Did cut-backs contribute to the Iran hostage taking problem?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by SkiCarver, Apr 7, 2007.

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  1. Obviously there is going to be a review by the top brass, and I do not wish to step on anyones toes, however......

    I don’t believe that anyone can argue that there have been huge cut-backs in our armed forces over the last 20 years. I suspect that the MASSIVE cut-backs in the RN may have contributed to this situation. PERSEC and OPSEC allowing, of course, is there any truth in this?

    Are there any assets (Sigint, humint, surface vessels, air support, them, more equipment, more training facilities and time) which would have helped, either to prevent the situation at all or to aid in the ‘fixing’ after? I do not wish to discuss anything about the conduct of those taken as that has been done to death elsewhere.

    My opinion as a UK civvie is that we are morally bound to do all we can for those we put in harms way (in this context I am not concerned with the justifications for either current campaign). Has a specific failing occurred which can be attributable to the lack of ‘investment’ in our armed forces over the past couple of decades? – If so, what can be done to rectify the problem?

    Please pardon my presumption as I am not military but I would expect a very useful asset is a subtantial sigint capability. e.g. nimrod / ep3(?) (like the one which did the emergency landing in china, leading to a similar situation to that recently.) Do we have sufficient assets of this type, especially as we are reducing the number of these aircraft?
    Would extra assets like this have enabled us to know that the Iranians were planning the little incursion into Iraqi waters to kidnap our service personell? – this is just one example.

    I am guessing that some of the real answers to these questions should not be put up on a public discussion forum, but I can’t help but think that much of the blame for this rests with TB and GB. If we can link a lack of resources to this, than maybe we have some opportunity to do something about it.

  2. It is my opinion that cut backs did in no way contribute to the hostage taking.
  3. Fair enough. If it is the case that they had adiquate assets around and it was 'just one of those things' then ok. However, I can't help but feel that something has to give when an organisation is 'stretched' as HM armed forces is currently.

    edited for bad wordy languageness....
  4. No i think PERSEC / OPSEC aside this is preciely the place too be debating the the run down of the Armed forces due too cutbacks.

    My own experiance has been since options for change that the do more with less, has gone well past its sell by date!

    Without a doubt the lean years have made the whole of the forces more adaptible but! You reap what you sow.

    The treasurey has consistanly sewn less and less, together with contractorisation only profiting the contractors in many cases.

    Aldershot Garrison's death by contractor is my main experiance, but i am sure that many here have seen it in there garrison too.

    The problem is we are now left with no slack to either accomerdate mission drift or rapid redeployments.

    Liabour you know it makes sense :x
  5. Ah, Ski, if only the Ministry of Defence shared your views....

    All we can? The equipment wish-list is a very long one....
  6. Treasury cutbacks which started with renewed vigour under Thatcher after Denis Healey had made his economies 1976-79; and continued under Major until Brown could trim some more bone after the fat had all gone.

    There would have been no hostage taking if there had been a patrolling helicopter or even air patrols......it was the day the sentry on guard fell asleep. I mean the Americans had some soldiers kidnapped by terrorists dressed in US uniforms who went straight through the checkout - the mutilated GIs were found some time later.

    The Israelis wouldn't have lost their people if they had not been sloppy - a tank commander needs to request permission to kill insurgents ? Bureaucratisation of security leads to such things - I mean how else does Windsor Palace get so many uninvited visitors to Her Majesty unless the plods are asleep at their posts ?

    Things happen when people get complacent.

    Let's agree that the Royal Navy has become complacent and should be watching the movie about HMS Amethyst to work out how they would cope with sailing down the Yangtse under artillery fire from Chairman Mao's happy thugs.

    I suspect it is all surreal for the Royal Navy, and the RAF, and vivid technicolor for the British Army as they dread the thought of being kidnapped - I mean Taleban was not very nice to those French Special Forces troops they mutilated

    I don't know if the Royal Navy has been short-changed...yet. So far it is the Army that has not had Eurofighter, nor aircraft carriers, but it has lost its tanks, and seen Gordo Brown's capital charge lead to Military Stores being sold off to reduce Treasury levy on stocks.

