Explaining SDR - guidance for Staff

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by stabtastic, Dec 17, 2007.

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  1. 1. This guidance is being issued to remedy a perceived difficulty experienced by Staff at all levels in understanding the rationale behind recent Defence re-structuring. In particular many Staff Officers seem not to understand how reducing the numbers of aircraft, ships, tanks, artillery and soldiers results in a more flexible, robust and effective fighting force.

    2. In particular it seems that much of the confusion stems from a systemic misunderstanding of the correct use of military terminology. A list of common terms and actual meanings follows.

    3. In addition there follows an explanation of the key assumptions embedded within the Defence Review. All Staff Officers are encouraged to seek clarification through their Chain of Command if they still have any questions.

    4. Staff Terminology used in the new Defence Plan;

    Flexible - a. Smaller. b. Unable to operate unless under US "protection."

    Robust - a. Smaller. b. Lacking reserves or regeneration capability.

    Networked - Smaller, but still unable to talk to each other.

    Capable - Smaller.

    Agile - Really, really small.

    Deployability - Method of making the Forces, primarily the Army, able to send higher percentages of their manpower to a distant location. This is achieved by reducing the overall numbers involved, i.e. "In future the Army will be able to send 50% of it's manpower to Africa in the back of a Cessna, thus achieving greater deployability".

    Reach - The distance the American's are willing to fly us.

    Efficient - Much, much smaller.

    Streamlined - Just unbelievably small.

    Just in time - For the funeral.

    Integrated - Process by which all three services get to brief against each other in public leaks, attempting to justify and defend their own budget against cuts, thereby doing the Treasury's work for them. Taken to extremes by the Army in which Corps and Regiments fight each other, and perfected within the Infantry.

    Technically ambitious - a. Slang, as in "He was being a bit technically ambitious when he tried to drive that car through the wall" (cf, 'To propose a Bowman') b. Description of the far future.

    Reserves - Integral part of current Operational Manning.

    Rationalisation - a. Cuts b. Psychological term, meaning to use complicated arguments to avoid facing unpalatable truths, i.e., "don't need to pay for both expensive servicemen and equipment, because we will be networked, agile, and technically ambitious".

    Rapid - Used in a comparative sense, as in "The rapid erosion of the Himalayan Mountains".

    Modernisation - Cuts.

    Radica l - Deep Cuts.

    Transformation - Really Deep Cuts.

    Sustainable - Assuming zero casualties, no leave and no emergencies.

    Sentences such as "these proposals capture our aim for a speedy deployable, agile, joint and integrated, technically ambitious defence capability" will make more logical sense to the experienced Staff Officer once the above definitions are applied.

    4. It will also help if Staff Officer's bear in mind the following Planning Principles. Point c will be of particular relevance in explaining the rationale behind restructuring to Junior Staff.

    a. Use of Special Forces. No one in the general public has a clue how many there are, so they can be announced as deploying to every country in the world.

    b. Aggressive use of terminology can compensate for lack of actual forces. For example in the past effective deterrence of a reasonably capable Maritime threat would require the des patch of a task force, consisting of des troyers, frigates, submarines and possibly even a carrier. In the future this task will still be achieved by a task force; but task-force will be the new des cription for a mine-sweeper.

    c. The new Defence Plan was not resource driven. A comprehensive strategic estimate was conducted, from first principles, identifying the current and potential threats to the UK and it's interests, allowing a reserve for the unexpected, and also allowing for recurrent non-warfighting tasks such as Fire Strike cover, Floods and Foot and Mouth disease. Against the tasks identified an ideal manpower establishment and Task Org was then identified. By an amazing coincidence it happened to fit almost exactly within current Treasury MOD expenditure plans, and even allows the MOD to carry half the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    d. Much of the current crisis in Defence Spending can be directly traced to the high costs of legacy equipments. These were ordered at a time of ignorance in the past when Planners naively seemed to believe that the threat they identified as imminent would remain the same for the 20-30 year service life of the equipment they were ordering. The assumption in the 1980s and 90s that tanks, artillery, and aircraft would be needed in the future was ridiculous, as none of these equipments have been used by the British Armed forces to any degree since the Falklands war. However, current planners possess better foresight and are able to predict future threats for at least the next 40 years. We are therefore able to be certain that Britain is unlikely to need any tanks, aircraft, submarines etc. past about 2015.

