Bob the Tache Makes a Major Speech

#1
Worth reproducing in full (or maybe not)

Secretary of State for Defence Bob Ainsworth has today given an important and wide-ranging speech on the present and future challenges facing the defence of the UK.
Bob Ainsworth

It has been more than ten years since the last Strategic Defence Review (SDR), and the world has changed considerably in that time. The Government therefore announced earlier this year that there would be a new Defence Review early in the next Parliament.

The first step in this process is producing a Defence Green Paper - a discussion paper which sets out the main questions and the themes which will then need to be addressed in the Defence Review, and provides further opportunity for public debate.

Today's speech by Bob Ainsworth at King's College, London, is an important early event in that process, setting out the work to come.

In his speech Mr Ainsworth made clear that the first priority for the Ministry of Defence is operations in Afghanistan, and following this, preparing Defence for the future.

Mr Ainsworth highlighted the fact that 9,000 personnel are currently deployed in a hard fight in Afghanistan and pressures on the defence budget are significant, therefore preparation for the future must be in the context of ensuring success in the present.

Mr Ainsworth said:

"Failure in Afghanistan would have profound consequences for our national security. It would embolden those who preach extremist violence and increase the threat of terrorist attacks here at home. It would undermine the NATO alliance which has been the bedrock of Britain’s defence for the last 60 years. It would leave the UK and her Armed Forces with diminished support for action in the future and a tarnished reputation.

"This summer’s operations have been costly. They have taken their toll on the young men and women of our armed forces, who have responded with determination, bravery and skill.

"We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

"As I said in July, success in counter-insurgency should be measured by how safe the Afghan people feel and how far peaceful life can be resumed…

"We will have succeeded when the Afghans are able themselves to protect their own people and deny Afghanistan as a terrorist training ground.

"A new emphasis on partnering units of the Afghan army at all levels is the best way to fulfill this. We would support an ambition to grow the Afghan National Army to 134,000 by the earlier date of November 2010.

"I have made it clear to all personnel in the Ministry of Defence that success in Afghanistan is our main effort, and will remain our principal commitment for as long as it takes. Our approach at this time must be - and is - Afghanistan First."

"I have made it clear to all personnel in the Ministry of Defence that success in Afghanistan is our main effort, and will remain our principal commitment for as long as it takes. Our approach at this time must be - and is - Afghanistan First.

Mr Ainsworth went on to say that the Strategic Defence review of 1998 helped the Armed Forces to move beyond the legacy of the Cold War and to configure for recent operations, but that operations in Afghanistan illustrate how rapidly the world has changed over the past decade:

"The pace of change since 1998 has been considerable. We are living through a technological revolution.

"Many of the key principles of the 1998 SDR have proven themselves correct; the focus on tackling threats at source requiring expeditionary forces; the conclusion that the UK would most often take part in operations as part of a coalition of international forces; the benefits of the new mission of defence diplomacy.

"We have built on the SDR since 1998, not least with the 2002 New Chapter which helped to reflect the immediate implications of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But some assumptions underpinning the SDR have now been overtaken by events.

"Over the last decade, with concurrent and enduring operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Armed Forces have been, to quote General Dannatt, running hot. Like Michael Clarke I would concede that “go first, go fast, go home” had a very short shelf life as an aspiration.

"Secondly, the complexities involved in even limited operations abroad to tackle threats at source have proven more difficult than predicted.

"Lastly, we didn't fully estimate the extent to which our Armed Forces would need to engage in a multi-agency approach. This includes operating alongside other Government departments, but also working with charitable organisations and private companies focussed on reconstruction or security."

Mr Ainsworth said that in looking forward it was clear that change was required if the UK was to maintain Defence forces fit for the challenges ahead. He then moved on to focus on the international context for Defence, saying that while the National Security Strategy provided the wider strategic policy context and planning assumptions for the coming five years, defence capabilities take far longer to build - so there was a need to constantly scan the horizon:

"If we make judgements based only on the context of the present we are bound to make changes that will not only be wrong but difficult to reverse further down the line.

