we promised to deliver on our approach to national security; the NSC meeting tomorrow is a key opportunity to set out the risk and consequences of that work for our NSC colleagues. This is not a letter I am copying to others ahead of tomorrow’s NSC but I wanted to let you know my views, which are shared by my Ministerial colleagues.

Frankly this process is looking less and less defensible as a proper SDSR (Strategic Defence and Strategy Review) and more like a “super CSR” (Comprehensive Spending Review). If it continues on its current trajectory it is likely to have grave political consequences for us, destroying much of the reputation and capital you, and we, have built up in recent years. Party, media, military and the international reaction will be brutal if we do not recognise the dangers and continue to push for such draconian cuts at a time when we are at war. I am very grateful to Peter Ricketts and Jeremy Heywood for the help they have given officials who have worked strenuously to bridge a gap that is, financially and intellectually virtually impossible. I am concerned that we do not have a narrative that we can communicate clearly.

On 22 July the NSC endorsed the ‘Adaptable Britain’ posture because we decided that it was impossible to predict what conflict or global security scenarios may emerge in the years ahead. That meant ensuring the maintenance of generic defence capability across all three environments of land, sea and air – not to mention the emerging asymmetric threats in domains such as cyber and space –with sufficient ability to regenerate capability in the face of these possible future threats were it required.

How do we want to be remembered and judged for our stewardship of national security? We have repeatedly and robustly argued that this is the first duty of Government and we run the risk of having those words thrown back at us if the SDSR fails to reflect that position and act upon it.

I suggest we start tomorrow’s discussion by asking whether we are really prepared to see Defence spending reduced to this level. The impact on capability, particularly in the maritime domain, would be more substantial than one might imagine from the paper.

Our decisions today will limit severely the options available to this and all future governments. The range of operations that we can do today we will simply not be able to do in the future. In particular, it would place at risk:

The reduction in overall surface ship numbers means we will be unable to undertake all the standing commitments (providing a permanent Royal Navy presence in priority regions) we do today. Assuming a presence in UK waters, the Falklands and in support of the deterrent is essential we would have to withdraw our presence in, for example, the Indian Ocean, Caribbean or Gulf.

Deletion of the amphibious shipping (landing docks, helicopter platforms and auxiliaries) will mean that a landed force will be significantly smaller and lighter and deployed without protective vehicles or organic fire. We could not carry out the Sierra Leone operation again.

Deletion of the Nimrod MR4 will limit our ability to deploy maritime forces rapidly into high-threat areas, increase the risk to the Deterrent, compromise maritime CT (counter terrorism), remove long range search and rescue, and delete one element of our Falklands reinforcement plan.

Some risk to civil contingent capability, including but not limited to foot and mouth, fire-fighting strikes, fuel shortages, flu pandemics, Mumbai style attacks and the 2012 Summer Olympics

The potential for the scale of the changes to seriously damage morale across the Armed Forces should not be underestimated. This will be exacerbated by the fact that the changes proposed would follow years of mismanagement by our predecessors. It may also coincide with a period of major challenge (and, in all probability, significant casualties) in Afghanistan.

Even at this stage we should be looking at the strategic and security implications of our decisions. It would be a great pity if, having championed the cause of our Armed Forces and set up the innovation of the NSC, we simply produced a cuts package. Cuts there will have to be. Coherence, we cannot do without, if there is to be any chance of a credible narrative.

Yours

Liam Fox
 

Pararegtom

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Defence cuts: Liam Fox's leaked letter in full - Telegraph

Dear David

We are nearing the culmination of the work we promised to deliver on our approach to national security; the NSC meeting tomorrow is a key opportunity to set out the risk and consequences of that work for our NSC colleagues. This is not a letter I am copying to others ahead of tomorrow’s NSC but I wanted to let you know my views, which are shared by my Ministerial colleagues.

Frankly this process is looking less and less defensible as a proper SDSR (Strategic Defence and Strategy Review) and more like a “super CSR” (Comprehensive Spending Review). If it continues on its current trajectory it is likely to have grave political consequences for us, destroying much of the reputation and capital you, and we, have built up in recent years. Party, media, military and the international reaction will be brutal if we do not recognise the dangers and continue to push for such draconian cuts at a time when we are at war. I am very grateful to Peter Ricketts and Jeremy Heywood for the help they have given officials who have worked strenuously to bridge a gap that is, financially and intellectually virtually impossible. I am concerned that we do not have a narrative that we can communicate clearly.

