Gen. Jackson or L-Gen Houghton to be head of Armed Forces?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hansvonhealing, Jul 14, 2008.

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  1. The Times
    July 14, 2008

    Army commanders David Richards and Nick Houghton to jump queue for top jobs

    Michael Evans, Defence Editor

    Two senior army commanders with unrivalled experience in Iraq and Afghanistan have been identified as the top candidates to become the next head of the Armed Forces.

    The choice of General Sir David Richards, who commanded Nato troops in Afghanistan, and Lieutenant-General Sir Nick Houghton, who was deputy commander of the US-led Multinational Force in Iraq, means that the next generation of top army officers are deemed by ministers to be more suitable to take on the role of Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) than any of the present Service chiefs.

    The decision amounts to a revolution within the Ministry of Defence, with a deliberate move to bypass the ones who would, traditionally, be the most eligible candidates — the heads of the Royal Navy, Army and RAF — and to wait for the new breed of commanders to take the top spot.

    To ensure that the present Service chiefs - Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, First Sea Lord, General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, Chief of the Air Staff - do not feel too miffed by being overlooked for the CDS role, Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, has asked Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the encumbent CDS, to stay on until 2011.

    This will make Sir Jock the longest-standing CDS in history, remaining in the top post for five years. He was due to have retired next year.

    The MoD insists that Sir Jock was asked to stay on as CDS to maintain continuity while the Armed Forces are engaged in such high-tempo operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the real reason is that ministers had decided that the next CDS should be someone who has had command experience in either or both of these campaigns, and that meant waiting for another two years, because the best candidates are still working their way up the promotion ladder.

    There are also good candidates for the top job coming up through the Royal Navy and RAF, but the two army commanders are viewed as the chief rivals to succeed Sir Jock in 2011. The Royal Navy candidate would be Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, Commander-in-Chief Fleet, and the RAF man would be Air Chief Marshal Sir Clive Loader, Commander-in-Chief Air Command. But General Richards, 56, Commander-in-Chief Land Command, and General Houghton, 53, the Chief of Joint Operations in charge of all overseas missions, are considered to be the best candidates, with the former edging ahead because of his experience as commander of Nato's International Security Assistance Force in 2006-07.
  2. Phew thought the POD was cumming back.
    Still blame him for doing the army out of 4 battalions before his reorganization on Inf battalions was carried out.
  3. I don't object to the idea in principle, you put the most experienced people in the best positions, however, this feels like justification after the fact, for not putting Dannett in the top job.
  4. Basically, whoever is the most complient Government puppet will get it. Phrases from a future CDS like 'we are not currently overstretched' and 'we are cutting numbers in our defence forces to re-organise into a smaller better equipped force' spring to mind.
  5. Don't know much about Richards but Houghton is very much in Dannat's mould and indeed from same Regt.

    Had heard this rumour a few weeks ago and it kind of makes sense if CGS is not going to get the job as would be expected.
  6. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Agreed. They have to put a smiley face on the hilt of the knife used to stab Sir Richard, but it is indeed a smiley face. There is rarely anyone better to head the armed forces than those with actual command experience in wartime - like, just for example, erm, General Sir Richard Dannatt of course.
  7. Richards has an ARRSE account and profile I believe and spent a fair bit of time surfing ARRSE when running NATO in Afghanistan. So cannot be all that bad......... apart from the thread when he was attempting to offload some Robbie Williams tickets.....
  8. Is this the same Richards that was Comd ARRC, or 1 Sig Bde?
  9. He was COMARRC.

    Gen Houghton was COSARRC when Gen Dannatt was COMARRC.......

    IIRC, he is a Green Howard, just like CGS.

    This is a not unexpected situation. Gen Dannatt has stood up for his men ( and women ) and has p1ssed off the Govt. I do suspect that he was fully aware of the ramifications of his actions when he took them, and it is more of an indictment on the w@nkers in the Govt, than the Generals performance in the chair, that this situation has come to pass.

