Army angry as Afghan role cut

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, May 2, 2009.

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  1. From The Sunday Times
    May 3, 2009
    Army angry as Afghan role cut
    Michael Smith
    BRITISH troops in Afghanistan will hand over combat operations to the Americans later this year, then concentrate on training the Afghan forces.

    In the wake of the government’s refusal to deploy an extra 2,000 permanent troops and ministers’ failure to give commanders in Iraq the resources they need, army chiefs are said to be angry at Gordon Brown’s decision to wind down the fighting. They believe it has been made in order to save costs.

    Although Brown touched on the subject in the Commons last week, this was overshadowed by news that 700 more British troops will be boosting security for the summer’s presidential election.
    More on the link
  2. Is Broon spineless and as well as predictable?
  3. Silly question, mate. :evil:
  4. This event is further confirmation that the UK is now unable to extend its influence around the globe by the use of its Armed Forces and that the government has decided to use either its very limited commercial influence or ignore the gravity of the situation altogether.
    Whatever the outcome, the UK government will show no remorse.
  5. I think this is more an admission that the Government knows it has lost the next election already. There see no value in bolstering our forces in Afghanistan because they can get no political advantage from it.

    It just reiterates the fact that Broon despises the armed forces and has no back bone at all. He only deigns to visit active warzones when it will bring positive press for him.
  6. I can understand Sir Richard Dannatt seeing clearly the impact that the UK economy is having on our ability to conduct military operations.

    Given that at no point since HERRICK or TELIC commenced, has the UK Government adequately resourced either operation, what is the true impact on Ops resulting from the parlous state of the British economy?

    I would imagine the lines of financial effect are now clearer than at any point previously. Who has more say in British mil ops - the MOD or HM Treasury? - Be interested to read your perspective on this Mick - good article.
  7. That's money that will obviously be much better spent by the Department for Work and Pensions on dishing out more money in benefits to all those potential Labour Voters that exist by sponging from the State.
  8. when you look through one eye you only see one thing. Hitler only had one ball? see the pattern
  9. I'd look at this slightly differently to a straightforward "PM doesnt care" approach. I'd suggest that the PM has a fairly clear idea that he wants to do 'something' in Afghanistan, and that that is best done by either burden sharing or more use of HM Forces. Some elements within the MOD have seized on the end of TELIC as an opportunity to to try and push the "more more more" approach into Afghanistan, while HMT looks into the cupboard marked "Reserve" and gulps nervously.

    Deploying troops on operations is a seriously expensive undertaking - its not just the getting them there, its the training them, issuing them with kit to get to TES, providing extra vehicles and so on to get there. Once there we need to pay extra for all the support costs involved in them fighting. The cost of deploying those 2K extra troops would work out to several billion pounds per year on top of our existing committments. This is a problem as we don't have several billion pounds lurking in the treasury, and we can't just raise it or reallocate it from existing spending plans (the down side of multi-year spending plans). Instead we have to accept that the flex the Treasury had a few years ago isn't there anymore.

    More importantly if we were to go down this road, we'd end up breaking the mainstream Equipment Programme out of all recognition as any UOR requests would take us over the current £635m ceiling, and which makes us liable to pay back to the Treasury in 2 years time. I've seen the sort of figures involved and its fair to say that if we did this, we would end up having to cut all over the place. Is 2,000 troops in Afghanistan really worth the risk of breaking the EP for a generation to come?

    These troops will not win the war, they will make a minor difference, but not change things significantly. To deploy this way would end up costing us billions and threaten the longer term nature of army procurement and the defence budget. Personally I'd rather hold back and recuperate the army now, rather than getting sucked ever further into a morass from which there is no real escape.
  10. Great post Jim30. Comment re Treasury flex and the reasons behind it, 100% agree with.

    Out of interest, do you know at what point TELIC ceases to be an ongoing Treasury consideration? Trying to establish how the ops accounting v budget change and over what period of time.
  11. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator


    Good post. I think there is a little more objective reasoning to be done by those screaming outrage about this. Cost is one thing. Perhaps a real manpower bill, if we wanted to do the job properly and not on a shoestring, being published would help too. 2000 extra troops is a small % of what would be required IMO.
  12. Looking at most threads on this site and the general slant of the British public. I would think most would be happy to hand this over to someone else.
  13. Brighter2006- As I understand it, HMT will continue to fund TELIC until TELIC ceases to be a military operation. In practise this means that when things get quiet and we only need a few guys in Baghdad, then we'll change the Op name and HMT funding will quietly cease - until this point it remains an HMT funded op.

    cheapseats - Getting an accurate bill is difficult as you'd need data on everything from manpower costs, to replenishment of ammunition and buying new kit. As a very very rough position, its worth looking at next years spending total, which is showing an extra 3.5bn for ops - this isn't complete as we'll have to add in UOR funding to this, and also the cost of manpower. As a loose guess, I'd estimate that HERRICK is costing MOD alone almost £5bn per year funded through HMT on top of the existing defence budget.
  14. “”I'd suggest that the PM has a fairly clear idea that he wants to do 'something' in Afghanistan,””

    When the UK Prime Minister decides what he would like to achieve in Afghanistan he will be able to do a budgetary analysis of costs for both achieving his objective and failing.
    Until this is done it is not possible to structure the Army budget in any way whatsoever
  15. Good post Jim30 but it raises in my mind a number of points;
    1.) While I agree deploying is never a cheap affair surely such 'current' cost considerations are de-linked from the longer term 'capital' programs such as EP!? According to the MODs own site (link) the UORs utilise 'extra' funds from the Treasury. Perhaps I'm being nieve enough to believe what I'm reading.
    2.) Yes the cupboard is bare but that requires an across the board assessment of priorities not just those within the Armies Treasury defined boundaries as opposed to the wider Armed Forces (i.e. read Trident!?) but in fact across the govt. as a whole.
    3.) Perhaps if Britain is on such a short shoestring maybe its time to consider a new 'Lend-Lease' program with the septics :wink: