Defence Cuts - Worse with Labour

This is why I will ALWAYS vote Tory no matter how turquoise the shade of blue.

These quotes from this Telegraph article say it all to me:

"Defence, less sensitive in electoral terms than health, education and welfare, is already in the Treasury's sights."

"Gordon Brown has shown little affection for the military – it was he, after all, who combined the posts of Defence Secretary and Scottish Secretary, relegating supervision of the Armed Forces to the status of part-time job. "

"Unloved by their civilian masters, the Service chiefs have taken to fighting amongst themselves"

Yes I know there needs to be cuts and both the Tories & Labour will cut the defence budget, especially since the Tories have ringfenced Health (don't ask, but it's probably shrewd in opinion poll terms), but it just shows the disdain that Stalinists (Brown) have over our armed forces.

I thought the Services each got a third of the Defence budget regardless..
What do you expect from a bunch of "ex" CND'ers?
Labour have never been a party that supports defence spending. Parapauk has to go back 30 years to find cuts under the Conservatives, and these were either the benefit of the end of the cold war or were reversed pretty quickly following the Falklands.

In the '70s Labour service pay increases were met with massive increases in food and accomodation, resulting in an overall loss for anyone serving.
parapauk said:
Notts Review, Options for Change, Front Line First...
Not really a good argument is it and certainly no justification for more cuts to defence.
stoatman said:
What do you expect from a bunch of "ex" CND'ers?
Marxist " 'ex' CND'ers.

However, it not simply Defence these hopeless half-wits fail to understand.

Education, now a national disgrace, with 4 out of 10 school-leavers unable to read, write and 'do sums'. Yet still, the bug-eyed Messianic Balls insists on greater control and further levelling down. Why cannot the awful man aspire to and publicly declare his aspiration, to make every State school the educational and social equal of Eton? The aspiration may never be met, but it would improve matters.

(Remember: if the Electorate is largely semi-literate, unskilled in basic mathematics and unable to understand more complex concepts of 'government', they are more unlikely effectively to oppose).

Health, ever more money thrown at it with 'vote-catching' intent, whilst 'super-bugs' and managers proliferate in seemingly equal measure.

Economy, need anything be said. Any six year child understands that to spend a pound on sweets he or she needs to have a pound. Brown has failed this six year old 'examination' in gold-plated, diamond encrusted spades.

Business, the driving forces of this government towards business is to tax, regulate, tie-up with bureaucracy - thus employing more 'flies in the Brown vote-web', tax some more and most damaging of all the blind, incoherent adherence to every single directive or whim emanating from the unelected, unaccountable, inauditable, corrupt, pernicious and wholly unacceptable fricasse of dog vomit that is the European Soviet Union.

The list of this government's inadequacies is practically endless. The prime minister Mr. Mandelson will however, be held to account and his membership of a disgraced and bad joke called the House of 'Lords' will not preclude his receiving just retribution.
You would have thought the defence budget would be roughly split in three for the three Service's.......however it doesnt work like that when you look into it a little deeper.

Its Undeniable that the Army is doing the vast bulk of the work of the Armed Forces at the moment,you do not need to trot out statistics to prove it.

Yes the RAF need to modernise their aircraft.When you have the R.A.F. re-equipping its entire air arm with the new Eurofighters, which I think are going for about £70 million a piece at least.....and the vast numbers they are being ordered weapons, this one example shows how the R.A.F. require more than 1/3 of the budget.

Yes the Navy do need new ships,Yes they do need to replace those ancient carriers of ours,I think the last i heard the carriers were going to cosy upwards of £2.2 billion.That is another big slice of the pie.

Problem is that everyone of those idiots in government that have anything to do with procurement and have an influence on new equipment have never served in the Forces........They are still thinking of big,sexy billion pound ships and massively over-priced aircraft that were designed for the cold war.

They have no concept on how the little things like a decent set of issue boots...improved ration packs.....hi-tech sleeping bags....well designed and well made clothing....reliable and robust equipment ( all sorely needed ) will win more wars than any multi-billion floating airport ever could.

Read an excellent book on this....... Lion's,Donkey's and Dinosaur's......goes into depth how all this inter-service bickering started because of the coldwar thinking amongst all three Arms,and how the obscene amounts of money are fixed to certain arms manufacturers who get contracts regardless of quality of product.
Isquared - there is no way that Lord Rumba will get his (well deserved) comeuppance. He is now in the backscratching club where the musical chairs ensure that he will go from well-paid sinecure to well paid sinecure.

Watch the scramble of the non-entities if (when?) Teflon Tone gets the EU presidency (as reported today). There will be a Dunkirk in reverse with panic stricken ex-Liarbour MPs scrambling for well paid, expenses heavy jobs for the boys (and girls) in Europe. And Lord Rumba will be first in the queue.
BaldBaBoon said:
Its Undeniable that the Army is doing the vast bulk of the work of the Armed Forces at the moment,you do not need to trot out statistics to prove it.

Not entierly accurate, Royal Navy personnel make up half of the UK forces in Afghanistan. Thats as well as fulfilling all the other comitments the Navy has.
Whilst I agree with most of your points the time for funding rivallry between the services is long gone. We either have a strong effective defence of this country or we dont, it comprises of three services all of which must be adequatly funded.
Here's a sobering thought - the interest that we are paying on the massive debts that Cyclops and his cronies have run up will soon equal the Defence budget.

Don't think that anyone in this bunch of former student activists and closet Marxists have any time for the armed forces - many of them (particularly Gordon) hate the forces. The last Defence debate, scheduled for the date of the local elections, attracted 11 MPs, only one of which was Liarbour.

They have shown their contempt for the forces by putting appointing a succession of non-entities as Defence Secretary culminating in the current former Marxist - Bob Aintworthit.
I wish Cyclops and his commie toss pot pals would realise they get damned fine value for money from the armed forces. Polly Toynbee was bleating on a wee while ago about the what the carriers are, excuse me Miss Toynbee et al but 4 billion is feck all compared to what nulab waste on pointless sh!te.

I.D cards, useless NHS I.T. system etc, etc
In the Army, relatively small and lightweight systems generally 'man' the individual. In the RN and the RAF, individuals generally 'man' complex, sometimes enormous, systems. Most fighting vehicles and other 'large' bits of Army kit are usually available off the shelf and can be replaced easily but it takes 10-20 years to design, develop, build and trial a technologically advanced warship or aircraft that is going to stand the test of time throughout its existence (30, 40, possibly 50 years), and then put it into service. Then there is the associated infrastructure to consider. No wonder such items involve huge capital expense.

We have all heard about 'Defence Inflation' being higher than that for normal acquisitions but this is not the only problem. Paradoxically, it is often the Treasury constraints and stipulations involved in the complicated multi-level review and approval process that add time and cost to large Defence equipment projects, particularly those where sunrise technology is involved. These include oft-repeated Balance of Investment studies, Combined Operational Effectiveness Investment Appraisals (COEIAs), Cost Benefit Analyses, Risk Assesments and protracted Feasibility Studies. The there are all the legal aspects to consider w.r.t. posssible international collaboration, the allocation of work to approved contractors, duty of care towards operators in system design, habitability aspects, etc. Proposals are shuffled backwards and forwards between departments before being forwarded to the next level in the chain, often to be returned for more i-dotting and t-crossing. These activities can be so prolonged that, in the meantime, some aspects of the requirement may have changed and need to be incorporated. Any benefits of volume production (economies of scale) are lost when cuts to the order are implemented midway through the project. One can only imagine the effect on Unit Production Cost (UPC) of the Type 45 destroyer after the initial SDR requirement for 12 was halved to six.

One final word, nearly 50% of Service personnel in Afghanistan has routinely been provided by the Naval Service. To this can be added the contribution of the RAF. So let's get away from this idea that the Army has been saddled with 90% of the effort while only having 10% of the Defence spend. Is the money spent on aircraft providing transport, CAS, CASEVAC, reconnaissance and surveillance wasted? Is the spending on military sealift and the force protection providing vehicles, fuel, ammunition, stores, spares and food unnecessary? Should the money spent on ships (and sometimes submarines) gathering vital intelligence, protecting Iraqi offshore oil installations, and defending the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) against mining and equally insidious threats be spent elsewhere? As the DT article says, once the assets needed to perform these tasks disappear, we will never get them back. In an increasingly unstable world competing for even the most basic resources, we do this at our peril.

Incidentally, in 1953 the UK Defence Budget was 11.3% of GDP. By the 1966 Defence Review, it had been reduced to 6.6%. This morning, I heard it is now 2.2%. Good job we're no longer fighting any wars, isn't it?

Don't waste your time reading anything written by the knobjock Page.


Agree. See also Warships Sieze Taliban Drugs/Maritime Aspects of Current Ops

See also this PPRuNe thread: Defence: Public ignorance, the media, and cutbacks

With reference to seaborne logstics for supporting Herrick:

Heavy things like armoured vehicles are moved mostly by sea, then transported overland to Afghanistan. This report from the NAO is worth reading: Support to High Intensity Operations (PDF)

Protecting this shipping is a NATO naval role - imagine the consequences of a vessel full of Mastiffs being sunk or captured. in operational theatres they need naval protection. We should remember terrorists have attacked maritime targets before and will do so again. Hezbollah used Iranian suppiled anti ship missiles. The LTTE Sea Tigers used various suicide craft, light aircraft and even divers and improvised mines and torpedoes - they even had built a suicide midget submarine but it was captured. Al Qaeda has used suicide boat attacks in harbour and at sea, they also used suicide bombers to attack a US boarding party in the Gulf, planned to crash explosive laden aircraft into Western naval vessels in the Gulf, and considered using a mother ship to launch multiple suicide attacks with speedboats.

Given the diverse range of possible threats it would seem like a sensible precaution to escort ships carry vehicles and other equipment for the Afghan theatre. The terrorists only have to be lucky once - we have to be lucky every time.

This page from Hansard from last November is worthy of note as well.

