HOW FAR CAN YOU BE OVERSTRETCHED?

#3
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?
 
#5
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?
 
#6
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.
 
#7
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.
 
#8
PartTimePongo said:
No Outstanding , they don't.

............. 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?

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 !
 
#9
PartTimePongo said:
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?
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.
 
#10
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.
 
#11
KGB_resident said:
Overstretched? The UK controlled the whole India
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)
 
#12
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):

Overall, we conclude that the condition of the defence budget is sufficiently poor to give rise to serious concern. The cumulative evidence of cancelled exercises, delayed equipment programmes and of resources apparently insufficient to reverse the problems of overstretch and undermanning suggest that if the wheels have not yet come off the SDR, they are certainly beginning to wobble alarmingly.
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:

The Government plans departmental spending through the process of Spending Reviews, the last of which concluded in 2004 and set the Budget until 2007/08. Across the period, the Defence budget is set to increase from £29.7Bn in 2004/05 to £33.4Bn in 2007/08. In real terms (i.e. after inflation) it represents average annual growth of 1.4%. It will amount to longest period of sustained real terms growth in planned Defence spending.

The Defence Budget

£million***********2004-05***2005-06***2006-07***2007-08
Resource Budget*******31,370*****32,449*****32,698*****33,018
Capital Budget**********6,327******6,880******6,970******7,600
Total Departmental*****29,710*****30,888*****32,067******33,447
Expenditure Limit (DEL)

International Comparisons

The UK Defence budget in 2005/06 is some £30.1Bn. In terms of monetary expenditure, this puts us second in the world on defence spending, although we are a long way behind the United States whose base Defence budget is some $400Bn.

Another comparator is defence spending as a proportion of GDP. At 2.2%, we are above at the NATO European average. We spend about the same proportion as France and more than Italy and Germany.
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.
 
#13
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!
 
#14
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.
 
#15
Key quote
"As at September 2005, a third of our armed forces were not as ready as they should be. This reflects the high level of demands being put on them, and there are worrying signs of strain on equipment. I am particularly concerned about the potential impact on future operational capabilities of the fleet." - EDWARD LEIGH, PAC CHAIRMAN

A THIRD of Britain's overstretched armed forces would struggle to be ready for action because of the country's heavy military commitments, a damning parliamentary report has concluded.

Last night, it also emerged that the government has spent £100 million on private security firms in Iraq - prompting calls for the money to be spent instead on the army, air force and navy.

The new report warns of serious or critical weaknesses to peacetime readiness levels in 30 per cent of Britain's armed forces because in five of the last six years troops have had to take on far more work than military planners previously envisaged.

There is also fresh criticism of the way the Ministry of Defence equips its troops. The report highlights "worrying signs of strain on equipment", warns that the MoD is yet to prove it can keep track of the items that it sends into the theatre of operations and questions the reliance on cannibalising equipment to produce enough working pieces.

Published by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), it also warns that the need to fund army and air force operations in Iraq has meant siphoning off more than £300 million from the navy over the last two years.

To make matters worse for the MoD, the PAC's report was compiled before John Reid, the Defence Secretary, added to the armed forces' global commitments by announcing that more than 5,000 troops would be sent to Afghanistan this year.

The verdict is the latest in a series of critical reports into the way the MoD operates and comes amid growing concern over the number of commitments facing the army.

http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1034
This article: http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=305032006

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

Edited for copyright - PTP
 
#16
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.
Dozy, you do understand just whose initative the Strategic Defence Review was don't you? Tony and Gordon grasped it eagerly, ably assisted by senior officers, but it was not their idea.
 
#17
Right again PTP, and if you remember that it still hasn't been completed, nor was it properly resourced. It seems that many of our seniors seem to magnetised by savings, savings, savings = as if by making savings they will gain enlightenment (or is that promotion!!??)
 
#18
PartTimePongo said:
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.
Dozy, you do understand just whose initative the Strategic Defence Review was don't you? Tony and Gordon grasped it eagerly, ably assisted by senior officers, but it was not their idea.
Where did I say that they were the architects? I merely said that they were devoted to it. The SDR was a New Labour election manifesto pledge: George Robertson and his department were responsible for it. The SDR was to be foreign policy led, but budget restrained, thus it was presented to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor before being presented to Parliament - they had input.

The current Defence Secretary, John Reid, was involved in the process as Chairman of the steering committee - he was at the time Armed Forces Minister. The consultation process included input from serving members of the Armed Forces, the general public and MoD staff, both civilian and service sourced.

The SDR was seen as a logical step on from OFC, but it was criticised by the Tories for being too focused on cuts, both budgetary and man-power. Both the Lib Dems and Tories further criticised it for the lack of clarity over the foreign policy objectives, especially with a view to joint EU policy directives.

PTP, were you born this patronising or has it come with age?
 
#19
No Dozy , it comes from personally experiencing SDR , something you did not.

It comes from watching the lies and doublespeak that surrounded that dreadful exercise , and the threats that were issued against those that dared speak out or make even minor protest against it. It comes from watching Regiments with a proud history decimated, and watching morale in the Army go through the floor. It comes from standing in a Drill hall one night, and watching the troops being divided into "You are staying, you are not" , as any Soldier who was in the middle of that will tell you.

I get particularly angry , when the Tories seek to imply they had nothing to do with it, when if fact they gave the Labour party the tools with which to emasculate the Armed Forces, and then with breath-taking audacity , actually seek to re-educate the public into thinking they had absolutely nothing to do with it.