"Boris Johnson to take aim at MoD over wasted cash..."

So withdraw from NATO? Abandon the deremxw of overseas territories? No capa ility to escort UK flagged vessels?
Ever think of engaging brain before rattling the keyboard ?

I didn't mention NATO as that is an International Treaty - Having said that, there is nothing wrong with having a hard and fast UK commitment to that Treaty in respect of manpower and capability.

Overseas Territories that need UK protection will still have UK protection.

Escort UK flagged vessels - Not when that vessel is under a flag of convenience and provides the square root of Rockall back to the UK.

Just a quick thought for you to digest and think about -

  • Current strength of the British Army
  • Current strength of Fighting Troops
  • Current strength of deployable Fighting Troops
The last figure will barely reach high enough to provide a credible Home Defense.
 
You clearly stated that the purpose of the forces was home defence. You made no reference to NATO, no reference to our overseas territories, no reference to the protection of British interests abroad, no mention of protection of British commercial interests abroad...so what is one to think?
 
You clearly stated that the purpose of the forces was home defence.
Is the primary purpose of the UK's Armed Forces not Home Defence ?

The British Armed Forces, also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces, are the military services responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, its overseas territories and the Crown dependencies.
so what is one to think?
You don't think - You rattle your keyboard.
 
So withdraw from NATO? Abandon the deremxw of overseas territories? No capa ility to escort UK flagged vessels?
well......

let’s look back to the days of the Pax Britannica.

HMG didn’t keep huge battlefleets bestriding the Seven Sea, it had little colonial gunboats patrolling far away places of which we had interest, whos job was to send home a message... ‘The Grand Poobah is rebellious, send a big war canoe’ ....

Or - Forward Presence in the modern lexicon
 
You clearly stated that the purpose of the forces was home defence. You made no reference to NATO, no reference to our overseas territories, no reference to the protection of British interests abroad, no mention of protection of British commercial interests abroad...so what is one to think?
where does the Army fit into this?
please bear in mind 95% of UK trade come by sea - that’s the sea that the RN and RAF have developed coherent visions for protecting.
Meanwhile, the Army seems transfixed on fighting a land war with the Russians in the Baltic's Avd driving around Africa in tanks,
 
where does the Army fit into this?
please bear in mind 95% of UK trade come by sea - that’s the sea that the RN and RAF have developed coherent visions for protecting.
Meanwhile, the Army seems transfixed on fighting a land war with the Russians in the Baltic's Avd driving around Africa in tanks,
Don't forget an awful lot of that trade reaches foreign ports as land freight and then makes a tiny hop across the Channel or the Irish Sea.
 
Don't forget an awful lot of that trade reaches foreign ports as land freight and then makes a tiny hop across the Channel or the Irish Sea.
that will be the short sea crossings that are in airspace dominated by the RAF
 
that will be the short sea crossings that are in airspace dominated by the RAF
Quite possible but it could quite easily be a European or other NATO Air Force. Don't make the mistake of harping back to WW2. There is no Battle of the Atlantic to run food from Uncle Sam to the poor old starving Brits. I think the current risk assessment to the UK mainland is classified at non existant to very low.

2.81 The National Security Strategy confirms the assessment in the 1998 Strategic Defence Review that, for the foreseeable future, no state or alliance will have both the intent and capability to threaten the UK militarily. The UK does, however, remain subject to high levels of covert non-military activity by foreign intelligence organisations. They are increasingly combining traditional intelligence methods with new and sophisticated technical attacks, for example attempting to penetrate computer networks through the internet.
 
Don't forget an awful lot of that trade reaches foreign ports as land freight and then makes a tiny hop across the Channel or the Irish Sea.
Ah, but ...
so this much vaunted land corridor isn’t anything like as capacious as a single container port.

you would need 60 mile long trains to equal the container capacity of a single 24000teu container ship, and there are 500 of them in operation.

Replacing ships with trains and trucks is a fantasy.
 
Ah, but ...
But what is the threat? As far as HMG are concerned there isn't a military one. This is exactly why every Government in the last 30 years have sought to cut the Services, they serve no purpose other than providing a colourful background to various cocktail parties.
 
Ever think of engaging brain before rattling the keyboard ?

I didn't mention NATO as that is an International Treaty - Having said that, there is nothing wrong with having a hard and fast UK commitment to that Treaty in respect of manpower and capability.

Overseas Territories that need UK protection will still have UK protection.

Escort UK flagged vessels - Not when that vessel is under a flag of convenience and provides the square root of Rockall back to the UK.
If a ship has a flag of convenience QED it isn't flying the Red Ensign, is it?
 
If a ship has a flag of convenience QED it isn't flying the Red Ensign, is it?
:D :D :D

As I previously pointed out, you are very good at rattling your keyboard before engaging gray matter.

You are also coming across as an individual who is rather clueless, but likes to make a lot of noise.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I don’t think he’s describing corruption. Nor is he really describing incompetence. He’s describing life. The behaviours he identifies are normal human behaviours; you’ll find them happening in the vast majority of organisations. I’d suggest the culture he identifies is at its most prevalent in the Army. IIRC he describes it as intellectual arrogance; I’d suggest that rank and a culture where “tactics are the opinion of the senior officers present” magnify that.