On 22 July the NSC endorsed the ‘Adaptable Britain’ posture because we decided that it was impossible to predict what conflict or global security scenarios may emerge in the years ahead. That meant ensuring the maintenance of generic defence capability across all three environments of land, sea and air – not to mention the emerging asymmetric threats in domains such as cyber and space –with sufficient ability to regenerate capability in the face of these possible future threats were it required.

How do we want to be remembered and judged for our stewardship of national security? We have repeatedly and robustly argued that this is the first duty of Government and we run the risk of having those words thrown back at us if the SDSR fails to reflect that position and act upon it.

I suggest we start tomorrow’s discussion by asking whether we are really prepared to see Defence spending reduced to this level. The impact on capability, particularly in the maritime domain, would be more substantial than one might imagine from the paper.

Our decisions today will limit severely the options available to this and all future governments. The range of operations that we can do today we will simply not be able to do in the future. In particular, it would place at risk:

The reduction in overall surface ship numbers means we will be unable to undertake all the standing commitments (providing a permanent Royal Navy presence in priority regions) we do today. Assuming a presence in UK waters, the Falklands and in support of the deterrent is essential we would have to withdraw our presence in, for example, the Indian Ocean, Caribbean or Gulf.

Deletion of the amphibious shipping (landing docks, helicopter platforms and auxiliaries) will mean that a landed force will be significantly smaller and lighter and deployed without protective vehicles or organic fire. We could not carry out the Sierra Leone operation again.

Deletion of the Nimrod MR4 will limit our ability to deploy maritime forces rapidly into high-threat areas, increase the risk to the Deterrent, compromise maritime CT (counter terrorism), remove long range search and rescue, and delete one element of our Falklands reinforcement plan.

Some risk to civil contingent capability, including but not limited to foot and mouth, fire-fighting strikes, fuel shortages, flu pandemics, Mumbai style attacks and the 2012 Summer Olympics

The potential for the scale of the changes to seriously damage morale across the Armed Forces should not be underestimated. This will be exacerbated by the fact that the changes proposed would follow years of mismanagement by our predecessors. It may also coincide with a period of major challenge (and, in all probability, significant casualties) in Afghanistan.

Even at this stage we should be looking at the strategic and security implications of our decisions. It would be a great pity if, having championed the cause of our Armed Forces and set up the innovation of the NSC, we simply produced a cuts package. Cuts there will have to be. Coherence, we cannot do without, if there is to be any chance of a credible narrative.

Yours

Liam Fox
Hat Coat, taxi,s waiting Mr Fox
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Cynical Chip in

As any ARRSER who has read my views in the build up to the election will know, I am Blue all the way....... however, this is a classic Tory tactic. Make the news horrific, so bad that it is unpalatable and then come back from it at the last minute to lessen the pain.

I suspect a set piece here. The relationship between Fox and Cameron is very strong. Defence will get whacked and whacked hard - but not as far as being discussed in open forum (but not too far from it).

Let's watch tomorrow and I will eat my words if I am wrong in the wash up in 2 weeks time after NSC and when SDSR initial findings are published.

Cynical Chip Out
 
#6
To me it reads like;

look I am offering you a public reminder of how bad things are and a possible fall back position, coz what has really happened is that Uncle Sam has kicked up an almighty stink on the quiet.
 
#9
Hmm. It could easily be a case of PR handling, or an actual leak. I'm too cynical to believe that its the later.

That said.. I've got more respect for him after writing that. What a lovely change in comparison to Labour's cabinet style.
 
#10
... however, this is a classic Tory tactic. Make the news horrific, so bad that it is unpalatable and then come back from it at the last minute to lessen the pain.
No, it is a tactic common to both sides. Labour were hard at it in the 98/99 SDR and I'm sure other examples are legion.
 
#11
This allows Cameron a way out - the truth is we need to spend our money more wisely (this WILL become the mantra). In essence he will state categorically that he "listened" to his learned military advisors and is "assured" that the decisions reached are "affordable" and do not "reduce" the ability to "project" further afield.

What else - expect SIGNIFICANT cuts to the CS element of the MOD with up to 15,000 job cuts.

The good news - Boarding School allowance will remain but the ability to select ANY public school will go (reducing the opportunities for the head sheds to send their small people to Winchester for a gud ejucashion...........)
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
Here's a really cool suggestion. Don't cut the ****ing MOD budget at all. Unlike every other department of government, the MOD has faced cut after cut after cut over the years, and enough is enough. By all means, make the armed forces leaner, fitter (for purpose), cut the waste, cut the bureaucracy, cut the unnecessary perks and privileges and so on, make it work for its money, bu don't reduce our defence capability even further.

