Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Random_Task, Sep 3, 2007.
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Army fought MoD to save six infantry battalions
Times Online Link
Whilst I personally think General Sir Mike was an outstanding commander and significantly one who always had the interests of those under his command foremost in his mind all these comments he is making are clearly aimed at lifting sales for his autobiography.
Call me cynical if you want but after McNab and others that have gone before can be blame him?
Even using official stats Army is short of me by more than the 2 Battalions Jackson is reported to have fought for. Jackson agreed and willingly sent his troops to fight on another front. This has had a massive impact on recruitment and retention.
Wonder how his book sales are going. Hope the extra money was worth the international row between the UK and our closest ally.
Geezer, you are cynical. Happy?
What is missing from the quoted bit of the article is the relevant last paragraph:
So, lots of stuff about Jacko fighting hard to save a non-hat battalion (this is a surprise?) and a quick mention of the other 5 down the bottom without any details. Investigative journalism.
Also worth noting that the senior civil servants weren't arguing on figures plucked out of thin air, but on papers that would have been drafted and staffed by serving army officers at all levels. They were going on the information given to them by the army.
Agreed, that has always been a good way of getting on.
Army fought MoD to save six infantry battalions... and lost how many?
Reminds me of how property developers operate near Swindon. Threaten to build 3000 homes, then agree to build 1500 and people think they have gained a concession. Property developer goes away happy, til next time.
You have top generals here agreeing to cut the British Army at a time of war, and seemingly content with 4 instead of 6.
Well,we have more than 2 battalions worth of injured troops now. Wonder if they factored that equation into the dual front war?
It's funny how the Regiments could go but the 900 surplus officers are still here.
From the Telegraph this morning it would appear that Jacko was trying to save Regiments, fix quarters and get loads of equipment and it wasn't his fault but that of the MOD civil servants and politicians.
More spin than New Labour in my view.
Judging by the excerpts of the book Jacko doesn't do humility. Nothing about Sgt Roberts. He states that he absolutely believed the threat of WMD, battlefield chemical warfare etc, but he was happy to commit troops to war without essential defences against the chemicals or bullets.
It appears nothing was his fault, his subalterns assured him it was OK.
I'll take Dannat's style of leadership any day.
Background to Jackson's decision making.
Lord Vivien 22 Apr 98
As a background to this debate it is necessary to realise that between 1990 and 1997 defence spending has been cut from £27 billion to £21 billion, a reduction of 22 per cent. We have reduced the number of frigates from around 45 to 32, the number of tanks from 700 to 450 and the number of fighter aircraft by around 30 per cent. The Army has been reduced from 165,000 to around 116,000 and is too small. Any further reduction to our regular Armed Forces will place the security of the realm in jeopardy. Our country no longer possesses regular force levels approaching those employed during the Gulf War when numerous units were stripped out in order to form one division of two manoeuvre brigades. Such luxuries will not be available if a conflict approaching that of the Gulf War again calls upon Britain to contribute military forces.
Some would wish us to believe that we can rely on our allies to support us in times of strife, but in reality only the United States of America and ourselves have properly trained and experienced troops to fight and win wars. Our European allies do not possess either the quality or the quantity of trained troops to assist in large-scale conflicts, and frequently their foreign policy aims do not accord with our own. It could be said that France was not as helpful as she could have been to ourselves and the United States of America during the recent Iraq crisis.
Our regular forces from the three services are severely overstretched and critically undermanned, doing more with less. The Army is around 5,000 soldiers below strength, which represents around 5 per cent; the infantry is 7.5 per cent. short of its required manpower. That worrying situation emphasises the importance of the reserves. It should not be forgotten that without the Territorial Army, which provided the essential framework from which could be generated hundreds of battalions, we would not have won either the First or the Second World Wars.
Imagine the mess we would be in now if we had gone down to 30 battalions
The Army is currently established for around 100,000 trained soldiers, and is, I believe about 3,500 short, with the infantry especially short of manpower. How would we recruit the other 3,000+ soldiers we would need to go back to the 40 Bns we had prior to FAS?
How could we recuruit more? There is only a very small pie to divide up and people don't seem to want to become soldiers.
3,500 = Just short of six infantry units. As for recruitment, it can be done and is done most of the time, just make retention more attractive.
Western, thats 3,500 against the current establishment. 4-6 more units would leave us about 7-8,000 short!
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