Britain used to win the wars it fought – so what happened in Libya?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by singha61, May 21, 2011.

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  1. Stalemate with Gaddafi and lack of resources in Afghanistan all point to a lack of leadership, says Con Coughlin.
    As we sink ever deeper in the Libyan mire it is easy to forget that, not so long ago, we enjoyed an enviable reputation for winning wars. Whenever the British government took the painful decision to commit our Armed Forces to action in a distant land, its priority was to guarantee that the military campaign reached a victorious conclusion.

    Even during the darkest days of the Second World War, when German military supremacy led some of the more faint-hearted members of our political establishment to advocate a diplomatic accommodation with the Nazis, Winston Churchill resolutely stuck to his demand that nothing less than total victory would suffice. Margaret Thatcher displayed similar fortitude during the Falklands campaign when, despite stiff opposition from Cabinet “wets” and even close allies in Washington, her insistence that the Argentine invaders must be defeated was the driving force behind the islands’ liberation.

    Britain used to win the wars it fought – so what happened in Libya? - Telegraph
  2. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    The military and the industry that supplies it no longer are about about either defending the country or the use of force to achieve political aims. The main aim these days is to provide employment, social services and siphon money from the tax payers.
  3. The further back in time, the poorer communications so politicians we less able to interfere and the press was not there to report on anything unfortunate that happened. politicians have always complained about the cost of the military and always thought that they know best how to spend our money.
  4. Libya isnt a war its a pan-government no-fly zone, so ask all the other countries first
  5. An interseting article, although i think there are some sweeping generalisations being used here, for example. The assertion that a "good tank battalion" could have got rid of Gaddafi is pure hyperbole of the dangerous kind, rather like the sweeping statement that was made by one of the U.S hawks [Rumsfeld?] prior to the invasion of Iraq about not having to prepare for counter insurgency as the Iraqis would be "too busy throwing flowers at us".
    Would getting rid of Gadafi, even asuming that this will really be possible without mission creep far beyond any U.N mandate really be the end of the matter or would it merely precipitate something worse such as a bloody civil war.

    Watching the BBC news last night, the Libyan rebels were at great pains to display that they were treating prisoners in a humanitarian way. I wonder how long this would continue should this become a protracted and bitter civil war

    On the wider aspect of Britain being able to win wars in the past, that is debatable, any war has to be properly financed and planned to have any chance of realistic lasting victory.They also neeed to have specific aims and clear objectives. Wars cannot be fought on a shoestring budget without putting the eventual successful outcome in jeopardy. You would not rock up to a big boys poker game with some small change and a visa electron and expect to stay in the game for any length of time without being extraordinarily lucky, which IMO we seem to have done over the few decades, relying on the professionalism and the "can do" attitude of the military to prevail, this has led to at least one very close run conflict as in the Falklands where, the sinking of at least one major transport and several naval vessels so denuded our resources that continued operations almost became untenable.
  6. Please can I have some of your tablets - nutter.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Schhhh! We are on a win win here...Nudge nudge.
  8. Perhaps we were sensible and didn't get involved in wars that we didn't have the political will to win. You will notice that we didn't partake in French Indo-china
  9. Since when is the British army fighting the war in Libya? Last I checked everyone was sitting back and watch the rebels continue failing in getting their shit together.

    Goddamn news.
  10. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    It wasn't/isn't a war, its limited by NATO red tape, we have a limited role and 2 planes patrolling a country (and limited SF/'training Officer' involvement) is not us even remotely 'balls deep' like most other historical interests. End of.
  11. We stopped fighting wars that were at least vaguely based on what was in our national interest and started just doing what the Americans wanted.

    We stopped letting Generals run the wars and starting letting public opinion and politicians do it instead.

    (I'm aware that Libya isn't an American originated op and that we're not fighting a war there. It's a general point about why we're on our current losing streak).
  12. Er... Britain isn't fighting a war in Libya? Remember last time we tried doing that in North Africa, didn't work so well, did it? Our job is to make the rebels' job depressingly easy, unfortunately they're even more depressingly bad at it.
  13. You can't consider wars in progress part of a "losing streak" just because they haven't been won yet. Not that Iraq or Afghanistan can be considered "won" because the victory parameters were never outlined clearly. Right now the objective seems to be "getting them to a point where we can leave without the place going to shit".\

    The american military is in the same boat as the rest of the world on this one, as politicians have a far greater ability to ride the top brass thanks to a near real-time global communication system.

    All governments need to adopt the policy of giving the military their objectives, sending them off and stepping back, in my not-so-humble opinion.
  14. I would define winning as doing quite well!
  15. X59

    X59 LE

    Britain stopped winning wars when the principle of Selection and Maintainence of the Aim was ignored.
    • Like Like x 1