Defence chiefs told by Col Bob Stewart: 'Resign in protest at cuts'

#4
Unlikely - there is that saying about turkeys and Christmas isn't there? And of course the least fit-for-purpose, and least coherently funded, service is the army, so who should jump first?
 

Auld-Yin

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#5
I wonder if Stewart will resign as an MP in support of the Generals/Admirals/Air Marshals? Assuming his constituents don't retire him anyway.

Somehow I doubt it!
 

The_Duke

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#6
"When a man marries his mistress, a vacancy is created"

They go, minor upheaval, limited embarrassment accompanied by mass disinterest from most of the populace, step forward the next willing candidates who will endorse the plan/budget.

You are as likely to see worse not better in the chair if they retire en masse.
 

Mr_Fingerz

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#7
I wonder if Stewart will resign as an MP in support of the Generals/Admirals/Air Marshals? Assuming his constituents don't retire him anyway.

Somehow I doubt it!
A Tory MP criticising his own party's policy? What ever next?
 
#8
I don't disagree with anything said above on this thread, however I despair that it seems that nothing will persuade those in power from any party to take defence seriously - what will it take? Some humiliating catastrophe of a defeat?
 
#9
Don't be daft - the forces are expected to have shoulders broad enough to take the blame for Governments !
 

Auld-Yin

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#10
I don't disagree with anything said above on this thread, however I despair that it seems that nothing will persuade those in power from any party to take defence seriously - what will it take? Some humiliating catastrophe of a defeat?
Votes!

Pure and simple. If the humiliating catastrophe occurs, and I hope it never comes to that, but if it does and the Great British Public don't care and votes are not affected then the politicians would not change a thing.

It is all to do with Votes!
 
#11
I don't disagree with anything said above on this thread, however I despair that it seems that nothing will persuade those in power from any party to take defence seriously - what will it take? Some humiliating catastrophe of a defeat?
Ah now come on.Sure isn't what's left of the Army and Colin the dachshund practising on the plain for the coming war in Europe,after the adventures in the hot and sandy places.:)
 
#12
The Baltics thread is interesting. We have already been defeated, MOD MB and the Braid don't like it up you know.

So many threads on this now and in truth, not only the papers but the BBC are beginning to report more and more on the problems and people like <Marr and Andrew Neill are raising it within the polite circles, not forgetting the RAF who showering the Russians with crates of champagne every time the Few have to rise to the challenge. ;)
 
#13
I don't disagree with anything said above on this thread, however I despair that it seems that nothing will persuade those in power from any party to take defence seriously - what will it take? Some humiliating catastrophe of a defeat?
Trouble is, every time politicians get in a meeting with VSOs they get told, unequivocally, with confident kinetic hand gestures, that everything is fine, the "lads" will "crack on" and so on so predictably. They get told that the Forces are professional, world class and in control.

So what do we expect our politicians to do ? Stand up in Parliament and say loud and clear that the Forces are run by delusional morons who need to be cleared out en masse ? Then sack everyone above the rank of Lt-Col, redesign the entire MS system by external diktat, and so on so radically ?
 
#14
So what do we expect our politicians to do ? Stand up in Parliament and say loud and clear that the Forces are run by delusional morons who need to be cleared out en masse ? Then sack everyone above the rank of Lt-Col, redesign the entire MS system by external diktat, and so on so radically ?
That would imply both the will and the capability for independent thought and action on the part of the politicians, so . . . maybe not. Something in that direction may well provide benefits in the long run, but short-term expediency is always likely to appear 'pragmatic and prudent' - especially with some sort of planning always required to deal with ever changing short-term threats.
 

Auld-Yin

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#15
Trouble is, every time politicians get in a meeting with VSOs they get told, unequivocally, with confident kinetic hand gestures, that everything is fine, the "lads" will "crack on" and so on so predictably. They get told that the Forces are professional, world class and in control.

So what do we expect our politicians to do ? Stand up in Parliament and say loud and clear that the Forces are run by delusional morons who need to be cleared out en masse ? Then sack everyone above the rank of Lt-Col, redesign the entire MS system by external diktat, and so on so radically ?
Well, the successor to the chap in your avatar did just that in the 1930s. May have had a bit more to do with paranoia than trying to improve the gene pool of VSOs though!
 
#16
Trouble is, every time politicians get in a meeting with VSOs they get told, unequivocally, with confident kinetic hand gestures, that everything is fine, the "lads" will "crack on" and so on so predictably. They get told that the Forces are professional, world class and in control.

So what do we expect our politicians to do ? Stand up in Parliament and say loud and clear that the Forces are run by delusional morons who need to be cleared out en masse ? Then sack everyone above the rank of Lt-Col, redesign the entire MS system by external diktat, and so on so radically ?
And that's possibly the driver of many of the threads here on ARRSE which are becoming increasingly questioning of our role, capability and status.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

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#17
I don't disagree with anything said above on this thread, however I despair that it seems that nothing will persuade those in power from any party to take defence seriously - what will it take? Some humiliating catastrophe of a defeat?
In fairness to those in power, more often than not, the Army's been its own worst enemy - to the extent that our core doctrine downplays the importance of mass almost to the point of irrelevance, and our charismatic SF are forever whispering into the ears of impressionable ministers about how a few well-placed individuals can do the work of a Division (I exaggerate to make a point, but not by much).

The idea of 'punching above our weight' and 'doing more with less' is never far from the lips of those who should know better and what are the politicians to do if they're hearing this nonsense from individuals who are, after all, supposed to be the informed professionals?

No-one likes spending money on defence as there are few votes in it. Witnessing the brainless enthusiasm with which the military grasped the chance to play in Iraq (According to to Gordon Carrera in "M16 - Life and Death in the British Secret Service", the then CDS told Blair that he would have a real problem with the Army if they were not involved) and Helmand, the politicians could be forgiven for underestimating the problem and giving in to the temptation of defence cuts/under-funding.

The Army needs to become more politically savvy (in a positive way, not in a "let's stitch up the RAF and RN" sort of way) and those who lead it need to learn how to say 'no' when 'no' is the right answer.
 
#18
FF - excellent post, i couldnt agree more, particularly your point about SF suceeding at making ministers believe the legend, not the actual capability.

We have to learn that we are up a long creek due primarily to a large number of generals wanting a 'good war' ten years ago in herrick, and forcing MOD to lose the capability that really mattered in form of the RN and RAF to pay for their delusions.


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#19
..The Army needs to become more politically savvy...
Possibly it actually needs genuine leadership rather than the institutionalised, dogmatic variety it sometimes seems to exhibit. I've worked for US/Canadian corporations under men and women who had reached their heights on professional merit, organisational skill and cunning, knew where they were going, how to get there, and took their people (and stockholders) along with them. Military organisations tend to have much of the legwork of inspiring loyalty, trust and discipline granted by a badge or two and a uniform*. Being loyal to an ideal isn't the same as being told to be.

*Edit: and the blessed approval of the examiners at Sandhurst, of course.
 
#20
FF - excellent post, i couldnt agree more, particularly your point about SF suceeding at making ministers believe the legend, not the actual capability.
In that vein, Ewen Southby-Tailyour's book "Exocet Falklands - The Untold Story of Special Forces Operations" is an absolutely fascinating read, right up there with Michael Asher's "The Real Bravo Two Zero". I'm unable to voice an opinion on their accuracy, but it's always interesting to see an opposing, or at least non-breathless, view that questions the legend.

The book about the Falklands makes some very interesting reading regarding cognitive dissonance among SF types determined to re-enact Entebbe...
 

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