Are squaddies political tools? Expendable?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Shotgun, Jun 15, 2003.

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  1. It has to be asked of squaddies today, because in my day we joined up to defend this country, and the people of this country, NOT to defend the standing and political carreer of arrseholes like Blair.

    I've been arguing aginst this cnut for a long time, but just tonight I came across a piece about Kosovo in the Spectator.

    Now you tell me why we went to Kosovo, and then why we went to Iraq. Was it to protect this great nation and it's people?

    It can't be allowed to go on, IMO.  :mad:
  2. You won't want to hear this, but the answer is yes, you are the enforcement arm of the state, they dictate you do, take a recent example, many of your colleagues will not like it, UK Firefighters (within the law of the land, exercised their rights to have an industrial dispute with their employers) the Government used the military to break a legitimate industrial dispute..... So, answer your own question - Are squaddies political tools???
  3. They are political tools, of course, but the subtext as to whether they are expendable is the main issue, and whether they are there to protect the interests and political carreer of a politician.

    BTW: The army, or the RAF or Navy, or Police, aren't the 'enforcement' arm of the State, they are the protectors and defenders of the State, and the State in this context is the people. NOT the Prime Minister, nor the Cabinet, nor even the Government. The Government can therefore call on the Forces to protect the people in times of danger, like when the Firemen strike, but the Forces did not break the strike, which would be wrong as you say. What they did do was cover their duties of protection. If they had actively went onto the streets to force the Firemen back to work then that would fall in with what you say, but they didn't, and never would.

    Constitutionally, Blair has no more power to call on the Forces to enforce anything, any more than any other person, unless it is under Royal Prerogative when the nation is in clear and present danger.
  4. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    The Armed Forces operate under the auspices of the Crown so as to make them neutral of politics, however as with most major decisions of state, how to use them is a decision delegated to Parliament and Ministers as directly elected representatives of the people, of whom the Monarch is the figurehead.

    The Armed Forces have alsways been a political tool as to suggest that they are only used otherwise would necessarily suggest that they should not have been used since the times of the Norman invasion in 1066, which was the last time we were "invaded". There are occasions when the use of the Armed Forces to provide either military aid to the civilian power or as a means of providing an executive function to foreign policy are wholly and entirely justified because of national interest, or the interests of our allies, or for the wider political stability of a region.

    The issue that I would suggest is far greater than the Armed Forces being used in a way as to be expendible is the mechanism by which we are made so. Parliament is the ultimate power of the land, and it is the elected representatives of all of us, whether our MP is in Government or not, who should hold the final say by open debate and open voting as to how the Forces should be deployed. As a democracy that means we must accept that there will be views contrary to those we would wish, as the freedom to think and to speak should always be held sacred (even if it gives a voice to the likes of George Galloway).

    This Government has subdued Parliament. It circumvents the House as a decision making forum, leaking decisions to the press before Parliament is informed first, as it's right. It has made the Lords it's puppet and removed its independance as it was too invonvenient for this Government to try and win an argument, therefore it has removed any that would disagree from power. When it suits this Government it presents mis-information to parliament and justifies the expense of the lives of the Service men and women on the back of a 12 year old PhD thesis easily available on the internet. When this Government, it's spin doctors, and ministers are found out and called to public account, they decide not to come before the Parliamentary Committees set up to investigate happenings on behalf of the British people, because to this Government, the views of the British people are an irrelevance.

    In anser to the question, yes the forces have always been a political tool and expendable, but at least in times past before that was ever allowed to be the case there was concensus amongst those elected to represent us that this should be so.
  5. Clauswitz (?) said that   warfare is diplomacy pursued by other means and armed forces exist to coerce other governments to follow the owning govts foreign policy objectives (IE Lets take the Falklands off the Brits and rename them the Malvinas)

    That makes the armed forces a political tool.

    As for expendibility ? Well that depends on the blood price a government is prepared to pay. Germans in Dover? you bet your life you are expendable, fighting Iraqis? Not nearly so expendable......