    I wonder though...had the Iranians not kidnapped the 15 on 23rd March but simply killed them all as a warning; just what would the British and the Americans have done ?
  7. A great wringing of political hands. Brickett and Bliar jetting to the UN to seek further UN sanctions. Sanctions being watered down by Russias` veto achieving squat.

    Lots of political televised interviews condemning the action. International concern expressed. Ultimately achieving the square route of f*ck all. I wouldn`t wish to be reliant on this bunch as they have clearly shown that their only concerns are their political wellbeing and the lucrative trade contracts.

    Sounds a bit like Iraq!!!!!
  8. My bold.

    It occurs to me that the abductees had very small boats to get them to the ship they were inspecting, supported by a very big ship which couldn't enter the waterway. If the task at hand is to patrol a waterway, the navy should have boats which are suitable. If that means buying 20-30 medium size boats, then that is what they should have. Its all well and good to 'make do', however that has limits. The RN IMHO has been gutted by the labour government in its efforts to 'hide' the cost of the iraq and afg wars from the UK taxpayer. if this situation is as a result of those cut-backs, based on the idea that noone will notice the reduction in size of the navy, then maybe the governments chickens have come home to roost. we have been in Iraq for years now, plenty of time to get all the right equipment in place, but only if you can afford it. Again, just my suspision, but my feeling is that the government didn't feel that any RN would get killed by the cuts and therefore the RN is a 'soft target' as there is no accompaning publicity to highlight the lack of funding.


    axe -> grrrrrrrr .... grrrrr........ sparks flying.......
  9. I'll tell you what I believed caused all this. Journos.

    First the captured team were on BBC talking about there mission, admitting to their int gathering role. A few days later they are captured.

    The press let it be known that Faye Turner is a mother. What a gift to her interrogaters, especially after a few slaps and a couple of nights without sleep. Imagine the pressure that could be imparted with that knowledge delieved courtesy of the Beeb.

    How about when they further compromised her by the Times letting slip that the significance of 12 crosses on one of her letters was being analayised by MOD? Did this lead to another kicking by her captors to get her to reveal a supposed code?

    How about alll the other information given away by the press in their background stories, all of which could be fed back to captors as evidence of an ominiprecent Iranian intelligence organisation, or where it was revealled that refering to "F99" instead of CORNWELL was a sign of non cooperation? Did this comment lead to our guys getting another slap?

    So miffed was I about all this that I rang around some news papers to find out where there info was coming from. The Standard "Didn't understand" why releasing this stuff about Turney was putting her at risk. The Mail just kept repeating "PA PA" The Sun guy, god bless him, understood exactly what the risks were here but said they merely put out what MOD gave them.

    I beleive that far too much was given away on these people prior to and after capture, all of which contributed to their situation. This is one thing that needs an urgent review.

  10. nice post. I wholly agree. the Iranians must have been searching all the british press like kids unwrapping christmas presents. discraceful.

  11. Looks like our Great Leader wanted to sabre rattle and then found that Gordon had sold the sabre's. You could almost pity Tone if the Defence Chiefs hadn't already warned him of that fact
  12. Yes it's true. But they can point out that "We told you it was a stupid thing to do, old chap. No point coming crying to us when it all goes wrong".

    And they'd be right. These are the problems we get into when we allow our foreign policy to be dictated by a shaved chimp in a suit.
  13. What 'hostages' were they? I think I've missed that story. Could somebody update me?

  14. Ski,

    With reference to your questions about certain capabilities and whether it would have helped-I'm sorry but you're not going to get an answer on that one.

    With reference to the RN being slashed, well, I've been in 10 years and I've seen the RN being shafted and cut back to a skeleton force.

    The ships that I've been on have hosted a fair few Capbadges for a few weeks at a time and all of them have said after leaving the ship that they didn't actually realise what the RN got up to.

    The operational tempo is quite intense and believe me, it isn't getting easier. The current government's insistence that the new ships we are getting are more capable doesn't tell the whole truth-exactly how the hell is one ship capable of being in more than one place at the same time?

    The new ships will be a welcome addition to the Fleet considering that they'll be replacing ships designed in the 70's however in order to do the job, we'll need the number requested.

    Of course, Labour don't give a fcuking toss about that.
  15. Would something like the American river patrol boats of vietnam era
    been a better bet than a rib ?At least both sides would have been looking down big guns .Or would that be considered provocation ?