British military chief says troops in Afghanistan were smug

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jan 29, 2009.

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  1. British military chief says troops in Afghanistan were 'smug'

    1 hr 32 mins ago

    AFP/File – The head of Britain's military, Air Chief Vice Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, seen here in 2008, admitted …
    LONDON (AFP) – The head of Britain's military admitted his troops in Afghanistan had been "smug" and "complacent" over the fight against insurgents, adding they had sometimes rested on their laurels.
    Air Chief Vice Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup told the Economist magazine that there was "some capacity" to send more troops to Afghanistan but said this would be "limited".
    New US President Barack Obama wants to send a surge of troops to Afghanistan -- which Wednesday delayed its elections until August because of worsening violence -- in a bid to subdue insurgents and establish stability.
    Stirrup also acknowledged that there had been tensions between US and British commanders in Afghanistan and that the US had sometimes been "critical" of the British modus operandi.
    When British troops were first deployed following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, there was some complacency about their ability to fight insurgents because of their experiences combating three decades of civil unrest in the British-ruled province of Northern Ireland, Stirrup said.
    More on the link
  2. A british institution, laid low by its own complacency and misplaced sense of superiority? Who'd've thunk it?
  3. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    I'm trying to work out why CDS has started to talk out in this fashion. It isn't as if we have heard him say anything of note since his appointment in 2006. This is second little anecdote that has appeared in the last couple of weeks linked to him. Dannett gone and the press need another military man to quote?

    What worries me is that the stories are generally negative in nature and if this story is true is talking about his attitudes in 2001. WTF is that about? I don't disagree with him in what he says but why bring this up now when there is so much more that he could talk about. He needs to look at the problems going forward and leading, not mulling over history. He can do that in his memoires.......

    I am beginning to think that Labour really has chosen their man well. Is he really fighting for us or is he there to tell us how grateful we should be for what we get? But hey, why should he worry? Already extended, I'm sure he will be looked after, won't he? :roll:

    Tin hat on and willing to take incoming.
  4. What would he know? His operational experience is Dhofar, And then subsequent desk jobs
  5. it is the job of the boys at the top to pick out all the **** bits of shit that nobody really cares about and then moan about it. truth be told, i think we have too many officers, their promotion rate should be much slower.
  6. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    I disagree - A bit quicker promotion on merit might mean we don't get the politicians reaching the top quite so often.

    Worked for Napoleon.
  7. I'm really dissapointed with Sir Jocks comments.

    As usual, the media have pushed some things forward from his comments, but he should have emphasised that he was talking about Iraq when we first went in, it sounds like he is saying troops now are complacent.

    In the past, I always thought other top brass, such as Dannant talked too much about the needs of a soldier, but I would much rather Dannant's defence then Sir Jocks criticism.

    What conflict has Jock been involved in again? The man doesn't have a scooby about REAL conflict and being in the sh!t. Clearly politically motivated.
  8. I repeat my post from another version of this thread.

    We have all been so stupid not to realise that all the fault and errors in Afghanistan are down to dopey officers and thick soldiers.

    No blame at all may be attached to the political clown who sent troops on this crazy misadventure. Nor may any blame be laid at the feet of the repulsive 'mong' who starved the operation of financial support and who stamped his feet and threw his toys out of his cot until he became prime minister.

    Which reptilian politician told Stirrup to make this announcement? Why did Stirrup not refuse to do so?

    It must be dreadful to be a bereaved person and to know that, in the opinion of the Chief of the Defence Staff, the loved one died as part of a 'SMUG' and 'COMPLACENT' organisation.

    As for Stirrup's contention claiming that there had been a tendency to rest upon laurels - what an outrageous thing to say. If, as the Head of the Armed Forces, he felt that laurel resting was being undertaken, he should have placed thunderflashes in the appropriate crevices!

    This is nothing more than the bleating of a 'glove puppet' being manipulated by politicians or spin-doctors, to absolve this disgraced and increasingly disreputable government from any blame for the failings in Afghanistan. It should be noted that he does not criticise the government for the lack of clear direction in the pursuance of their totally obscured aim - if they ever had an aim, other than to allow Bliar to prance and preen on the world's stage.

    Stirrup, to the Armed Forces, as Ian Blair was to the Metropolitan Police. I wish Boris J had the power to sack this man as well!
  9. The CDS/CinCFleet/CGS/CAS etc are selected for the job for their ability to integrate and work with politicians. Hence, they come across as politicians. Gen Dannett broke the mold. Unfortunately, as a result of his outspoken behaviour, what real benefits have we seen in the forces? An Armed Forces Day, is that to be his only legacy?

    I take it many contributors have read Machiavelli's "The Prince," or Sun Tzu - Know your enemy?

    How about "The Godfather" - Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer?

    They do achieve a lot that we will never know about, but you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. (Unless they have a bag of chips with them, naturally).
  10. Do you think the Toms on the ground, the Private in a Rifle Coy, or the Pl Comd, or even OC's were 'smug and complacent'?

    Do you think they were 'smug and complacent' driving out the camp gates in vehicles designed for NI or Norway?

    Or was the smug complaceny centred more around the desks of Whitehall rather than FOB's of Helmand? I remember being out in MSQ and hearing my oppo's laughing when relating the story of their meeting wth the previous CDS. 'Snatch, I didn't realise we still had them out here.'

    Yes we do and the term 'smug complacency' will now spring to mind every time I hear a politician or senior commander defend them by saying something like 'Comd's actually want Snatch it's small and versatile and useful in built up areas.' So's a milk float - try driving one of them over an IED.
  11. Excellent post 'stroker'. It says much more than my rant posted above.