Army Recruitment and Popular Opinion

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
In an effective risk management system, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect professional officers to have identifed the possibility that the opposition might create an IED threat. The whole point of a hazard identification process is to capture as many hazards as possible however extreme. Sure, it would probably have been scored as high hazard, low probability but it would have been on the risk register where it could be managed.
That's exactly my point. If it was high hazard, low probability (which is an assesment I agree with) and with a very high cost to mitigate, what do you think we would have done differently in response?

I don't think the deployment of Snatch is a good example of poor risk mitigation. Deploying RMP patrols without radios is probably a better example.
 
That's exactly my point. If it was high hazard, low probability (which is an assesment I agree with) and with a very high cost to mitigate, what do you think we would have done differently in response?
But a high hazard, low probability score could easily place it as a top level risk that needed mitigation. And there were several COA available to manage it. In the event, the escalation of violence wrong footed the division; response was reactive rather than proactive.

I’ve reflected in this before as I’ve grown my own knowledge of risk management. I don’t recollect any attempt to brainstorm operational risk in MND(SE) during Telic 2 let alone mitigate it. Yet the expertise was there to do so.
 
Immediately spending vast sums of money the MoD didn’t have on new bits of kit that would be COTS not tested through the normal procurement chain for a threat that hadn’t yet manifested.

Which it did when the risk ceased to be tolerable due to the number of body bags coming home.
 
The problem is, entirely reasonable operational risk can quickly be overridden by seemingly unreasonable political risk mitigation.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Immediately spending vast sums of money the MoD didn’t have on new bits of kit that would be COTS not tested through the normal procurement chain for a threat that hadn’t yet manifested.

Which it did when the risk ceased to be tolerable due to the number of body bags coming home.
Exactly. And if we'd done that and the IED threat hadn't materialised then we'd be on here criticising the decision to send blokes out on patrols in excessively heavy vehicles instead of focusing on mitigating the huge MANPADs threat that emerged instead..
 
Immediately spending vast sums of money the MoD didn’t have on new bits of kit that would be COTS not tested through the normal procurement chain for a threat that hadn’t yet manifested.
There’s a gap between immediately spending vast sums of money and waiting until the casualty rate became politically unacceptable.

And, the MoD never spent its own money on protected vehicles; they were funded from outside of the Defence budget.
 
I don’t think it’s really important where the money comes from, more about how it’s secured. The telling bit for me was just how bad the CofC was at staffing business cases. It simply didn’t fit into senior officers’ attendtion span.
Really? The treasury would release millions because of a decent IRTB?

Or the RAF would cut its budget to allow the army to buy some shiny new toys?

Or ministers would release millions from nurses, education, benefits without mounting body bags?
 
K
Really? The treasury would release millions because of a decent IRTB?

Or the RAF would cut its budget to allow the army to buy some shiny new toys?

Or ministers would release millions from nurses, education, benefits without mounting body bags?
The potential success or otherwise of a submission for funding is not the point I’m arguing. My point is that if you don’t ask you don’t get.

IMHO the CoC was decidedly poor at securing money during the early Telics (and Herricks). Funds were secured in response to things that had happened, not ahead of time to mitigate things that had a high risk of happening.

And, from personal experience, the senior leadership simply didn’t engage in the dirty business of money.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
The potential success or otherwise of a submission for funding is not the point I’m arguing. My point is that if you don’t ask you don’t get.
So is your argument that the British command should have wasted significant time and effort making bids for counters to any number of unprecedented threats that hadn't yet emerged, knowing that there was zero chance of those bids succeeding?

Bear in mind you can't just argue this for the threat that happened to materialise. If your argument holds water then you have to apply it to everything that appears on the risk analysis above a certain threshold. There are a fair few risks that you'd want to address before you got down to a massive IED threat.
 
Last edited:
So is your argument that the British command should have wasted significant time and effort making bids for counters to any number of unprecedented threats that hadn't yet emerged, knowing that there was zero chance of those bids succeeding?
That's a very poor caricature of the argument presented by @bobthebuilder , but if arguing with caricatures of your own devising makes you feel clever,so be it :-D

Just don't expect to be taken seriously when you do it, would be my advice.
 
The potential success or otherwise of a submission for funding is not the point I’m arguing. My point is that if you don’t ask you don’t get.

