First Gen Lamb, Then Gen Richards and Now Lt Col Bazeley

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Whet, Apr 6, 2010.

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  1. “In fact, while every casualty is in itself a tragedy, this remains one of the least costly campaigns in this Army’s 300-year history we lost 129 soldiers killed in Northern Ireland alone.

    “We are succeeding, yet there is a conspiracy of pessimism among some quarters in the UK suggesting that we are losing as a result of military attrition. That is just wrong and it does a great disservice to the British forces out here.”

    The general gist of this article is something I have long considered and find that I agree with.
  2. Please show me a single sensible report that suggests the UK is losing as a result of military attrition.
  3. And please define `Military Attrition`.
  4. Apart from the fact that under a clear-hold-build strategy a reduction in casualty rates would suggest that you have succeeded in clearing the enemy and were holding the area. The only thing we have managed to clear from Kajaki in the last three years is the local population, at terrible cost to both life and limb.

    The general public will accept high casualty figures if the battle is being won and soldiers are dying for the right reasons. The 'Diana effect' has probably saved a lot of lives over the last thirty years.
  5. We definitely need to stay strong ( and i say this as a parent of a son who has already seen out one tour of Afghan)
  6. udipur

    udipur LE Book Reviewer

    I think you might find it's the formal way of describing casualty rates.

    Attrition: a gradual diminution in number or strength because of constant stress

    Military: ... I think you get the picture
  7. Interestingly, I understand in US circles, "military attrition" refers to what we would call "recruit drop-out rate" or similar.

    A couple of links for Whet to ponder as he tries to find the conspiracy that he claims he's long believed to exist...

    Military Attrition: Better Screening of Enlisted Personnel Could Save DOD Millions of Dollars
    Military Attrition: Better Data, Coupled With Policy Changes, Could Help the Services Reduce Early Separations
    Gender and trauma as predictors of military attrition: a study of Marine Corps recruits

    Maybe the good Colonel is concerned with the effect of the Afghan mission on recruiting. Or is it the other way round?
  8. Clearly it would be nonsense to suggest that the UK is actually losing as a result of military attrition. Whether one agrees or not, surely the point of the article is about public perceptions - influenced by casualty figures - that progress is not being made. Personally I thought that those quoted in the article make some pretty useful points.
  9. Personally, I thought the good Colonel had very cleverly chosen his words to appear to say exactly what his media handlers wanted him to say, whilst actually saying nothing.
  10. good call, sounds about right!
  11. Apropos of absolutely fck-all, I was re-reading one of the histories of First Somme. The most accepted figure for KIA, on the first day, was 20000. For some reason, this time, that figure just leapt out at me.

    Twenty thousand men, killed, in one day of Ops. Twenty THOUSAND.

    Total casualties (killed, wounded and MIA) are usually accepted as 50000.

    There was a footnote that I had'nt noticed before. A calculation was prepared for Lloyd George, apparently driven by the Somme figures: it forecast that, if attrition rates were to remain constant, by 1918 the German Army would have no men left. The British and Empire forces would have 18000 men left.

    It must be my age but that really shook me up.
  12. I think I may have posted before that we may be shooting ourselves in the foot (or the media shooting us in the back!) in that each death the enemy manage to inflict in current Ops has about 4 times the effect as we have

    1. A solider has been killed Press release
    2. Soldier named press release
    3. Soldier repatraited press release and wooton basset procession
    4. relatives on the telly
    (5. Inquest by uninformed coroner blaming lack of kit rather than the enemy)

    If every casualty in a Sherman in WW2 led to media calls that it was obviously not up to the job and we'd better sack churchill and buy a better tank we'd neve have got out of Normandy.
  13. And another thing, I can understand the friends and relatives want to hear that their child/mate was a good bloke and his contribution was valued by the Army and Country, but... pages and pages of tributes to each casualty on the MOD website, detailing how every private was destined to be the next wellington until his career was so cruely cut short....may contribute to ramping up the impact of a (historically) small number of casualties in the public perception.
  14. Talking loud and saying nothing......

    The morale sapping effect are these and other similar articles before it. What is it about 'those of a certain rank' who can't help themselves and go to the papers hell bent on ranting "The country doesn't understand what the lads are going through", "We're talking ourselves into defeat...." Is it that they have some unfinished business with Afg (gone native) or are they lining themselves up as the new Colonel Bob Stewert or Lt Col Richard Kemp?
    I go along with Whitecity's remark 'Please show me a single sensible report that suggests the UK is losing as a result of military attrition'.