Army chief insists Afghanistan must come before Trident

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jun 9, 2010.

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  1. Army chief insists Afghanistan must come before Trident

    Published Date: 09 June 2010
    By Sam Marsden
    FUNDING British forces fighting in Afghanistan must take priority over defence projects such as a new Trident nuclear fleet, the head of the British Army insisted yesterday.

    • Gen Richards believes that military funding must focus on troops on the ground. Picture: PA

    General Sir David Richards also attacked those who were reluctant "for far too long" to admit that the bloody Afghan conflict – which has claimed the lives of 292 UK troops – was a war.
  2. Brilliant. Short term objectives trumpibg long term strategic considerations. Brilliant.
  3. Or medium term financial crisis providing an opportunity to shoot a white elephant.
  4. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Both of the last two comments have merit although I have more time for the latter these days! :D
  5. America can depend on our support in Afghanistan, and we can depend on America for our nuclear umbrella.

    Doesn't sound right, does it?
  6. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    Long-term strategic considerations are exactly that - "considerations" and "long-term." The current, tactical situation is that we face a shooting war. Given the disparity between live realities and strategic hypotheses, I think the general's views have total merit.

    I also tend to believe that the extra-state threat from Islamic terrorism trumps the threat from states boasting conventional militaries which could, conceivably, be deterred by sub-launched nukes. But that is just me.
  7. If you can prove that your assessment will stand for the next 50 years then crack on.

    If not then explain how we would deter a credible state threat (nuclear or non nuclear) without a deterrent. Or how we would reacquire such a deterrent in a reasonable time frame.
  8. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Man's a fool. That someone as dim as this can rise to the top of the army also says something about the officers who did less well. I just hope Liam Fox has the nous to recognise stupidity when he sees it.
  9. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    Perhaps we should look at it the other way. Richards is saying we can either afford to fight a war in Afghanistan OR we can afford to buy our nuclear shield. Given that "either or" I choose Trident. At least I can see something tangable for my money and can articulate the benefits to me
  10. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    If you can prove that your assessment will stand for the next 50 years then crack on.

    So you are asking me to predict the course of the next half century? You don't want much, do you?

    As stated, I prefer to face and deal with the issue at hand than 'possibles,' 'potentials' and 'what ifs.'

    Can you, OTOH, prove that in the next 50 years we will face a state threat that will require an independent nuclear deterrent to keep in check? Obviously not, for reasons given. (Though if you DO possess a proven crystal ball, let me know your address, I'd like to make an appointment.)

    Given that inability, I'd suggest you would also benefit from focussing on actual, current realities as opposed to possible future scenarios.

    The country faces massive fiscal shortfalls, and defense budgets are not going to be able to cover all contingencies. Hard choices are going to have to be made.

    I can respect the opinion posted by Marseille Stew, above: He states a preference based on real deliverables (and, I assume from his point about articulation of benefits, that he does not agree with the Afghan mission - fair enough) rather than hypotheses.
  11. So what he actually said is very far from 'let's scrap everything that doesn't contribute much to the campaign in Afghanistan', rather that 'in these financial difficult times we have to focus spending on the war that is actually taking place, rather than the one that might come along in the future'. Seems sensible enough to me. He didn't even mention Trident; that is simply an assumption by the Scotsman.
  13. I think they'll can it and pick something else that can be done on a piecemeal basis. Of the £60bn they need to cut in the next 4 years, the ease of which you can bin 1/3rd of that in one go has got to make it a major target.
  14. At what point does short term become long term? Tactical to Strategic? We have been fighting there for 4 years (in country for 9 years) with possibly another 4 to go but who knows how long?

    The politicians are saying that this a strategic fight against terrorism, it will be upto them to decide which strategic policy is most important, all we need is some direction. Gen Richards is quite correct to state the obvious in my opinion, its a simple choice really. If you want to cut budgets, something has to be chosen to go be it Carriers, Trident or the amount of money we spend on the Army's involvement in Afghanistan!