If we want to win wars, first change the Mod

#1
From The Times
January 23, 2010
If we want to win wars, first change the MoD


Sclerotic, inefficient, hamstrung by inter-service rivalry, resistant to change: the Ministry of Defence is not fit for purpose
Paddy Ashdown
39 COMMENTS
RECOMMEND? (8)
We politicians stand accused by The Times of failing to grasp the nettle on defence, of tacitly agreeing to avoid the issue in the run-up to the general election. The issues are so complex that there is a temptation to sweep them under the carpet. But national security should be at the heart of any government’s strategy, and judgments on the fitness of politicians to govern should include a judgment of how well they will protect the people. So let’s start the debate now.

There is a political consensus on the need for a defence review. What I think we need is something much broader. The complexity of the threat demands it.

Defence used to be about how high to build the walls around us to protect from the enemy outside. Now public security can be threatened by anything from viruses in our computer networks to swine flu. It is not enough to be resilient as a nation; we must use the levers of civic society to make resilient communities too. So what we need is a comprehensive national security review.

The broader we draw the boundaries of security, however, the more we need to discuss what it is that we are seeking to protect or to champion. We are moving from a position of “defending the realm” to one of “protecting the people”. This will bring us to an uncomfortable but necessary debate about our place in the world.
More
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6999097.ece
 
#3
If you want to win wars then you need the political will to win, you have to be willing to put everything else second to that objective, change at the MOD will be a natural consequence of this commitment. It is very unlikely that this situation will ever arise so get used to being bogged down in under funded open ended commitments designed to give the impression of decisive action whilst squabbling with the other services over a diminishing budget.
 
#4
The MOD have been managing decline for the last 30 years. However our politicians will not accept it is taking place! Hence the mismatch between tasks and resources.
 
#5
The MOD reflect the attitude of the politicians. If the MOD needs to change, then it's up to the politicians to drive and fund it! He certainly seems to have mastered the sloping shoulder excuse.
 
#6
The MOD is a sad shambles, having just read the lunatic ideas ,put forward by Ainsworth I am sure the MOD is being run by complete fool. He plans that at the cost of 22 new Chniooks, the RAF will loose 55% of its Harrier fleet, and at least one Tornado sqn,there will be no Nimrods at all from next March until the MR 4s come online in the future leaving the RAF without SAR/AEW/ASW fixedwing aircraft to support the Trident SSBN fleet.Along with the type 45 destroyers being just about useless until they can arm them with a worthwhile weapon system it seems that both the RN and RAF will be just about redundent for at least 2 or 3 years
 
#7
And here in sunny S/E Asia the Vietnamese are busy re-arming their military because they know that the bickering over who owns what oil resources in the region will be resolved by negotiation -and the participants with the big stick behind their backs will be in a stronger position than those that dont.

Of course the Vietnamese dont waste a huge amounts of their GDP on single-parent-multiple-kid families and supporting the human rights of immigrants on the dole and giving idle tossers free housing and multiple benefits. They get short shrift here. As do drunks in public and feral kids.

I dont say that Vietnam is better than UK, after all it is a Communist country. But tonight I walked back from a restaurant a mile away and met with people calling out "hello, where you come from, cha da? Along the way. The last being an invitation to partake of iced tea with them.

The UK...... cant be relied upon to be one of the worlds policemen any more and should concentrate on asset protection with the ability to negotiate from a position of strength. The UK still has assets strewn all over the globe and some good friends and allies too. But without a strong military we are in danger of becoming another Lichtenstein.

The facts needs to be faced and those who think we can negotiate everything without the need for the stick behind the back are utopian dreamers.

Unfortunately, the nations stick is rapidly becoming a lolipop stick.
 
#8
The MOD has far too many civilian bureaucrats working within it who large it up on the "I work for Whitehall" ticket, or lap up the treatment they get from potential suppliers. That has been exacerbated since this Government of former left wing activists, having absolutely nothing in common with the armed forces got elected. The MOD should be shredded and a new regime of "long service" forces personnel employed - a few old submarine captains would cut through the red tape, quick sharp.
 
#9
eodmatt said:
And here in sunny S/E Asia the Vietnamese are busy re-arming their military because they know that the bickering over who owns what oil resources in the region will be resolved by negotiation -and the participants with the big stick behind their backs will be in a stronger position than those that dont.

Of course the Vietnamese dont waste a huge amounts of their GDP on single-parent-multiple-kid families and supporting the human rights of immigrants on the dole and giving idle tossers free housing and multiple benefits. They get short shrift here. As do drunks in public and feral kids.

I dont say that Vietnam is better than UK, after all it is a Communist country. But tonight I walked back from a restaurant a mile away and met with people calling out "hello, where you come from, cha da? Along the way. The last being an invitation to partake of iced tea with them.

The UK...... cant be relied upon to be one of the worlds policemen any more and should concentrate on asset protection with the ability to negotiate from a position of strength. The UK still has assets strewn all over the globe and some good friends and allies too. But without a strong military we are in danger of becoming another Lichtenstein.

