Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Outstanding, Feb 27, 2006.

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  1. Can someone just remind me with way Dr. Fox voted on sending troops to Iraq?

    The issue of overstretch pre-dates GW2 , I'd like to know what his comments were , particularly after the Saif Sareea NAO report?
  2. have to say PTP that we seem to be snookered by one lot and equally by the others. Do they realise what we do?
  3. No Outstanding , they don't.

    Options for change/ Strategic Defence Review, was a Tory initative, gleefully taken up by grasping Gordon, with no thought whatsoever for the nature of Geo-politics in the 21st Century.

    Massive cuts in Infantry , and ooooooops Heeeeere's Kosovo , Sierra Leone, Gulf 2....

    Not sure which I'm angrier about , politicians who play the "Oooooo our brave boys are being shafted" card, whilst trying to extract their own Dagger from the bullseye , or Senior Officers who should have fought tooth and nail.

    .....who didn't seem to.

    Every single party is as bad as each other, some worse than others. The only time Defence will be a priority , is if we take a proper kicking somewhere.

    And even then , the stupified British Public, on their diet of Football, reality TV and Soaps , really couldn't care less.

    Is it my imagination , or do we as a nation protest far less at actual injustice than ever before?
  4. Unfortunately, it's not just your imagination, PTP.
    I am very depressed, since I can't think of a single part of your post I can disagree with.
    All politicians are the same; they pay lip-service to "Our Boys" when there's a few votes in it for them, then stick the knife in as soon as the public lose interest. Which does'nt take long.
    Put it this way; if a British soldier was killed on the same day the new series of Big Brother started - what do you think the tabloids would choose as their main story the next day?
    And I don't see things changing, either. At least not for the better. It would take a cataclysimic event, something that proved beyond doubt that the Armed Forces simply did not have the men and material to defend the country, before we would see any changes.
    Anything less than losing a war, and the politicians and civil servants would just spin their way out of it.
    Bottom line: it will have to get much, much worse before it gets better.
  5. I guess this is where the basis of our poor morale stems. We feel undervalued, abused and ignored.

    The CoC who should be representing and protecting our core values and standards are themselves entwined in a grasping climb up the slippery pole.

    In the end we are left only being able to trust ourselves and feel isolated from the Civilian nation on whose behalf we work.

    This is where the proposed Federation may be able to influence the thinking.

  6. Very true. One day the sticking plaster and gaffer tape that we run things with will fail and we will get a shoe-ing. What if it had been a company base and not just 6 MPs, or that Herc had been a trooper ??. My bet is that when some disaster does hit us there will be two distinct knee jerks 1 - "Get our boys home now" versus 2 "lets kick backsides" - What happens will depend on what the focus groups say and my guess is the former plays better to the public right now.

    In the meanwhile there are a significant part of the population who seem to think that it is somehow unfair that we do have some kit which works well and would like to ban it ! - DU Ammo and Cluster bombs being at the top of their list.

    Its a pity that the money about to be wasted on useless ID cards could not be directed our way !
  7. Too true and with the build up of Argentinean forces near the Falklands the situation could get a lot worse there is only so far that the army can be stretch and we are dangerously close to or have even passed the point that we will find it difficult to defend our own territory let along anything else.
  8. Overstretched? The UK controlled the whole India, many other colonies.

    Current problems can be resolved very easily:

    Iraq - withdrawal.
    Afghanistan - extensive usage of tribal militias against Taleban.
  9. India was quite simple. When you are faced with a rigidly stratified caste system all you have to do is slot yourself in at the top; the whole lot can then be controlled with a very small number of people. An analogy is the difference between a coup and a revolution/civil war. When things are too difficult/expensive eg continuing to Afganistan, pull back and try and stop them being too much trouble.

    Mespots/Iraq being a different situation required far more administration and a lot of troops to not really control the place despite a free hand with little publicity (also India paid for most of it)
  10. I seem to recall that after Napoleon was defeated the British Army suffered severe cuts and new regiments had to be hurriedly raised to meet the next crisis. Too few politicians, even if they understand the concept, are willing to accept that; “In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace." (Sun Tzu) Our modern-day politicians and their decisions are merely subject to deeper public scrutiny.

    As I've said on a previous post, this government (as all governments) had the opportunity to declare that they'd be pursuing a militarily isolationist policy in line with their former publicly stated pacifist ideals, in which case they could have cut the Armed Forces to national defence levels with impunity. Instead, they chose to order our Armed Forces to more concurrent operations, permanent commitments and major training exercises than any other peace-time government, but still allowed the bean-counters to under-fund these commitments. I don't deny that Options for Change under John Major's premiership in 1993 saw the beginning of the cuts of both budget and personnel, but he at least had the decency to engage only in a limited war (Gulf War I) with limited post-war obligations whilst at the same time providing troops to UN and NATO peace making / peace enforcing / peace keeping missions.

    My feeling is that Tony Blair's and Gordon Brown's devotion to the Strategic Defence Review in light of their eagerness to benefit from the kudos gleaned from the professional capabilities of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom is nothing less than sickening.

    The Defence Committee in 2000 warned (page 4, para 2 UK Defence Spending, Professor Keith Hartley, Defence Research Institute, Universities of Lancaster and York):

    As part of a defence briefing for the 2001 election, the (c) BBC published a summary analysis of the SDR, including the following graph showing actual and expected defence financing as real figures and as percentage of GDP:


    The MoD provides the following information about actual and projected defence spending from 2004 - 2008:

    Are the above figures and comparisons anything to boast about? Possibly, if it were merely the cost of funding man-power and kit, but it includes the cost of our many varied commitments, not something that many other countries have to budget for.

    To add insult to injury, the following table from the same MoD report shows actual Defence spending compared with other public spending:


    In short:
    Less than half of what we spend on education
    A mere GBP 2bn more than we spend on servicing the National Debt
    Less than 1/3 of what we spend on healthcare
    GBP 3 bn less than what is spent on public order and safety
    Just over 6 times less than is spent on social services

    Sabres are being rattled in Beijing and Buenos Aires at a time that we're struggling to meet our current commitments. The peace dividend of the early 1990s has long since been used and as new challenges demand new and robust solutions, if this and any future government wishes to maintain a credible military capacity with the ability to protect our domestic interests, let alone provide support to foreign theatres, Gordon Brown had better open his war-chest and begin funding for it now.
  11. The only way the Neu Arbeit will fund the Services to the required level would be all out war with a non-Nato beligerent.
    Only if George Dubya agrees
    There are less than 100 British Casualties
    Broon(cos he'll be in charge by then) can personally get the kudos for the funding.
    And all expansion doesn't impact on benefit for scroungers,NHS,jobs for the boys in Neu Arbeit in Europe.
    Cynical old me!
  12. Real feeling on this topic - not suprisingly, there are many examples of how this has effected us, career fouls, missed courses, reductions in sport across the Army, welfare issues.

    This article:

    Last updated: 28-Feb-06 02:12 GMT

    Edited for copyright - PTP