    e. Britain no longer needs a significant anti-submarine capability. No other nation possesses submarines in any numbers, submarine technology is unlikely to advance at all over the next few 30 years, and should anti-submarine technology or skills be required at any point in the future they can be reconstituted overnight from the reserves. (once the reserves have been reconstituted). In any case by 2020 the UK will be fully integrated into mainland Europe, and will therefore no longer have a coastline to defend or be reliant upon sea-supply.

    f. Similar arguments apply to air defence.

    g. The Regimental System. In the past the Regimental System has been seen as the corner-stone of British Military success, creating a system in which the individual is made to feel part of a greater family, often stretching back hundreds of years, in which he is nurtured and developed, and to which he feels such great loyalty that he is inspired to sacrifice himself if need be for his Regimental comra des . However, the British youth of today are so naturally self-sacrificing and community spirited that additional incentives are now unnecessary, and in any case the threat to soldiers on the ground has been assumed away. There is therefore no further need for a system whose main purpose is to generate fighting spirit, and it can be safely emasculated to achieve administrative efficiency (see 'Efficient' above).

    h. High divorce rates within the Services will solve manpower crises, by ensuring all service personnel will be happy to conduct back-to-back tours forever, as no one will have any families or friends to miss.

    i. Savings will be ploughed into the purchase of large numbers of hats. This will be essential as in future everyone will be at least treble or quadruple hatted. Wars will be fought in rotation on a strict 'first come, first served' basis.

    k. Future savings will be made by abolishing all training for the Chiefs of Staff. After all they haven't proven remotely as effective at manoeuvre warfare, disruption, dislocation or divide-and-rule as the Treasury.

    l. Successive efficiency measures can be made to reinforce each other. For example, each time troop numbers are cut, a unit can then be tasked to conduct the same jobs as before. Provided there are no actual massacres of Friendly Forces, the new troop numbers can be seen to have been fully as effective as the previous numbers, and so can form a baseline for achieving efficiency cuts to new troop numbers. Savings can then be invested in new equipment, in the same way that British Airways fires half its pilots every time it needs to buy a new plane. The ultimate aim is to have one man, but equipped like Dr Octopus. He will sleep with one eye open at all times to replicate full manning.

    m. Key Assumptions: Current levels of operations are an aberration, will never be repeated, and should form no guide to current manning requirements, let alone future ones. Gerry Adams has embraced peace, there is no more requirement for crowd control in Northern Ireland, the FBU have forsworn strikes along with all other key public workers, Osama Bin Laden is about to hand himself in and the Easter Bunny will be providing Area Air Defence for London.

    5. More detailed guidance can be found in JSP 4708 - 'Magic Mushrooms, their consumption, effects and results in the MOD' and Des Browne's Autobiography 'What Colour is the Sky in My World?'


    I M Promoted

    SO2 Spin

    Ministry of Truth

    Orwell Bldg

    MOD 1984
  2. Ah, okay. I was wondering why the Shorter Oxford didn't help me make sense of this endless stream of pronouncements from on high. I will have to go back and denounce myself with the assistance of your useful translation guide.

    Do you have one on hand we can use for interpreting between Secretary of State (part-time) for Scotland and Secretary of State (part-time) for Defence?
  3. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Brilliant!. :D
  4. Sorry for boring you.

    Tell me though, Gravelbelly old chap - did you really spend all morning going through page after page of mostly drivel and then laboriously pasting links in?

    I'm glad I was able to fill your morning for you though.

    Happy to help.

  5. Sorry if I offended, I did put :twisted: in there.... I did smile, just as I had all of the previous times.

    As for being a sad b**tard (it's twoo, it's twoo), here's what I did in Firefox:

    Using the "search posts" at the top right of the page, select right-click "Open link in new tab". Use "Search for Keywords", add "flexible robust networked", select "search for all terms". Meanwhile, open a "quote" on the original tab.

    Go to the search results page, use right-click "copy link location". Go back to original tab, select "paste". Repeat six more times. What, twenty-odd clicks, and three words that rarely appear together. Three minutes at lunchtime?