Enough times on these forums, the huge wastage of funds due to lack of planning, the BAe rip-offs, the cosy back-handers and dodgy back-room deals has been highlighted. The MOD could save an absolute fortune simply by laying off a load of surplus top brass and middle management, sacking all those who fail to fulfill a useful purpose or who are shown to be incompetent (and by gods, there appear to be thousands of them), and make the armed forces an efficient and effective enterprise for the first time ever.
 

Pararegtom

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
Here's a really cool suggestion. Don't cut the ****ing MOD budget at all. Unlike every other department of government, the MOD has faced cut after cut after cut over the years, and enough is enough. By all means, make the armed forces leaner, fitter (for purpose), cut the waste, cut the bureaucracy, cut the unnecessary perks and privileges and so on, make it work for its money, bu don't reduce our defence capability even further.

Enough times on these forums, the huge wastage of funds due to lack of planning, the BAe rip-offs, the cosy back-handers and dodgy back-room deals has been highlighted. The MOD could save an absolute fortune simply by laying off a load of surplus top brass and middle management, sacking all those who fail to fulfill a useful purpose or who are shown to be incompetent (and by gods, there appear to be thousands of them), and make the armed forces an efficient and effective enterprise for the first time ever.
Calm down,Calm down sorry was having a scouse moment, utopia wont work, to many hands in MP,s and defence companies pocket,s look at costalot or is it ocelot £500,000 a pop . totally agree with your logic, but it,s all too corrupt for us boring mindless tax payers / voters what do we know.
 
#16
Something doesnt seem quite right there - I don't know what it is, but the language doesnt seem quite correct. The phrase

"Some risk to civil contingent capability, including but not limited to foot and mouth, fire-fighting strikes, fuel shortages, flu pandemics, Mumbai style attacks and the 2012 Summer Olympics " -

sits uncomfortably with the rest of the document, and also ignores the fact that the MOD stopped doing fire fighting and fuel shortages several years ago. Its possible that the new Govt has changed its mind, but until May, the MOD was very very clear that things like the tasks above were, for the most part, the responsibility of the civil authorities. I am surprised that SofS has briefed this to the PM in a letter. Perhaps those with more recent experience in Ops Directorate could confirm whether JDP2-02 has been substantially revised?

I know its a minor point, but why is SofS raising issues about contingent capability with the PM when the MOD itself stopped providing contingent capability in most of these areas some years ago?

Personal bet is that Fox is setting himself up for an exit stage right, followed by a leadership bid. This is his opening salvo, ahead of the party conference, and he's trying to show that he opposed the cuts all along. It would be impossible for him to run for leadership on his defence record if he's seen to be the 'hatchet man'.

Resignations could be afoot in the near future...
 
#17
I think the whole thing has been engineered by the government spin machine.
Think how emotive the whole subject is. Our forces in a difficult war, Wooton Basset turning out sadly regularly.
This makes Fox look good. Makes the government look even better if they take note.
Smoke and mirrors, the first principles of modern government.
 
#19
I think the whole thing has been engineered by the government spin machine.
Think how emotive the whole subject is. Our forces in a difficult war, Wooton Basset turning out sadly regularly.
This makes Fox look good. Makes the government look even better if they take note.
Smoke and mirrors, the first principles of modern government.
Bang on.
I don't think; a) That Liam Fox is stupid enough to try something now, considering how fragile the coalition would be if some vicious in-fighting began for a leadership contest, b) Anyone at Conservative Central office/Nº 10 would leak this knowing it has the potential to harm either Dr Fox or DC, without some positive outcome.
 
#20
"Does anyone else smell bullshit Would the letter get the designations of the MRA4 wrong?"

Depends who wrote it - if it was the SPADS then its possible. However, I agree that something seems a little odd, really. He's admitted to the letter, but equally it seems strange to focus on the RN, not really mention the RAF, and totally ignore the Army and only one passing mention to HERRICK. It feels a very strange letter for a senior cabinet minister to send to the head of the Government.

Second thought - who leaked it?

Correspondence like that, if handled by the SPADS would not normally be seen or CC'd more widely in the Department. If it was leaked by a SPAD, then it would be easy to find out who did it and sack them. Its unlikely that Foxes (or other Ministers) SPADs are that stupid or lacking in political nous.

I would be genuinely astonished if this was leaked by a member of the MOD (Civ or Mil). Its possible that it could have come from MOD, but in my experience, correspondence like this is held on an incredibly tight distribution list to avoid this sort of thing happening.

So, is it possible that this is a No10 leak and if so, what game is being played here?
 

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top