"In the next decade we will still have to deal with the threats that have emerged over the last 10 years.

"Terrorist groups will remain among the most threatening non-state actors. These could include a wide range of violent extremist movements which seek to employ the methods used by Al Qaeda.

"If conflict is to be avoided, we will need more effective international institutions. The UK will need to remain globally influential and engaged to shape those institutions and their actions. Our defence capability will need to reflect that global role."

"Unstable or failing states will be both the source and arena of conflict. As in Afghanistan, the UK may be compelled to act decisively to contain the impact of instability, particularly when our national security is directly threatened.

"Attempts to control or counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction have only been partially successful over the last decade. The 2010 NPT Review Conference is key. If we can deliver an invigorated regime on nuclear power as a whole it will make a fundamental contribution to security in the decades to come."

Looking further forward, he said the sheer scale of the change we were likely to see in the next 30 years, and the rapidity of that change, gives serious pause for thought. He highlighted the fact that by 2040, the global population was likely to rise by almost 2 billion people and energy demand, which had doubled over the last 30 years, was set to grow by more than half again.

"In this context the resilience of the institutions and processes of global governance – in particular the system of free trade – is of significant concern.

"Free trade has the capacity to limit the chances of international confrontation over access to resources, particularly energy. As an island nation with an economic reliance on trade it is right that our Armed Forces act to protect international trade routes, for instance against piracy. But free trade will not of itself reduce all the inequalities thrown up by globalisation.

"If conflict is to be avoided, we will need more effective international institutions. The UK will need to remain globally influential and engaged to shape those institutions and their actions. Our defence capability will need to reflect that global role."

Mr Ainsworth said that two developments in particular had the potential to reshape the world radically; the increasing impact of climate change and competition for resources; and the rising economic and political power of Asia:

"It is widely held that one of the greatest long term challenges to international stability is likely to be the results of climate change.

"Current evidence suggests at least a rise of 2 degrees Celsius in the next 30 years. The impact of such a change is difficult to predict particularly for the purposes of defence planning. But we can conclude that current trends of resource use are unsustainable particularly in the context of the growth in global population and growing social aspirations.

"Competition for resources such as water, arable land and strategic minerals may trigger or exacerbate conflict. We could see mass migration as a result of rapid change in fragile societies. Regions which already suffer from insecurity are likely to feel the impact of climate change harder than in stable societies.

"Over the next few decades, Asia will rival the US and Europe as a centre of global economic and political power.

"It is currently predicted that by 2030 the world's four largest single economies will be the US, China, Japan and India. Some estimate that the size of China's economy could overhaul that of the United States by 2040.

"We can expect old and new technology to be used in novel ways. That is why we need to stay ahead of the game, keep learning and do all we can to protect our people."

"Over this period, the United States is likely to remain the only military power with the ability to support a global presence. The UK relationship with the United States, in the context of NATO and our membership of the EU, will therefore remain critical for our security."

In asking what our initial conclusions should be Mr Ainsworth said that the judgement of the recent French defence review that we can expect "a world not necessarily more dangerous, but certainly less predictable, less stable and more contradictory" was a fair assessment.

He added that individual nations would be unable to tackle threats or impose solutions alone.

"The system of alliances, treaties and international agreements will be more important than ever. These will need to be reformed and adapt if they are to serve our security in the years ahead."

Finally, he said that as an organisation, defence would need to learn lessons and effect change more quickly, from training to procurement, from operational tactics to overarching doctrine:

"We will need to take a hard look at our own internal structures to be sure that they are up to the job.

"As part of that it is my belief that in planning for defence we in the UK should move towards the US system of regular defence reviews – say once a parliament. As others, including Bernard Gray, have argued this would provide a statutory basis for adapting our defence posture."

