Chief of defence staff warns over military expectations

Discussion in 'Strategic Defence & Spending Review (SDSR)' started by Jeneral28, Aug 22, 2013.

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  1. Doesn't matter - previously UK gov's have deployed UK Mil to 2 concurrent enduring medium scale Ops they weren't equipped/manned to do at the same time, but did anyway.

    The Mil goes where the gov sends it, while stretching/breaking it along the way.
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  2. In other words; "we can't do Syria, even if we wanted to. If the politicians make us do Syria we will likely fall on our collective arses if we try to do anything beyond our contribution to Mali, especially with all these lovely new cuts. But, just in case, we are going to unbox all the mothballed Fuchs and hurriedly stand the JCBRN Regt back up."
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  3. Of course, underpinning all this current thinking is the assumption that UK has the option of only getting involved in future conflicts in a manner of our choosing.

    With a population of 60 million and rising lifestyle expectations, Britain can't sustain itself from its own national resources and must ensure that the international flow of goods and services that enables us to do so artificially is maintained. Where this flow is directly threatened, UK must intervene, regardless of the type of operation required. Arguably, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan directly affected our national survival (and that we became involved has had damaging consequences), but the strategic odds seem to be shortening on a major operation of necessity in the future.

    As you know, it is notoriously difficult to predict when, where and why such an intervention will take place. But we do need to understand where our vital interests lie, which of those are subject to threats requiring military action and what type of military action is likely to be required. This is subtly different from focusing simply on world hotspots: there are imminent international conflagrations which may affect us not a jot and slow burners which have the potential to reduce the country to famine. Unfortunately, politicians, public and press are invariably drawn to the former.
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  4. CanteenCowboy

    CanteenCowboy LE Book Reviewer

    What action do you propose the CDS, now takes? Unattributed briefings to the press if things look like going against him and his Political Masters are making 'war like noises'?

    I know what action I would prefer for any new CDS to take, however repeating it in public might not be wise, so I shall refrain.
  5. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    surely syria is on the way home if we decide to go that way. the yanks will be desperate to say it's a multinational effort and will need troops used to nbc kit so will airlift our kit to cyprus for free or give us a shed load of armoured hummers the marines don't want.

    the raf will be desperate to get in on this one, navy too as it's not landlocked and anything to halt the cuts.
  6. So, not us then?

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  7. A few things to hoist on board: I think the current crop of politicians don't believe a word the Army says. That's the legacy of the relentless torrent of buzzword bingo that has been emitted by Very Senior Officers to cover up a distinctly third rate performance since 9/11.

    Then we have the fact that "wars of choice" are now electoral poison. And I'll say that again, deployments in strength as a part of foreign policy are genuinely off the table for a long time. They may be a valuable career opportunity to you, to Joe Average they are a pointless waste of lives and money.

    Well, unless we have a genuine threat to the UK of course. Then we have Trident and probably some time to prepare.

    So look forward to the occasional use of SF, AH, the odd fast jet or warship while the Army sits in garrison in the UK.

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  8. Don't dispute what OOTS says, but feel that a few more weeks of chemical weapon atrocities and the mobilisation of the "something must be done" crowd will prove too much for any politician wishing to prove his stuff on the international stage. And once you start intervening, in whatever capacity, you're on a slippery slope.......
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  9. The chemical weapons issue is, I am certain, rebel maskirovka...
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  10. To use Soviet style chemicals such as Syria is reputed to have you need a considerable amount of kit and logistics support. I'd be very surprised indeed if that could be hidden from the many sensors pointed their way at the moment.

    First of all you need a convenient chemical plant to make this stuff. It goes off with time, tends to corrode containers and is a pain to dispose of. Such factories are pretty distinctive and would be an obvious thing to keep an eye on.

    Then you need some fairly specialist tankers to ship the stuff, and a stock of empty shell/rockets to fill up. Filling is a bag of nause (rubber suit, risk of unpleasant death etc) as is loading your artillery. And your troops need to have trained beforehand if you want to avoid accidents.

    So absent the above I'd take it all with a pinch of salt.

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  11. This story from the BBC may have some relevance on this thread:

    BBC News - Syria: Cameron and Obama threaten 'serious response'

    Reportedly Obama and Cameron are threatening a 'serious response' over last weeks use of chemical weapons in Syria. Precisely what this means remains unclear at this point. Re-positioning of USN warships isn't much by itself, it's quick to do and quick to undo as well. At the moment we are still at the sabre rattling stage. It's no secret that nobody in power in Washington or London has the appetite for another adventure in the middle east that would by necessity go on for years and see us bogged down in another protracted and bloody counter insurgency campaign. The danger is and this has already been pointed out that the 'something must be done' lobby will gain sufficient traction in public opinion to the point were the politicians feel compelled to act in some capacity. What that action might be, I cannot say as it would be pure speculation.
  12. Oh good, we get to blat off more expensive Tomahawk that the US have let us buy from them.
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  13. Jesus. Like the troops pulling out of Afghanistan, trained, equipped and experienced at fighting one sort of campaign, could be thrown into battle against what's still very much a proper Army, even assuming we somehow get a mounting base, overcome the logistics issues of putting a force ashore and supporting it...

    NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN. As jim30 and OOTS say, a few token gestures - possibly; but I seriously and sincerely hope that someone sensible and political has a long hard think about getting involved in a civil war where neither side's our friend.

    Added to all that, of course, is the fact that I don't believe a word of it. There's more than a whiff of Sarajevo Marketplace about this, to my mind.
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