IMHO the CoC was decidedly poor at securing money during the early Telics (and Herricks). Funds were secured in response to things that had happened, not ahead of time to mitigate things that had a high risk of happening.
You can't run around like a kid in a sweet store with £100 pounds either though. Some stuff was brought in to mitigate things that had a high risk of happening, but those things were either mitigated or didn't actually happen. So don't make the news.
 
So is your argument that the British command should have wasted significant time and effort making bids for counters to any number of unprecedented threats that hadn't yet emerged, knowing that there was zero chance of those bids succeeding?

Bear in mind you can't just argue this for the threat that happened to materialise. If your argument holds water then you have to apply it to everything that appears on the risk analysis above a certain threshold. There are a fair few risks that you'd want to address before you got down to a massive IED threat.
Nope. I’m arguing identification, ownership and mitigation of risk. Which means you focus effort on the things that will really bite and your requests for finance are backed by proper risk analysis.

That’s a separate thing to my observation that success in securing finance on the early Telics and Herricks was dreadful. The staff effort was made; it was the senior leadership that failed to do their bit.

I’m happy to be persuaded that it’s changed...
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
That's a very poor caricature of the argument presented by @bobthebuilder , but if arguing with caricatures of your own devising makes you feel clever,so be it :-D

Just don't expect to be taken seriously when you do it, would be my advice.
It's not a caricature. It's the logical extension of what Bob is arguing here:

The potential success or otherwise of a submission for funding is not the point I’m arguing.
I have no interest in arguing against caricatures because I come to arrse for an interesting discussion not to score cheap points and belittle others as if it's a prep school debating competiton. If you disagree with my interpretation of his point then explain why. If not then I really don't think we need your usual brand of argument-free mud slinging messing up this thread as well.
 
Last edited:

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Nope. I’m arguing identification, ownership and mitigation of risk. Which means you focus effort on the things that will really bite and your requests for finance are backed by proper risk analysis
Indeed. But which part of that would have produced a different result in Iraq? I sincerely doubt the IED threat would have been high enough up the risk matrix to merit being one of the first five problems that prompted begging letters to the treasury, and even the first letter would have been given a stiff ignoring.

As I said before, we need to do it but at the moment you are arguing that we should have wasted staff effort asking for funding that wasn't there for a risk that justifiably wasn't top of our concerns. There is an argument for better risk management in the MOD; this isn't it.
 
Indeed. But which part of that would have produced a different result in Iraq? I sincerely doubt the IED threat would have been high enough up the risk matrix to merit being one of the first five problems that prompted begging letters to the treasury, and even the first letter would have been given a stiff ignoring.

As I said before, we need to do it but at the moment you are arguing that we should have wasted staff effort asking for funding that wasn't there for a risk that justifiably wasn't top of our concerns. There is an argument for better risk management in the MOD; this isn't it.
I can’t remember what the Iranian designed off route thingy was called, but it mashed a number of our vehicles. I think We screamed for more of the same ( tanks, FJ’s) in our begging letters rather than doing any serious future threat analysis and asking for kit to counter that.
 
Indeed. But which part of that would have produced a different result in Iraq? I sincerely doubt the IED threat would have been high enough up the risk matrix to merit being one of the first five problems that prompted begging letters to the treasury, and even the first letter would have been given a stiff ignoring.
The telling bIt in that post is the phrase “begging letters to the Treasury”. Why? Because there’s a governance process for securing taxpayers money. That process involves carrying out risk analysis. And it’s not much different from the process used in any large organisation. If you don’t do it effectively you don’t get the resources you need.

I remain convinced that an effective risk management system would have identified the big ticket risks and secured funds to mitigate them. I’m also convinced that well prepared submissions for equipment and infrastructure that would have save lives failed because key leaders left them to their CivSecs and didn’t get involved.

Those are reflections based on experience....
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I remain convinced that an effective risk management system would have identified the big ticket risks and secured funds to mitigate them.
I fear this is where we diverge. I am by no means convinced that they would, having seen numerous examples of this process failing spectacularly when logical analysis meets political reality. I'm also pretty sure that the IED threat on such a scale would have been a very long way down the list of potential threats, so a request to stockpile large numbers of PM vehicles would have been both low priority and hard to justify.

Nor am I. We learn can learn a lot by reflecting on other people’s views. This is an interesting debate that doesn’t need to be dragged into classic Arrse entrenched positions.
That definitely wasn't aimed at you. It was a response to yet another attempt by Stonker to derail a thread by throwing around I silly insults rather than engaging sensibly. I just don't understand people who see discussions on arrse as arguments to be won and lost.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top