Dannatt admits things were greatly difficult in 03-09 - World at One 12 Jun 12

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by smallbrownprivates, Jun 13, 2012.

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  1. BBC iPlayer - World at One: 12/06/2012

    From 07:34 onwards. Dannatt and then Lorimer. Carney (and her team) shows her/their weaknesses (lack of understanding/knowledge) in Defence matters

    Key statement 09:35
    "With great difficulty the Army managed to put a force into the field in Iraq and Afghanistan, simultaneously for an extended period of time between 2003 and 2009"

    Then says it would be impossible now, followed by standard knife into TA.

    Shame no one in a position of influence/Senior Subject Matter Expert in Defence Headshed felt they could say no to all these pushy political demands for 6 years of lost blood and treasure, when it was so greatly difficult ......

    Overall a disappointing and slanted piece rechurning a spookily similar message as currently heard elsewhere in the halls. (I was going to pose the question about how devout christian thought about spins or half truths, then i remembered Saint Anthongy of Sedgefield)

    Initially when starting listening after intros, I thought it was Brig Rob Nitsch churning out another morale lifting missive!
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  2. It's quite sad how the current unofficial "of course we"re not in breach of the regs in talking to the media" campaign is failing quite so badly. Or is ir one of those irregular verbs, generals brief but corporals have unauthorised contact ?

    Regardless, one of the things I think our current government believes is that one of the key reasons for our defeat in two campaigns over the last decade is the way senior military officers placed their career before their professional responsibilities. When they hear someone senior say that things were bad in 2003 they wonder, being ignorant civvies and all, just why no-one said anything at the time when it might have done some good. Politicians eh, what do they know ?

    Similarly, it seems that the widespread view that deficiencies of the TA are a direct result of the way it is run by the Army is not one understood by the senior officers who run the Army. Criticising the TA therefore underlines their failure rather than convince those controlling the budget that we need more regulars.

    As I've said before, people are starting to ask why the British Army, uniquely among it's peers, states it is unable to run reserves properly. I fear the conclusion drawn is that it is because the British Army is uniquely incompetent.

    All in all then, this info ops campaign is dying on its arse as far as the target audience is concerned. No change there then.
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  4. The problem is a conceptual one at the higher levels of command - most of our senior generalship have never had any real contact with the TA and so (a) do not understand it and (b) have no desire to make any effort to do so; this, in turn, leads to (c) a TA which is dying on its arrse. Someone is going to have to get publicly sacked pour encourager les autres - CGS anybody?
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  5. I think it's along the lines of:

    I give an unattribual off the record briefing

    You leak

    He commits an offence under Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act :) (with a nod to "Yes Minister")
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  6. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Gen Lorimer took a large TA cohort from 4 Para into his Bn (3 Para) for TELIC in 2003, and had a composite Coy from the London Regt in his Bde for HERRICK. The Londons Coy was originally tasked to do FP, but having proved their capability during PDT, Lorimer retasked them to include ground holding and strike Ops, mainly based on his very high opinion of the TA Coy commander.

    I would say that is a reasonable level of contact with the TA, and an understanding of what they can deliver when allowed to.
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  7. An enlightened senior officer, but I do not get the impression that his forward-thinking views are necessarily replicated across the [Army] board.
  8. Either way they will be described as a Senior Officer or Top Military source...
  9. It is also a very narrow experience, Infantry deployed on an Infantry heavy operation. How much contact did he have with the wider TA, or are we to assume that the only bit that matters is the Infantry.

    The Army Board seems to be very focused on the Combat Arms at the moment, CSS is not high on the agenda, keep the tanks keep the toms, we will sort out the logistics later.

    This is where the TA can be a force multiplyer, at relatively low cost.
  10. i wouldn't, i'd say that was a reasonable amount of contact with those members of the TA who had managed to fit their lives around build-up training, from a particularly well-motivated unit, and while the Army was paying their mortgages. rather more illuminating would have been had he been CO of the 9th Bn (volunteers) Dogshit Regiment, and had to deal with the problems found in a 'normal' TA unit on a day-to-day basis - like people not having the time to do phys each night because their boss has them doing 10 hours of unpaid overtime each week or their jobs will go, or that Cpl Goodlad can't attend half the training weekends because thats when he see's his kids.

    if Gen Lorrimers views in the TA are formed soley on the basis of what they can do on Ops then he's as deluded as the Queens view of the world - that it smells of fresh paint...
  11. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    So if someone who is happy with what elements of the TA can do when asked (and therefore not automatically biased against the TA) is critical of the organisation of a whole, does that make him deluded or honest?

    If the TA wants to be takes seriously it must stop hiding behind dogshit excuses like those in your posts.
  12. they are not dogshit excuses - until the Army pays TA soldiers mortgages it cannot expect to have first call on their time.

    until then - which is forever - it will have to accept that it is somewhere down the list of priorities, and that means that the TA soldier will not be as fit, or as trained as someone they pay to do the work fulltime.

    if the Army wishes to be taken seriously, they have to stop hiding behind their idiot 'work harder, but for the same money' excuses...
  13. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    head over to all of the other "whither the TA" threads. It will save a lot of bandwidth.
  14. That's kind of the point though. We talk and talk and talk around the subject because the Army has failed to date to make the TA work like it could or should. And yet, to get back to where we started, we have seemingly intelligent people thinking that this failure will convince the government to give more money to the Army. Deluded, ignorant or in denial ?
  15. I recently read the recollections of an officer in the TA at the outbreak of the first world war.
    He mentions that the TA volunteered en masse for service overseas in 1914. Having no knowledge of the history of the TA, I wasn`t aware that it was purely a 'home service force' prior to 1914 ?
    He did bring up the point that the whole unit had to be moved to Yorkshire from Kent, for six months training in order to be 'fit for purpose'. I think the unit didn`t get to France until late 1915.
    With this in mind, have over recent years, the politicians and top brass built up unfair expectations of what part time soldiers can achieve, especially nowadays in trouble spots abroad where situations can move very rapidly time wise ?