  6. Very good, and a decent, more than that, much more, reply.

    It's fucckin annoying that I have to come to this forum out of all the ones on the net to get at least a real world discussion on this subject, and some sense. The reason I say that is because we as squaddies, or at least ex-squaddies, are suppossed to be apolitical.

    The tragedy is that this Government, I bet, will never be held to account. Even so, heres hoping...
  7. So, if we take the miners strike, the Police were defending what?
  8. It is summed up in the Army's mission statement:

    To assist the Government of the Day in the execution of its policy

    So there you are
  10. Really? And there's me thought the official version said;

    A: Peacetime Security: To provide forces needed in peacetime to ensure the protection and security of the Untied Kingdom, to assist as required with the evacuation of British nationals overseas, to afford Military Aid to the Civil Authorities in the United Kingdom, including Military Aid to the Civil Power, Military Aid to Other Government Departments and Military Aid to the Civil Community.

    B: Security of the Overseas Territories: To provide forces to meet any challenges to the external security of a British Overseas Territory (including overseas possession and the Sovereign Base Areas) or to assist the civil authorities in meeting a challenge to internal security.

    C: Defence Diplomacy: To provide forces to meet the varied activities undertaken by the Ministry of Defence to dispel hostility, build and maintain trust, and assist in the development of democratically accountable armed forces (thereby making a significant contribution to conflict prevention and resolution).

    D: Support to Wider British Interests: To provide forces to conduct activities to promote British interests, influence and standing abroad.

    E: Peace Support and Humanitarian Operations: To contribute forces to operations other than war in support of British interests and international order and humanitarian principles, the latter most likely under UN auspices.

    F: Regional Conflict Outside the NATO Area: To contribute forces for a regional conflict (but on an attack on NATO or one of its members) which, if unchecked, could adversely affect European security, or which could pose a serious threat to British interests elsewhere, or to international security. Operations are usually under UN or Organisation for Security Co-operation in Europe auspices.

    G: Regional Conflict Inside the NATO Area: To provide forces needed to respond to a regional crisis or conflict involving a NATO ally who calls for assistance under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

    H: Strategic Attack on NATO: To provide, within the expected warning and readiness preparation times, the forces required to counter a strategic attack against NATO.

    The Armed Forces have NOTHING to do with Government or Government policy. Where did you find the mission statement that it was in defence of the Government and it's policies?

    I can see it now...Blair announces that his POLICY is to subjugate any political opposition to him, and announces he will be life President of the UK, and he will get away with it because the army is bound to support him and his policies?
  11. from x squaddie

    of course you are expendable. i know it and deep down you all know it. does blair or any mp care? fat chance...
    i myself left the forces after being struck down with fatigue etc etc after first gullf war. did any one care? even worse total denial from the mod and mp t_ssers..
    my daughter was born with a genetical defect does bair care?

    yes you are expendable and do the mod and mp's care like fcuk
  12. So exactly how did you get a job with the fire service?

    Or is being a fat fatigued layabout, dossing in the sack all day a job requirement? And don't even begin to lecture me about GWS, I believe it exists, I just don’t believe that you have it, otherwise you wouldn't have been able to get a job with the fire scroungers, would you?  :mad:

    As for not being looked after once you had handed in your 1157, well, you must be a bit fcuking simple. I was bailed out by army "affiliated" orgs after I left, as was MDN. I was given a war disability pension, retrained, set up in life (not financially but educationally) and still, to this day, am able to call upon reserves that I would never have had if i had not served. If you are missing out, it's your own stupid fault for not getting off your fatigued arse and finding out what's available.

    GWS (which prevents people from working full stop) is another topic, which I won't get into with sicknote on here.