He does seem to worship entrepreneurial behaviours. I like that, but I really struggle to understand how you develop and harness those in the public sector.
He's describing both. But the organisations he's describing is that they don't recognise it as corruption. Incompetence is simple: decisions and processes either achieve their aims or they do not. When they do not, they are incompetent. Why that is the case may be complex, but the definition of failure itself is usually simple, despite the common reactions to ignore, argue, blame or obfuscate it.

Corruption is interesting. One of the things that has struck me working around the world is how substantially different people / culture / country / organisations' definitions of corruption vary. In Britain, we tend to see it quite narrowly as an exchange of money for services or favour, when they are not meant to be paid for. That is both the legal and general popular definition, within a small range. In recent years we have also latched onto tax avoidance as a corrupt practice, because we link it to big companies. Conversely, Britain has traditionally been quite accepting of nepotism and using position or links to get preferement. Britain also has a very rules-based, legalistic interpretation of the world - broadly, corruption is only corruption if it the rules say so.

In most Arab countries, exchange of money or patronage for favour is seen as absolutely standard - this is a deep seated cultural more linked to tribal patronage and Islamic ideas around charity. The same applies in many parts of Africa. In Italy, tax avoidance via being paid in cash is absolutely standard among low paid workers, and far from being seen as depriving the nation of collective good, it is seen as sticking it to unworthy elites. This is linked to Italy's powerful mercantile traditions in the North and recent, weak federal national history. Italians also give few fcuks for what the law says - what's socially acceptable where they live is far more important (this produces both harmonious localism and the Mafia). In Afghanistan, the normal operation of government was assumed to be what Britain would call corrupt, in that politicians were assumed to give preference to only their side, and tribal or local people would get pretty irritated if they governed "for all", as western democracies espouse. This meant corruption was very much in the eye of the beholder, which again applies in much of Africa (there's a correlation with societies that have stronger tribal roots). Sadly, you can see the same patterns in the British left: 'Blairite cronyism' being a tit-for-tat accusation by 'Corbynite cronies', i.e. all the stuff that we do in power, when done by them, is inherently nepotistic and corrupt. Even the US has much stronger mores against nepotism than Britain does, as does - curiously - China, which views only one type of nepotism as acceptable, that which is centrally assigned by the Party. Any other kinds - e.g. individual or family patronage - are undermining Party authority and are rigorously punished when it suits: while widespread, such claims are often used to officially denounce officials who have fallen out of Party favour.

The British flavour of corruption revolves around the prioritisation of social and personal factors over results: the who rather than the what. If you recognise the habitual Army tendency to praise someone as being good at their job because they are "such a nice / charming person", then you are seeing the top of the slope: the two are, in most jobs, particularly ones which involve killing people, only tenuously related. Moreover, often the superficially charming are toxic or incompetent in other ways. The habitual public sector divorce between responsibility and accountability, or even acknowledging results, is also symptom. This also, of course, is fertile ground for various kinds of nepotism. These behaviours would not fly in, for example, the Arab world - where personal and financial nepotism is expected, but results are also demanded and incompetence is always punished (even if not always allocated fairly). It also doesn't fly, at least not in the same manner, in the US, which has much stronger social disaproval of nepotism, and the unlikeable-but-effective individual has almost a folk hero status, from Wyatt Earp to Steve Jobs.

(If you don't believe me, read the history of Market Garden - the amateurish planning, elevation of Browning, and subsequent scapegoating of Sosobowski for daring to question in advance, are all hallmarks of the British form of corruption - as was noted by Sosobowski, obviously, but also the Americans at the time and British officers in later years)

I'd suggest that the corruption you don't recognise is precisely the kind that plagues you, your organisation, or your country. The Army, CS and various British organisations are absolutely corrupt in their own ways - ones which DC is quite astute at identifying. The problem is that those who exist within them are blind to their particular brand of corruption, and simply see it, like you say, as 'normal human behaviour'.

There is no universal truth that says human nature is inherently pure and uncorrupt. Exactly the reverse: liberal social systems like law and democracy are essentially technologies designed to minimise the inherent tendency of human beings towards behaving corruptly. Recognising your own flavour of corruption is vital.
 
:D :D :D

As I previously pointed out, you are very good at rattling your keyboard before engaging gray matter.

You are also coming across as an individual who is rather clueless, but likes to make a lot of noise.
Who got out of bed on the wrong side this morning?

And what are your credentials for having better informed views on the IR, exactly?
 

Type 66

Old-Salt
Time will tell. If DfID is being taken off the table as a target, the focus on those still in the crosshairs, like MoD, will become sharper to deliver something meaningful and spectacular.
Dfid needs to be Front and Centre! I am sick of my hard earnt taxes being given away to all and sundry.
 
Dfid needs to be Front and Centre! I am sick of my hard earnt taxes being given away to all and sundry.
even if it's more cost effective than spending it on the MoD?
 
Dfid needs to be Front and Centre! I am sick of my hard earnt taxes being given away to all and sundry.
Best you write to your MP then.
 

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