CDS on Iraq and how helpful our allies were

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by micksmith, Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. Every Christmas it is traditional for the Chief of Defence Staff to address the members of the Royal United Services Institute. Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup did so this evening, and since the media reports seem likely to focus on what he said about Afghanistan and Mumbai, it is worth separating off the Iraq section which is a spirited defence of British operations in southern Iraq, with a sideswipe at our allies who have been so quick to criticise the British efforts. It is well worth a read:

    http://timesonline.typepad.com/mick_smith/
     
  2. It seems your voice-to-type software has a wee problem with General Petraeus' name: Piraeus and petrels! :D
     
  3. I would love to believe that the evacuation of Basra Palace and the move to the Airport was a cunning plan to provoke Iraqi action, which all turned out for the best, but something inside me just won't accept that.
     
  4. Well they'll be planning documents from the time that will no doubt prove if the claim was wrong or right. Either way, pretty much everything that was set out to be achived in 2003 post-war Basra has been achived.
     
  5. Unfortunately 5 years too late and no thanks whatsoever to us. I'm amazed CDS could give that speech with a straight face, well I would if I had any respect for im
     
  6. Eh?! So thats why we get by with only 2 deployable divs! The Bdes are actually HUGE!
     
  7. Interesting angle on various issues.
     
  8. parapauk - not digging, but could you define what you believe the objectives for Basra were, and whether you're basing the comment on "your opinion" or "stated objectives" (in which case, can you point me in the right direction please)?

    I wouldn't necessarily disagree, but the reality in December 2008, differs widely from the objectives, milestones and timeframes that were being dreamed up in March 2003. As a result of the many re-orgs along the way, there has been something of a "lessening of expectation" and "strategic change of mission objectives" that organically has met the reality.

    I think it is more this merging (Who knows maybe former PM Blair had a Damascene moment), of realistic expectations from the Iraqi people of what the UK can do for them in and around Basra, and secondly the UK Government, due in no small part to the author, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup being necessarily more "vocal" about the realities on the ground, when addressing HMG.

    As for the Palace evacuation, Western's probably right to have that feeling.

    Probably the right thing to do, in order to mitigate the risk to tps based there. The "take Basra, bunker down in the Palace" approach, may have made TELIC a lot easier in the initial phases, but the lack of a spread footprint across the city, and the surrounding AO, has probably contributed to the JAM being able to gain such a strong foothold in certain parts of the city.

    Many who are critical of the move from the Palace to BIA, are critical moreso, with the government's approach to the media messaging, and statements from Ministers, than with the logic of getting out of Basra Central - Basra Palace may be surrounded by a 20' concrete perimeter, mit watchtowers, but anyone here, who has had the pleasure of something coming at speed over the wall / Shat, will verify that it's not a great place to be, either militarily or "rebuid Iraqswise".

    It's an interesting piece by CDS.

    Interesting, in relation to the translators and LEC's that have been subjected to the UK Government's LEC Scheme, which came into operation one year ago. Sir Jock details some fairly clear indicators, of the risks in Iraq and a snapshot of specific points, in the timeframe. Doesn't quite tally with the messages from Ministers during the same timeframes.

    Who wins? You decide.
     
  9. The objective were to remove Saddam's forces, train and allow the Iraqi security forces to take over under the supervision of a democraticly elected government, and go home. Are you claiming this wasn't done?
     
  10. No.

    I was comparing the many objectives stated (of which you have mentioned three), and the timeframes involved (of your example, one was achieved ontime, another slipped due to election dates being dropped back to assist security conditions on the ground, and the training of Iraqi sy forces? Maybe not quite the six month plan that Paul Bremer was stating in the days after he decided to disband the structure in place during May 2003).

    Hence my question, as to whether you were basing it on opinion, or stated objectives. Having selected three, why not look up the objectives for Health Care, Economy, Education and reconstruction from this period?
     
  11. Go on, indulge me...
     
  12. I hope that's not how historians write this up for posterity.
     
  13. Still waiting for those tankers full of stolen crude to turn up?