Forces chief misses talks in Washington.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jan 12, 2010.

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  1. From The Times
    January 12, 2010
    Forces chief misses talks in Washington after self-imposed travel ban
    Michael Evans and Tom Coghlan

    Britain’s most senior defence adviser has not travelled to the US to see his counterpart in recent months because of a self-imposed money-saving travel ban.

    The decision by Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup to lead by example in a cost-cutting drive during a period of intense policymaking in Washington has been criticised by other senior officers.

    It is understood that officials are concerned that British influence over US military policy in Afghanistan is suffering as a result of his failure to hold face-to-face meetings with Admiral Mike Mullen.

    Tensions within the upper echelons of the Armed Forces have been rising before what are certain to be brutal cuts in a Strategic Defence Review due after the election.

    The Times reported yesterday on pressure from within the Armed Services for Sir Jock, who has been Chief of the Defence Staff since 2006, to be replaced before his 2011 retirement. A senior Whitehall source described Sir Jock as “dead meat” regardless of who wins the general election.
  2. Perhaps he could not be bothered going through septic customs getting his balls padded down filling out the pre flight who are you what is your job etc form and waiting in queues for hours only to be effed about by another bunch of beauracratic twats :D
  4. What nonsense.
  5. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Doubt very much he'd have to do that
    We went to the states in 2003 and came off the plane to buses on the pan and straight to the U.S. Army base

    Likewise leaving the states it was p1ssing it down
    Buses took us from Yank base to aircraft steps

    The U.S. baggage handlers chucked a wobbler about the weight of the bergans so the U.S. lads including their Col formed a working party and unloaded the buses

    Very nice service

    I would have thought a VC 10 from Brize would have done the job for him
  6. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    Ridiculous that:
    - Our defense chief can't "afford" (!) to travel for talks with our key ally in the midst of a real, shooting war;
    - Yet more defence cuts are coming when it seems pretty clear that the forces have been fighting this war with tremendous equipment shortfalls and are undermanned as they are;
    - People in this country honestly believe that we can influence US policy in COIN operations following the Iraq humiliation and ongoing lack of significent success in Helmand.

    I would guess that our role in Afghan, from the American perspective, is more important from a political (ie so the Americans can say "This is not just us, we have allies...") than a miltary perspective. It seems clear that US forces will continue to take over more and more of the responsibility in the Helmand AO, and will dictate the strategic and operational plans.

    Perhaps the back story to this article is that Sir Jock didn't feel it worth going to the Pentagon as he has little to offer and realizes that the Americans are in no mood to take strategic or tactical direction from the UK Armed Forces.
  7. I'm inclined to agree with the majority of this.

    Poor show not putting in a face-to-face with your oppo in the US. Makes us look like paupers too. OK, we are, but there's keeping up appearances...