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the current tasks set by his Department are for the Royal Navy’s (a) destroyers and frigates and (b) submarines; and how many of each of these classes of warship are required to be on station to fulfil each task. [235627]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The current tasks for destroyers, frigates and submarines are as shown.

I have included the number of destroyers and frigates on station but I am withholding detailed information on the numbers of submarines on task as its release would, or would be likely to prejudice national security.

DD/FF current tasks - Number on station

Op TELIC (Nth Arabian Gulf) - One permanently committed

Op CALASH (Indian Ocean —counter terrorism and capacity building coalition) - One permanently committed

NATO Response Force - One nominated and permanently assigned to a standing force

Atlantic Patrol Task (South) - One permanently committed

Support to Strategic Deterrence - One nominated, at extremely high readiness and activated when required

Atlantic Patrol Task (North) - One core hurricane season only (May to November)

Integrity of the UK - Three nominated, one immediate, two extremely high readiness and activated when required

ESDP Counter Piracy - One temporarily assigned pending confirmation of the requirement


Strategic Intelligence —

Support to Strategic Deterrence —

Integrity of the UK —


Falkland Islands Contingency —

The number of units on station does not reflect the generation factors which are the number of hulls essential to produce the required units for each station. These factors vary and are dependent on whether a task is rouled (continuous) or non-rouled. The figures also exclude the units held at very high readiness for contingent operations.

This was before the RN was formally committed to anti piracy opeartions. I would point out that ships assigned to the NATO Response Force participate in Operation Active Endeavour - see this from NATO.

Maritime activities in the Arabian Sea and elsewhere are connected to what happens on land in Afghanistan (and other places), such as interdicting drug smuggling that the Taliban uses to raise funds, and keeping a lid on other nefarious activities like moving people or weapons around. The above question and answer did not mention the roles and ativities of carriers, amphibious forces, mines counter measures vessels, hydrographic survey ships, patrol vessels, RFAs, or Fleet Air Arm units.

So yes, the RN is commited to both the Iraqi and Afghan theatres, the latter in a support role, and to the wider war on terror.
Dunservin said:
One final word, nearly 50% of Service personnel in Afghanistan has routinely been provided by the Naval Service.
This figure gets bandied about almost as much as this:

Dunservin said:
So let's get away from this idea that the Army has been saddled with 90% of the effort while only having 10% of the Defence spend.
Do you have a reliable reference for either?

Dunservin said:
One final word, nearly 50% of Service personnel in Afghanistan has routinely been provided by the Naval Service.
I remember my suprise when hearing this statistic a year or two back. Its based on an interview on the R4 Today programme, and refers to a period when 3 Cdo Bde were in Helmand.

While the claim has some validity - yes the RN technically do routinely as in at regular but not even yearly intervals provide 50% of personnel in Afg - it gives a very misleading impression.

msr said:
Dunservin said:
One final word, nearly 50% of Service personnel in Afghanistan has routinely been provided by the Naval Service.
This figure gets bandied about almost as much as this:

Dunservin said:
So let's get away from this idea that the Army has been saddled with 90% of the effort while only having 10% of the Defence spend.
Do you have a reliable reference for either?

Glad to oblige. In fact, the Naval Service has sometimes provided over 50% of UK military personnel in southern Afghanistan. By Admiral Sir Jonathan Band, the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, speaking on 29 September 2007 (link):

Chief of the Naval Staff said:
...Somewhat understandably, our military focus remains rooted around operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Navy's support to them in conjunction with our sister services. In Afghanistan, until earlier this year, the Naval Service supplied over 50% of the total forces deployed in southern Afghanistan. This included not only the Royal Marines of 3 Cdo Bde, but 800 Naval Air Squadron and significant numbers of logistic support, medical and HQ staff contributing to operations.

Similarly in Iraq, the Royal Navy maintains a greater presence than you might think, made up of support helicopters, support staff, protection units, at times 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines and our commitment to training the fledgling Iraqi Navy. You will be pleased to hear we are still able to take a gun off one of our ships and take it inland - very much the tradition of the naval brigades - we are currently providing some close protection for Basrah airport with the Phalanx gun system complete with their operators and a support team of engineers. We also provide protection for the offshore oil and gas platforms through which flow 90% of Iraq's GDP. Numbers are rising again. 40 CDO/ 800 NAS are deploying as we speak...
As I understand it, 3 Cdo Bde and the FAA, etc., haven't gone out of business yet. Then there is the RAF to consider.

As to your second point, this from an interview with Gen Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, published on 16 June 2009 (link):

Chief of the General Staff in The Sun said:
...In a swipe at huge spending plans for RAF jets and the Royal Navy, he said the notion that the Army is having to do 90 per cent of today’s fighting with just ten per cent of the equipment budget as “not far off the mark”...
Seriously though, 90 per cent (or even not far off)?
Theralas said:
What I would like to know is, what would the Tories do if they got in power next election?
Cut the quangos, cut the Civil service bin the vast army of Government advisors reduce the number of MPs and then look at the books!

I would think a cut to the three services and the direct support to HMF would be unlikely, but the gucci kit might be longer in coming.
What a brutal job the next Gov is going to have just to redress the crass waste of money this crew of lunatics have presided over.

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