    Roll on the election.
  10. Here is one about the present CDS;

    Sir Jock's a blunt weapon
    Last updated at 10:20 PM on 13th July 2008

    Comments (0) Add to My Stories

    Whitehall warrior: Sir Jock Stirrup

    With a name which might have been invented by Jilly Cooper for a sexmad master of foxhounds, our Chief of Defence Staff, Sir Jock Stirrup, is something of a disappointment in the flesh.

    Discreet, grey, cautious - and never likely to rock the boat like his subordinate, Chief of the General Staff Sir Richard Dannatt - Sir Jock appeared on breakfast TV yesterday to utter a string of comforting platitudes about our Armed Forces.

    Afghanistan is merely a matter of training locals to do their own fighting and that's going well, he says, although 'the international community' will be there for years.

    This makes it sounds as we're all in it together, and equally. But Britain contributes far more than every other ally except America. Some of the ' international community' there won't expose themselves to battle at all.

    Overstretched? Our Army is under pressure but it's manageable, he says. Soldiers' pay is poor but that issue is being addressed. The same goes for living quarters. Morale? A recent report said it was rock bottom. Sir Jock points out their high level of job satisfaction. He oozed contentment.

    I wonder if he read James Fergusson's sobering account - published in Saturday's Mail - about what our foes in Afghanistan, the Taliban, are really like? They're not fuzzy-wuzzy amateurs in sandals but tough, courageous soldiers fighting impossible odds.

    Fergusson met Commander Abdullah, who has two sons aged four and two. He does not give them 'a father's love' he says, 'because when I am killed, it will be much harder for them.

    'My father, my grandfather and my great-grandfather all died by the bullet. I will die the same way, and no doubt my sons, too. It is not so sad. It is glorious to be martyred. To die in the service of the jihad is the ambition of all of us here.'

    Over the weekend, I watched on TV The Day Of The Kamikaze, a documentary about Japan's suicide pilots in 1945. Most of us have been brought up to believe they were demented automatons brainwashed by their superiors into flying bomb-laden planes into Allied warships.

    But they were not so different from our own wartime servicemen and women then who thought dying in the service of their country was a noble sacrifice. Kamikaze was the last throw of the dice when Japan was faced with massively superior enemy naval forces from the U.S. and Britain assembling off her coast.

    The Taliban have suicide bombers, too. And their conventional attacks on U.S. and British forces are near suicidal because we can call in jet bombers, Apache gunships or deadly, missilefiring unmanned drones.

    Locals say that when one American is hit, whole villages are razed to the ground by U.S. bombers. Last week, 49 people, mainly women and children, were killed on their way to a wedding.

    Commander Abdullah told Fergusson that if it wasn't for the 'air support' on which we and the U.S. rely, 'we could take the country in a single day. What we need are missiles to shoot them down. But, insha'allah (God willing) we will get these very soon'.

    What a bloody mess. We ought to hear more from our own commanders in theatre and less from Whitehall warriors like Sir Jock Stirrup and his predecessor, Sir Mike Jackson. We won't, though. They got to the top by playing footsie with the politicians. Yesterday's complacent performance by Sir Jock was a blinder.
  11. Jackson was never CDS
  12. What the politicians want is a CDS who will do their bidding. So how can they argue that Jock Stirrup is the man for the next two years? The next two years arguably are going to be the most crucial for the forces in many years with Afghanistan reaching a seminal point and retention of personnel going south. The politicians are rather hoping that that with a compliant CDS and recession on the way recruiting and retention will be less of a problem and the headlines will not be of war but unemployment. This will release them from their promises and like Houdini they will be sprung from the trap!
  13. actually, i don't believe the government give a fudge what happens to the armed forces, all they want is for it not to be in the newspapers.

    excuse my ignorance, but how long does an individual need to spend studying (staff colledge?) for the job of CDS or CGS? I guess what i am asking is, would someone who 'jumps the queue' be properly prepared, or will they be 'dropped in it' and then steam-rollered' by the government?