Hutton in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by PartTimePongo, Jan 23, 2009.

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  1. UK Secretary of State for Defence visits ISAF troops in Southern Afghanistan
  2. At first reading this seems rather encouraging. Do you think he is genuinely interested and learning something rather than just conducting a PR exercise? From the comments made by Sgt. Richard Hayden it apears to be a "genuine" interest.
  3. Whilst you may think he is genuinely interested, Hutton represents Barrow-in-Furness whose main industry is the BAE Systems dockyard, building the Astute submarines. He knows full well that if he doesn't show some support for the armed forces he will be out of the door come the next election. The proof of the pudding will come if he shows he can stand up to the forces-hating cyclops and his like minded cronies and (most unlikely) screw more money out of him.
  4. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    I am always very sceptical about these visits and how they are reported. The government has been stung badly by lack of proper kit so you can with a 100% degree of certainty predict that any visit by any minister to an theatre will have a press release that mentions UOR spending or how we are delivering excellent kit that saves lives.

    Of course the UOR is either an admission of bad planning or an admission of poor funding before the event. They also focus on the things that are visible and can be wheeled out to the press, especially personal equipment and vehicles.

    Be sceptical
  5. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    A very nice piece, but is anybody really fooled? This is propaganda by a confirmed w@nker, it will change nothing - just like all the previous visits.
  7. Neu Arbeit Smoke and mirrors

    Believe nothing and you won't be disappointed.

    Its just a vain attempt to deflect the 'scum reader/NA voters ' away from current economic news.
  8. Notwithstanding SoS's constituency interests and his loathesome partei, SoS has seriously impressed at least one very senior matelot (not senior enough to be thinking of a trip to Gieves to be measured up for ermine number ones).

    Time will tell if it's business as usual or a genuine new broom with a brain and a pair.
  9. I think SofS is genuine - I've spoken with a lot of people who work with him, or have seen him in action, and he's getting good marks.

    As for this point " Of course the UOR is either an admission of bad planning or an admission of poor funding before the event. They also focus on the things that are visible and can be wheeled out to the press, especially personal equipment and vehicles."

    Sorry but I totally disagree with you there - sure back in 2003 we could have said it was poor funding that prevented something from occurring, or poor planning as we didn't know what we'd face. Today the UOR process is very swept up, and genuinely covers emerging operational issues that we could not realistically have foreseen as a requirement (this is said having seen every single UOR come our way for quite some time). The system is responsive as we often find the threats we face have changed - the kit today is being bought not because we messed up our planning, but because we are having to do ops in a way that no one could ever have envisaged even a few years ago.

    The challenge of course is for MOD planners to recognise this - too often the UOR process is seen as a sticky plaster and additional source of gucci kit - and not something that is there for Urgent Operationally specific Requirements. We need to take a long hard look at our EP priorities and reprioritise - the days when we could buy lots of gucci kit and have HM Treasury pick up the tab for an additional expedition to Afghan are probably coming to a close...
  10. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Jim, probably another debate on the UOR, I am not knocking the process which gets much needed kit to the people at the pointy end but tell me how long have we been in the armed forces business, how long have we been fighting insurgencies and how many reccomendations came out from other conflicts (not always our own)

    Whilst the UOR process can be defended the need for it can only be defended so far, of course in all conflicts you tend go equipped for the last one and is it quite right that you should adapt to conditions on the ground but was it really beyond the realms of good planning and appropriate funding to have the vast majority of UOR's thought about, planned for and funded beforehand. After all, aren't we suposed to be set up for global operations?

    I also thought Dr Reid was actually a reasonable Secretary of State for Defence but politics will always come into play and this government is addicted to news management, as I said, remain sceptical
  11. I think I would be more impressed if he visited a FOB, and did at least a week there without all his hangers on and really see life at the frontline. If Henno can why can't he?
  12. Meridian - fair points - the problem is that while its clear we're going to be doing COIN, their lordships (Generals / Airships and Admirals) remain emotionally linked to the 'sexy stuff'. Thats why things like CVF, FRES and Typhoon will always win the day, not the cheap dirty little enhancement projects for UORs. The irony is of course, that to actually get the forces equipped to a reasonable COIN standard wouldnt' cost that much, but it would take military leadership to chop a large Cat A project and put the funds into small beer projects instead.

    Given the current ops we're on, I think a lot of them couldn't have been thought about in advance. While I'm not going to discuss any UORs going through on an open net, its fair to say that all of them have been brought about as a result of a change in operational circumstances which planners would probably not have forseen.

    As for Reid - loathed, utterly loathed by all of who worked for him. He's a deeply unpleasant man, utterly obsessed with getting the best spin for himself. I've heard from those who had regular exposure to him that he cared only about himself and not defence.
  13. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Definately agree with you there Jim about the big ticket items hoovering up funds from the basics, its a topic many have discussed at length on here many times.

    Its funny that your view of Reid is so strong yet others seem quite supportive, perhaps he has the personality where you either love him or hate him, politicians tend to galvanise opinion like that
  14. 'but it would take military leadership to chop a large Cat A project and put the funds into small beer projects instead'

    Don't assume that if a large Cat A project was chopped that the funds would automatically get ploughed back into funding kit that we need. The greatest need at the moment is more boots on the ground and Cyclops is on record as saying that he wants a 'peace dividend' from the withdrawal from Iraq - and we all know what that means. Besides, as I said earlier, there are not a small number of senior New Liarbour ministers who actively detest the armed forces and would lobby energetically for any spare funds to be allocated elsewhere.
  15. Wow.

    So many slagging off a bloke when he does the right thing - what an incentive for carrying on the motion.