Bob Ainsworth - We Must Do Better (Radio 5 Live)

Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by Adjutant, Mar 16, 2009.

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  1. A poll for BBC Radio 5 Live has found almost three-quarters of those questioned believe there should be a public inquiry into the invasion of Iraq and almost two-thirds are unconvinced by the Government's arguments in support of maintaining a British military presence in Afghanistan.

    In the same poll the vast majority of those surveyed believe serving in the British Armed Forces is a job to be proud of.

    The ComRes survey found that 72% of those questioned believe there should be an official inquiry into Britain's role in the invasion of Iraq, a figure which rises to 81% in the 18-24 age group. The findings come just three weeks after Justice Secretary Jack Straw vetoed the publication of minutes of Cabinet meetings discussing the legality of the war in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    The poll also revealed 60% of the participants were unconvinced by the Government's arguments in support of keeping a British military presence in Afghanistan, with 35% of people convinced but only 8% "very convinced". In the 25-34 age group those unconvinced drops to 49% but rises to 70% for those aged over 65.

    Whilst the results suggest misgivings about the British role in Iraq and Afghanistan, 91% of respondents felt serving in the British Armed Forces is a job to be proud of.

    Now then, if we are to take this poll seriously, does anyone else support the view that our masters in the MoD are not doing enough on the Influence Ops front? If the nation that pays for us and indeed the society from we which we recruit just doesn't get what we are doing - where does the blame lie? Do we pay lip service to the old Media and Communications piece - when maybe we should be focussing on it just a tad harder?

    I'm looking for the quote from the Australian bloke who re-wrote US COIN doctrine (but I can't find it - its in the office, I think) - that goes along the lines of AQ start with their information campaign then focus their operations to support this - where we (the West) - focus on operations and then do the information campaign as an after thought...


  2. I`m probably stating the obvious but as regards the results for supporting the armed forces I`m not surprised, most people will agree that the forces go where they`re sent.
    The problem which the general public has with the invasion of Iraq stems from the fact that most of the arguments given by the government for sending the forces in were seen to be lies, and Jack Straws recent actions have only made matters worse.
    As for Afghanistan the main problem seems to be a perceived lack of current strategy, I believe the main reason for the initial incursion was to take out the head shed of Al Queda, is this still the case ? The public at large are seeing a fair few young soldiers faces appear on their TV screens almost nightly and they are starting to ask why these people are dying and for what.
    The bombers in London were home grown, with the advent of the internet any terr organisation can spread its ideology far and wide so popping into a country to try and eliminate the source should be the area which SF was developed for along with psyops and propaganda rather than large formations. Unless you have enough troops to virtually saturate the real estate you end up taking land then giving it back to the enemy when you pull out which has proved to be a pointless exercise in past conflicts. Just because Joe Afghan states in front of a camera that he feels safer when Brit troops are around doesn`t mean he doesn`t say a similar thing to the taliban when they`re around, the farmer/villager is just abiding by the old 'Tree that bends with the breeze' train of thought, he just wants to get on with his life until the men with guns go away.
    Unless there is a definate goal to any operation then Joe Public won`t understand why the forces are there, at the moment there doesn`t seem to be. If we had some good in depth current affairs programmes on the media which are shot on location then maybe some kind of understanding might be achieved but even so would the public watch them with all the tv stations now available ? The `60s and `70s produced some fairly good docus aired on mainstream tv about the conflicts of the time but there seems to be a current lack of adventurous types in the media.
    Whilst Ross Kemp has brought the experiences of the forces onto tv with his programmes there are no on the spot media types who can produce more far ranging coverage of the issues or aims of the forces or an in depth look at the big picture. Hence why the public can relate to the forces and see their suffering but do not know much about the conflict itself.
  3. In a democratic society should the Military be conducting an information campaign on our own population as to Government foreign policy?

    Yes, we should explain what we do (Ross Kemp documentaries etc), but it is surely the Government's responsibility to argue the case for the UK involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  4. Er, that's my point WG - if the population don't understand the Government's Foreign Policy and 60% of them don't think the Army should be there, then something's not quite right, is it?
  5. Do the Government have an understandable foreign policy as regards Afghanistan. The lack of anything credible recently from any of our political leaders speaks volumes as they probably don`t know what the hell to do, it makes me wonder if they wished the whole affair would go away. The general public probably couldn`t give a hoot about the governments foreign policy in Afghanistan, most members of Joe Public I`ve talked to don`t think Afghanistan is worth the life of one British serviceman.
  6. I think you are both quite correct! The Government doesn't have a clue!

    I listened to a programme about the Women's Movement on Radio 4 this evening and some daft bint expressed the view that Mrs Thatcher had let down the side because she was overtly military....

    FFS... overtly military? Has she not seen what NuLabour has done since 1997? How many wars did Thatcher start and how many did Blair start???

    ..and breathe... :D

  7. What on earth is the difference between 'convinced' and 'very convinced'? Were the full range of options 'very unconvinced', 'unconvinced', 'neither convinced nor unconvinced', 'convinced', 'very convinced'?

    Was this survey put toghether very well? I'm not very convinced. Sod it, put me down as neither convinced nor unconvinced.
  8. Doesn't get away from the fact that no-one in this country has any idea what the pupose of British forces in Afghanistan is. Would anyone like to take a guess?
  9. Whose WE?
  10. Go on make it easy, WHO?
  11. We? Wait on I'm not a self serving cnut who fcuks the Armed forces over at every turn. Its you (and I'm talking to the Govt) who needs to do better not the lads and lasess who are maimed at killed because you lack the moral fibre to support us fully.
  12. Thruster... Admit it, you left it on the train.
  13. Bob the gob,

    'In January 2008 he was recorded by Hansard as saying "absolute bollxcks" in Parliament during a complaint about soldiers' equipment. This was later struck from the record after analysis of recordings of the debate could not establish that the remark was made'.
  14. And more about Bob,


    'Ainsworth was born in Coventry and attended the local Foxford Comprehensive School.[1] He first became active in politics as a trade unionist at the Jaguar Cars plant in Coventry, where he worked from 1971, and served in many capacities within the Manufacturing, Science and Finance Union there, including four years as the Branch President. During 1982 and 1983, he was a candidate member of the International Marxist Group..'