Armys demand for 15% limit on foreign recruits.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by oprtor400, Sep 26, 2008.

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  1. From the Daily Maily. 26/09/2008.
    Can't see it being reported anywhere else.

    Army's demand for 15% limit on foreign recruits to safeguard 'Britishness' upsets race watchdog.

    Army chiefs want foreign recruit numbers to be capped to safeguard 'Britishness' within the ranks.

    They have demanded a 15 per cent limit amid fears the soaring numbers of foreign troops would dilute the force's cultural identity.

    They also fear that foreign countries could ban their own citizens from fighting Britain's wars, seriously hampering key operations.

    British Army soldiers serving in Basra, Iraq: Some fear too many foreign recruits could hamper overseas deployments

    The measure has been backed by Defence Secretary Des Browne and was due to be announced two weeks ago.

    But the plans have been thrown into chaos by race relations watchdogs who will not support the measure.

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission says there are 'large issues of principle'.

    Senior officers are angry over the Government's dithering, and recruiting trips to the West Indies have had to be cancelled until the confusion is cleared up.

    Some branches of the Army are already at the planned 15 per cent limit and would have to start turning away foreign applicants as soon as the policy comes into force.

    Army manpower is falling as recruitment fails to keep pace with the exodus of experienced troops.

    Commanders admit the overstretched military could no longer function without the growing numbers of troops from Fiji, the West Indies, South Africa and elsewhere.

    The current 6,500 foreign soldiers now account for almost 7 per cent of Army manpower, up from just 0.3 per cent in 1997.

    Almost two-thirds of all applicants wanting to join the Army in London are now foreign.
    Across the whole Army the figure is almost 20 per cent.

    Leaked documents seen by the Daily Mail reveal that defence chiefs believe enough is enough, and that an over-reliance on foreign troops is threatening Britain's fighting capabilities.

    Classified Ministry of Defence papers say the new limit aims 'to reduce the risk to operational effectiveness from an over-reliance on personnel who are not British citizens and are not therefore under the full control of the UK Government.

    'For example, other Governments might introduce laws which ban their citizens from taking part in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. We cannot have parts of the Army unable to be deployed.'

    The paper also warns that the nation must maintain 'Armed Forces which are predominantly British and whose members reflect and share the culture and values of British society'.

    Mr Browne accepted the Army chiefs' demands in July, provided that the Equality and Human Rights Commission backed the move.

    The 15 per cent cap, which would apply to each branch of the Army - such as infantry, engineers, artillery and logistics - would breach the Race Relations Act by treating foreigners less favourably.

    Gurkhas serving in Southern Helmand province, Afghanistan: Nepalese are the most common foreign nationality serving in the British Army

    Although ministers can declare a 'derogation' to make the breach legal, they are desperate to have the blessing of race watchdogs.

    However last month the Commission's chairman Trevor Phillips refused to give firm backing, claiming the plan 'raises large issues of principle'.

    Rather than push ahead, Des Browne cancelled the planned announcement on September 10.

    The MoD confirmed that ministers were considering introducing the cap but stressed there were no plans to stop recruiting foreign soldiers
  2. i have some soldier non brittish type - only prob i have is that it takes ages to explain what i want them to do and then even longer for them to explain why they havent done it
  3. I knew this was rumbling in the background but hadn't seen anything recently.

    I recall a Colonel in AG back in the late 90s pointing out that if we kept going as we were, we would have severe problems in the future. Well, I guess the future is here!

    A friend of mine, braver than most, keeps on about recruiting the illegal immigrants who make it to Dover and beyond!

    It's an interesting point; do we want the British Army or do we want a bunch of mercenaries?

    Two sides of A4, gentlemen, in your own time....

  4. msr

    msr LE

    Bring back the Polish Free Army.
  5. prob get a bigger response if u paid them AND our plumbers and painters get their jobs back to boot
  6. The 3 services have always accepted commonwealth recruits. The Royal Irish lost a ranger, who moved from the USA to Ireland and enlisted after serving in the USN. By allowing the 15% cap, the army are ensuring that future recruits from outside the UK can still enlist. If a recruit wants to join a trade that is closed then he/she can always request a transfer later on in their career.

    Would be interested to actually see what the 'raises large issues of principle'.
    actually are.

    Just don't mention the SA mercenary bill now that President Kgalema Motlanthe has taken office.
  7. What are the 'issues of principle' mentioned but not expanded upon by the Equality and Human Rights Commission? Do they feel the citizens of all countries should willy-nilly have the right to serve in the British Army? I rather suspect that they have a selective agenda.
  8. What's wrong with recruiting Empire/Commonwealth Troops? We remember with gratitude the Australian/ New Zealand/ Canadian/ South African/ Rhodesian Contribution. The contribution of the these brave men was one of the reasons why we won Two World Wars. People forget that Indian/Nepali/Hong Kong Chinese/ West & East African troops fought on our side in both World Wars. One of my fondest memories was of meeting a West African in Nigeria who had fought in the Arakan Battles in Burma. I also met a Chinese who had spent many years in a POW camp in HK. The British Army is and always has been a force that relies on its component parts. Being smaller, yes it must retain its core of "Britishness," but that does not mean it must abrogate its past.
  9. So we can't function without non-UK soldiers, but yet

    Am I the only person to see a bit of a contradiction here? "Enough is enough: how dare these bloody foreigners come over here and enable our military to function." Balls, Daily Mail.

    Is there any evidence that other countries are considering doing this? Could they legally do it? Or is it just a typical Daily Heil scare-tatic?

    In any case, if one doesn't like the number of bloody darkies in the British military, surely the thing to do is provide incentives for those born in the UK to join, rather than artificially restricting the number of Commonwealth recruits?
  10. Again, I doubt that the E&HR people are all that worried about these people, and certainly not the Ghurkas; they don't form an important portion of the E&HR consitutency, which is the victim masses. East and West Africans are good in their eyes, but don't mention the KAR, for God's sake!
  11. Or is it easier to recruit F&C to plug up the gaps in our own recruiting. is one army recruiting really working?.

    cba and helmet on for the incoming.
  12. Incentives such as a banging sound sytem fitted to warriors, fluffy dice to the 4 tonners and some well'ard graphics painted on landies as well as nitrous bottles :D Oh, forgot letting a gang of drug taking chavs loose with live rounds and weapons, can you imagine the chaos on the ranges, firing SA80s one handed a'la Terminator and the gangster stylee pistol shooting.
    We're better off letting as many Commonwealth troops as want to join, at least they commit theirselves to the job.
  13. Get them to dump the Bde of Gurkhas - it would solve the quota problem in a stroke but watch the political fall-out from a high profile campaign headed up by Joanna Lumley! Really people should get a grip. the whole of the UK is made up of people descended from foreigners - albeit some turned up before the first Christmas. Our Royal Family is part German for goodness sake. The FCO types I have come across are often more British than the British - and they have had to work hard to get in (not to mention that they seem to be better educated than the home-grown recruits).

    End of rant!
  14. And how many people disagreeing with this have ever worked in an environment with a high percentage of non-British citizens (Gurkhas excluded)?
  15. Well havin worked with CO and Gurkhas - give me FCO any time :D