Mr Ainsworth then moved onto the nature of fighting war itself and stated that although strategists from Clausewitz onwards have recognised the fundamental nature of war is unchanging; the character of warfare – how wars are fought - was a reflection of the age.

"In the 21st century it would appear that the threat of state on state warfare has receded. While it is true that Britain faces no direct territorial challenge, as Hew Strachan has pointed out, the UK has been involved in four wars in the last 30 years - to recover the Falkands, the two Gulf Wars, and in Kosovo - where the opposing armed forces were those of another state.

"Deterrence, both conventional and nuclear, remains a valid strategy. But we have also been pitted against irregular forces – as in Iraq following the collapse of Saddam's regime and now in Afghanistan. Each of these conflicts carries within them aspects of both regular and irregular warfare.

"The academic and intellectual debate on planning for defence against these different threats still rages. I tend to agree with General Petraeus's comment that 'the truth is not to be found in any of these schools of thought, but rather in the debate among them'."

"In considering the breadth of change, Defence will have to balance competing requirements; the need to maintain credibility in the primary role as the ultimate guarantor of territorial integrity; and the ability to engage abroad at differing levels of intensity preventing and resolving conflicts in order to protect national security."

Mr Ainsworth posited that the growing trend in warfare was likely to be complexity - whether at sea, on land, or in the air – and in all probability an interdependent combination of all three:

"Military forces will face engagement with a range of different combatants and those with an interest in influencing the course of events. These may include states themselves, non-state groups, alliance structures, a range of different government agencies, civilians in conflict zones, and of course the general public at home.

"Each of these will be involved for a variety of reasons – national security, personal security, national identity, ideology, resources, political power, or even in support of criminal activity.

"War will be fought in new theatres – such as in cyberspace. Over the past ten years we have seen civilian aircraft used as suicide bombs. Multi-million pound warships attacked from inflatable dinghies.

"The rapid evolution in the technological and tactical use of improvised explosive devices. We can expect old and new technology to be used in novel ways. That is why we need to stay ahead of the game, keep learning and do all we can to protect our people."

The Defence Secretary said that while the application of physical force – "the muscle movements" – would play an important role in resolving conflicts the course of wars will be influenced as much though diplomacy and opinion as through fighting adding that in an era of 24 hour news the media assumed an important and influential role.

He said that operations in Afghanistan had shown the need to undertake a range of operations all in the same theatre and in the same timeframe and this can be everything from high-intensity war-fighting, through counter-insurgency to peace support.

"We have seen the critical importance of working with local security forces."

"All this must be coordinated closely with the civilian efforts at building effective governance. This need for flexibility, adaptability, co-ordination and constant learning must inform our defence planning.

"In considering the breadth of change, Defence will have to balance competing requirements; the need to maintain credibility in the primary role as the ultimate guarantor of territorial integrity; and the ability to engage abroad at differing levels of intensity preventing and resolving conflicts in order to protect national security.

"Our initial conclusions on the character of warfare should be that first international intervention will be more difficult not less. We will have to consider carefully how to apply military force in pursuit of national security. And second, and related to this, that the timely application of soft power and methods of conflict prevention will be a high priority."

He then moved onto funding and said that despite continued real term increases, pressures on the defence budget are well documented.

"Defence inflation consistently outstrips average inflation. There are competing demands on the Government purse. We will need to be better at spending the money we have, and more rigorous in prioritising what we spend it on.

"The Gray Review that we commissioned in December last year will be published in the autumn. Lord Drayson is heading up our Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform team which will take forward a programme of work in response to that report.

"In the context of the defence review, we cannot exclude major shifts in the way we use our defence spending to refocus on our priorities.

"There will be tough choices ahead."

After laying out the challenges facing Defence Mr Ainsworth then turned to the SDR and briefly outlined the process involved:

"A Defence Green Paper to be published early next year is the first step. Work is already under way. It will draw on the considerable expertise available within the Ministry, the Armed Services and our partners across government.