    Apart from that, of course squaddies are expendable. This probably has something to do with the high speed projectiles that are to be expected to come towards you in this particular line of work :-/

    I knew it when I joined, didn't like it when someone tried to put theory into reality but what I can say is that although I was sh1t scared, I wasn't in the slightest bit surprised ;D

    I'd say it's also pretty obvious that we were / are political tools. If we weren't, then whose tools would we be? Our own? I personally would have loved that during GW1, NI and Bos (won't include Cyprus as MDN keeps telling me that it isn't real). But me and a 100,000 other squaddies wanting to cause the immediate death of anyone that looked in the slightest bit "shifty" is probably why we are political tools and not independent entities with massive firepower :)


    Theoretically true but not “real world” If the majority of the house agrees (and they don’t care about the majority of the people), then B Liar can send us out to play sand castles and nurse maid. The Crown will NEVER disagree with the state, therefore removing the actual need for Royal Perogative. Don't forget, Cromwell made sure that if they ever did, they could be circumvented and disposed of (in a nice way of course, i.e. heads still attached)

    The law and the right of the people who didn’t want to strike to be able to do a days work without the fear of violence. Stupid, stupid analogy from a stupid, stupid left winger.

    Bang on

    All that B Liar needed for GW 2, remember the “15 minute” line? In fact, whilst eloquently put, points A, C, D, E and F pretty well allow them to do anything, as long as they can spin the right story, which we all know, they are experts at doing.

    Sorry, but take the Kings Shilling etc, etc, etc

    It would appear that deep down, we all know that we are expendable, but we still don’t seem to care ;)

    Whilst this is a emotive thread to discuss, it's also a bit silly, because I am sure that all of us, including the originator, knew the answers before we even touched the keyboard.

    Except Jake, who obviously lives with wombles at the top of a beanstalk.
  13. This is mainly for HRH ORG. You're mainly right, but I still you have some things a bit confused.

    We are political tools, and we are expendable, no doubt about it, but you have to go to the first post in the thread and collate that with the rest to get the real point.

    We are political tools and expendable only insofar as PARLIAMENT, the whole of the HoC, is able and qualified, to make us so, not Blair, not the Cabinet, not any one man.

    Jake said:
    To whioch HRH Org replied:

    I say, utter rubbish. The troops don't support the Government or the PM, and the Government and PM have no power to use them outside the terms of their power, which is very little. The Government and PM is distinctly different from Parliament when it comes to power, and virtually all the power lies with Parliament.

    What I wrote from A to F was a cut and paste of the official version, and the only changes to this since last time I saw it was where they've added all the tons of stuff about Europe. It is only Parliament that can use the Forces, and this is where I think you are becoming confused. Many people do confuse what the PM is capable of.

    To go to war [sic] in Iraq this last time Blair had to get a vote, and it shows how weak his position is, in reality, when he had to rely on the opposition to get the vote through. If the Tories had voted against the war, the troops would have stayed in Kuwait and Blair would have resigned.

    I agree that Royal Prerogative would be a rare case, but it is only used when the UK is directly attacked, like WW2, or when our allies are attacked and we are taken to war. That's why he had to get the vote passed in Parliament, and every MP had as much say as he did.

    And that is exactly the point, and why he is in so much trouble. Individual politicians are not allowed to do this. Lying and spinning a yarn to get a vote through Parliament is a very serious crime. If he didn't have such a huge majority he may be out right now, and it's why him, and Bush, are so depserate to find WMD. If they had a quarter of the power everyone seems to think they have they wouldn't need to worry, would they?

    Blair overstepped his authority big time, again, and it will haunt him, and while we know we are expendable and political tools, it isn't, and shouldn't be, for the vanity and lies of the likes of Blair.
  14. Firstly I am not stupid, neither am I left wing, nor do I live with wombles.

    So on your planet the state does not use its 'might' to enforce 'its will'.....
  15. But that statement is open to interpretation, and misinterpretation.

    Blair, the PM and the Government is not the 'state' in the UK.

    Parliament is the State, and Parliament is directly answerable to the people, so if Parliament votes on an issue, it is the will of the people. That's why every issue is given over to a vote in Parliament, including every decision that Blair makes, or any PM.

    This is also why your statement, and a few other statements you made, are invalid because of the wide misinterpretation they are open to.

    Now if Parliament is lied to, or manipulated, by a PM to pass edicts, that is serious and why Blair is in trouble with the dodgy dossier. Parliament relies on the integrity of the PM and Government to give it the information it needs to come to a decision and vote on, but that is the only role of the PM and Government, not to make that decision, just to make the CASE for the decision.