"Full public consultation will follow its publication. We hope this will lead to a serious and wide-ranging national defence debate. Yesterday I chaired the first meeting of my Defence Advisory Forum, a group of senior figures with experience in the armed services, government, academia, business and the media.

"I have invited the Conservatives and the Liberals Democrats to take part. I hope they will participate in the spirit in which the offer was made. In my view, the defence of the nation should always come before party politics.

"We have to be able to reach beyond our political differences and put the interests of the country first. The same applies to the mission in Afghanistan."

"In preparing the Green Paper, we want to engage with you, our defence academic community. We hope the Centre for Defence Studies and other think tanks will sponsor seminars on Green Paper issues and we stand ready to help."

He called on contributions to add expertise and experience, challenges and criticism, as well as alternative perspectives, and concluded by saying:

"With your help we can set our Armed Forces on the right road to face the challenges of the future."
full text here

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/A...utureTowardsTheNextStrategicDefenceReview.htm
 
#2
Ainsworthless said:
Wibble, wibble, blah, blah.

Tough choices, hard times, budget "priorities" aka more cuts.

I've chaired a new quango! Sponsor seminars! The Tories better come and play so I can stay in when we're thrown to the dogs next year.
"put the interests of the country first" - so resign, you utterly pointless clown.

Hurrumph :pissedoff:
 
#3
Mr Ainsworth said "The cat sat on the mat. See the cat. John saw the cat. The cat is on the mat. The cat is black. The black cat is on the mat."

Shortly afterwards he had to go for a long lie-down.
 
#4
He don't half speak some shyte, this man.
 
#5
I forgot:

Full public consultation will follow its publication. We hope this will lead to a serious and wide-ranging national defence debate.
1. We will pretend to listen but have already decided where the budget cuts will fall (in case you were wondering, this is everywhere except BAE who do really nice lunches.)

2. We will pay attention to the editorial columns, not, of course, the defence correspondents, of the Daily Mail and the Sun. If either manages to ignite some public anguish about some spurious corner of defence we will loudly pretend to listen and may even chair a committee. See point 1.
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#6
Idrach said:
I forgot:

Full public consultation will follow its publication. We hope this will lead to a serious and wide-ranging national defence debate.
1. We will pretend to listen but have already decided where the budget cuts will fall (in case you were wondering, this is everywhere except BAE who do really nice lunches.)

2. We will pay attention to the editorial columns, not, of course, the defence correspondents, of the Daily Mail and the Sun. If either manages to ignite some public anguish about some spurious corner of defence we will loudly pretend to listen and may even chair a committee. See point 1.
Not sure the workers for BAE will agree with your statement after todays news.

Uummm consultation.

I remember Herr Brown saying that the public would be consulted over MP’s pay and allowances just 6 months ago aannnndddd nothing.

If anyone thinks these wasters are coming near the great populace with defence consultation then the pigs will fly.
 
E

EScotia

Guest
#7
Mr Ainsworth highlighted the fact that 9,000 personnel are currently deployed in a hard fight in Afghanistan and pressures on the defence budget are significant, therefore preparation for the future must be in the context of ensuring success in the present.

Or without the flowery bullshine - Mr Ainsworth meant to say "We've managed to mortgage the future for your children therefore we do not intend to plan for the future any further as its much too difficult and complicated so we expect to publish lots of platitudes and MoD press releases to take your mind off what may happen in the future".
 
#8
elovabloke said:
Not sure the workers for BAE will agree with your statement after todays news.
Didn't say that BAE workers would be fine, just that BAE would keep being allowed to hideously overcharge us for minor alterations to otherwise Yank kit. And really, really hideously overcharge us for non-Yank kit.

And being a cynical b@stard, I would think that this is just pre-positioning themselves. Note that the MP is a Sven not an Ashie (knifing somebody else in the back in full view of your ultimate target?)

Uummm consultation.

I remember Herr Brown saying that the public would be consulted over MP’s pay and allowances just 6 months ago aannnndddd nothing.

If anyone thinks these wasters are coming near the great populace with defence consultation then the pigs will fly.
Hmm. They may pretend to be doing something: "Which would you rather spend money on - buying bullets to kill innocent children or state-of-the-art equipment for a local children's hospital?"

And if they don't get the right answer, ignore or retread. As per the Irish referendum.
 
#9
Who wrote the stuff above? 'ashie'? 'parapuke'? 'Whet'? A Daily Mirror hack? Osama bin Laden? 'Amy Winehouse?

Exemplifies how Labour view the Armed Forces and more importantly the men and women in said Forces - inconsequential and tools of the Tory elite.

I can assure posters that my lovely bull-terrier bitch Kate would be a more effective 'political leader' of the Armed Forces - and she has been dead for thirty seven years!
 
#10
Idrach said:
Didn't say that BAE workers would be fine, just that BAE would keep being allowed to hideously overcharge us for minor alterations to otherwise Yank kit. And really, really hideously overcharge us for non-Yank kit.
I know it's fashionable to blame BAE, but...

The Typhoon appears to cost less than its competitors, and the price drops with every Tranche of aircraft. Everyone seems rather happy with it, and it appears to do what it says on the tin. No-one who knows much about the subject is disputing price or performance, because they've now been demonstrated; so the criticism is "we don't need so many". Really? Wow, nine squadrons of swing-role fighters for the whole RAF, that's obviously way OTT.

A lot of the US kit is vastly overrated (they do have very very good marketing types in those US defense companies). Why does everyone believe that "their" kit is excellent and competitively priced when they can't even make a decent car or machine-gun?

For instance - the F-15 is a draggy pig that under certain profiles can't keep up with its refuelling tanker aircraft (well, not without afterburners), quite apart from the whole F-15C fleet going off the road due to fatigue cracks; the AH-64 had a pitiful DASS that meant they were afraid to use it in Kosovo, and engines that mean that they have to take off the Longbow radar to fly it in Afghanistan (both of which are fixed by WAH-64); you can't even fit a rifle section in the M2/M3; the M1A1 has massive fuel consumption, and no on-board generator set (it took them ten years to put a decent gun in it, and another ten to add the genny); the M16 stops working when it gets dusty.

If we "buy it off the shelf", that generally means American kit (we should be cheeky and buy Russian one of these days) which means we get screwed on the maintenance contract, and barred from doing any modifications to it. If we make our own, it's automatically a total waste of cash regardless of how much better it is than the competition.

One big problem is that defence contracts are often handed out to the firm which promises to build a factory in the marginal constituency of choice; e.g. Racal got screwed over BOWMAN because GD promised to build in Wales, and AEA promised battery jobs in Caithness.
 
#12
Ainsworth, another inept corrupt Labour pig, bumps his gums but actually says nothing. W*nker.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#14
Gravelbelly said:
Idrach said:
Didn't say that BAE workers would be fine, just that BAE would keep being allowed to hideously overcharge us for minor alterations to otherwise Yank kit. And really, really hideously overcharge us for non-Yank kit.
I know it's fashionable to blame BAE, but...

The Typhoon appears to cost less than its competitors, and the price drops with every Tranche of aircraft. Everyone seems rather happy with it, and it appears to do what it says on the tin. No-one who knows much about the subject is disputing price or performance, because they've now been demonstrated; so the criticism is "we don't need so many". Really? Wow, nine squadrons of swing-role fighters for the whole RAF, that's obviously way OTT.

A lot of the US kit is vastly overrated (they do have very very good marketing types in those US defense companies). Why does everyone believe that "their" kit is excellent and competitively priced when they can't even make a decent car or machine-gun?

For instance - the F-15 is a draggy pig that under certain profiles can't keep up with its refuelling tanker aircraft (well, not without afterburners), quite apart from the whole F-15C fleet going off the road due to fatigue cracks; the AH-64 had a pitiful DASS that meant they were afraid to use it in Kosovo, and engines that mean that they have to take off the Longbow radar to fly it in Afghanistan (both of which are fixed by WAH-64); you can't even fit a rifle section in the M2/M3; the M1A1 has massive fuel consumption, and no on-board generator set (it took them ten years to put a decent gun in it, and another ten to add the genny); the M16 stops working when it gets dusty.

If we "buy it off the shelf", that generally means American kit (we should be cheeky and buy Russian one of these days) which means we get screwed on the maintenance contract, and barred from doing any modifications to it. If we make our own, it's automatically a total waste of cash regardless of how much better it is than the competition.

One big problem is that defence contracts are often handed out to the firm which promises to build a factory in the marginal constituency of choice; e.g. Racal got screwed over BOWMAN because GD promised to build in Wales, and AEA promised battery jobs in Caithness.
What he said.
<whisper> The Typhoon is actually pretty good <whisper>

I understand that the US is baulking at the costs of the F-22 and talking about binning the whole thing.
 
#15
Mr Ainsworth went on to say that the Strategic Defence review of 1998 helped the Armed Forces to move beyond the legacy of the Cold War and to configure for recent operations,

Dear god...
 
#16
I started to read it but quickly lost the will to live.

A speech written by committee:

Blah blah blah -- pay lip service to wherever our troops are dying

... we are consulting widely (right up until it is no longer our problem - choose a date after consultation with PM (Lord Peter that is to avoid confusion)...

.... they are our priority but we must plan for the future (perhaps the deploying headquarters - PJHQ - should be concentrating on the current fight using the resources that the Govt should have ensured were in place by planning for the future some years ago - a crusty old concept I know but it works)

blah blah ....must mention the environment .....

.... have a quick go at procurement failings because it's an easy target....

... dig at Tory cuts....

....promise to secure UK jobs because there is an election coming..

...promise to work smarter, leaner etc but try not to be too specific.....

... emphasise that you have been there, listened and understood but try not to portray yourself as an RSM again - the troops get a bit cross....

..... anything else you want to say - no-one will be listening by now and it is too late to his 6 o'clock news (Lord P's directive on communication by low-level Ministers on contentious issues
 
#17
Herrumph said:
I started to read it but quickly lost the will to live.

A speech written by committee:

Blah blah blah -- pay lip service to wherever our troops are dying

... we are consulting widely (right up until it is no longer our problem - choose a date after consultation with PM (Lord Peter that is to avoid confusion)...

.... they are our priority but we must plan for the future (perhaps the deploying headquarters - PJHQ - should be concentrating on the current fight using the resources that the Govt should have ensured were in place by planning for the future some years ago - a crusty old concept I know but it works)

blah blah ....must mention the environment .....

.... have a quick go at procurement failings because it's an easy target....

... dig at Tory cuts....

....promise to secure UK jobs because there is an election coming..

...promise to work smarter, leaner etc but try not to be too specific.....

... emphasise that you have been there, listened and understood but try not to portray yourself as an RSM again - the troops get a bit cross....

..... anything else you want to say - no-one will be listening by now and it is too late to his 6 o'clock news (Lord P's directive on communication by low-level Ministers on contentious issues
Same here when I started to drool & brain started to go numb...
Guys beyond contempt & a 24carrot joke.How he ever to into Government is beyond contemplation! :evil:
 
#18
Its one of those speeches that no one could find anything to object to, wishy washy platitudes with all the usual suspects in there as well illustrated Herumph. Written by a team rather than a man who has a grip of his portfolio

I think it is an exercise in futility anyway because as soon as the next election comes around any results of any review will be discarded

It doesnt actually say anything at all, bit like labour really
 
#19
Bob the Tache Makes a Major Speech
A Major speech????

Last week it was an RSM speech.

Wot next? An effing General speech or one on Corporal punishment?
 
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