The facts needs to be faced and those who think we can negotiate everything without the need for the stick behind the back are utopian dreamers.

Unfortunately, the nations stick is rapidly becoming a lolipop stick.
Yes quite right Sir, errrmmm! Hear! Hear!.
 
#10
"The MOD is a sad shambles, having just read the lunatic ideas ,put forward by Ainsworth I am sure the MOD is being run by complete fool."

I know many of the people who put those ideas forward - they are SO1 - 1* level serving military officers, who staffed the ideas based on suggestions put forward by their more junior military staff. They were told to make savings and are doing the best in a bad situation. These have been put forward as there is nothing else left to take without making force structure cuts, and that is still off the table apparently.

"The MOD has far too many civilian bureaucrats working within it who large it up on the "I work for Whitehall" ticket, or lap up the treatment they get from potential suppliers"

Yet another ill informed poster who has clearly never worked in MB or whitehall at large. Total utter BS and a waste of bandwith for a post.
 
#11
jim30 said:
"The MOD is a sad shambles, having just read the lunatic ideas ,put forward by Ainsworth I am sure the MOD is being run by complete fool."

I know many of the people who put those ideas forward - they are SO1 - 1* level serving military officers, who staffed the ideas based on suggestions put forward by their more junior military staff. They were told to make savings and are doing the best in a bad situation. These have been put forward as there is nothing else left to take without making force structure cuts, and that is still off the table apparently.

"The MOD has far too many civilian bureaucrats working within it who large it up on the "I work for Whitehall" ticket, or lap up the treatment they get from potential suppliers"

Yet another ill informed poster who has clearly never worked in MB or whitehall at large. Total utter BS and a waste of bandwith for a post.
Maybe so but a perception has been formed of MOD which has stuck amongst the military and wider community.

No smoke without fire?
 
#12
"Maybe so but a perception has been formed of MOD which has stuck amongst the military and wider community."

I would argue, it is a deliberately cultivated perception to help try and deny responsibility for decisions taken. Having seen good staff officers make tough decisions when in full posession the bigger picture, its really depressing to see how some elements of the military and CS, who should know better, seek to blame some kind of mythical staff corps in London for all the MODs failings.

There is a deep seated reluctance to admit that the MOD in London is the same people as in the wider forces community, and instead a desire to somehow assume that those in London are divorced from the rest of the MOD, and never do anything related to the front line. This then makes them the logical target to blame when things go wrong.

That these people have come from, or will go to front line tours is irelevant, the fact is that London and this mythical MOD serves as an easy target to divert blame from where it should be directed - at your peers and superiors for taking tough decisions.
 
#13
jim30 said:
""The MOD has far too many civilian bureaucrats working within it who large it up on the "I work for Whitehall" ticket, or lap up the treatment they get from potential suppliers"

Yet another ill informed poster who has clearly never worked in MB or whitehall at large. Total utter BS and a waste of bandwith for a post.
I don't know about MB - but the comment fits the majority of senior MOD CS elsewhere down to a Tee. Lower down the tree we have the "Process is everything" crew, oblivious to what the output is or should be, happily wasting a fortune on nonsense, providing the paperwork is all correct.

...and once again I'm getting the "Spend all your Budget by March, or you'll lose it next year" crap.
 
#14
saladin said:
I don't know about MB - but the comment fits the majority of senior MOD CS elsewhere down to a Tee. Lower down the tree we have the "Process is everything" crew, oblivious to what the output is or should be, happily wasting a fortune on nonsense, providing the paperwork is all correct.

...and once again I'm getting the "Spend all your Budget by March, or you'll lose it next year" crap.
Ah yes the sound of a ringing bell.

Similarily, but on a slight tangent, we have just been asked to justify duty vehicles at place of residence whilst on duty. The concern from above is that HMRC could consider this a perk and so a declaration should be made for tax assessment purposes.
I, for one, am extremely dissappointed in the CoC for not hoofing this little gem into the long grass from inception.

If some genius believes that being on duty 26 weeks of the year with a responsibility for rapid deployment round the local area is a "benefit in kind" and so warrants extra taxation then heaven help us.
It beggars belief. :x
 
#15
jim30 said:
"Maybe so but a perception has been formed of MOD which has stuck amongst the military and wider community."

I would argue, it is a deliberately cultivated perception to help try and deny responsibility for decisions taken. Having seen good staff officers make tough decisions when in full posession the bigger picture, its really depressing to see how some elements of the military and CS, who should know better, seek to blame some kind of mythical staff corps in London for all the MODs failings.

There is a deep seated reluctance to admit that the MOD in London is the same people as in the wider forces community, and instead a desire to somehow assume that those in London are divorced from the rest of the MOD, and never do anything related to the front line. This then makes them the logical target to blame when things go wrong.

That these people have come from, or will go to front line tours is irelevant, the fact is that London and this mythical MOD serves as an easy target to divert blame from where it should be directed - at your peers and superiors for taking tough decisions.
Cultivated by who?

Its only five minutes since a service chief went to Downing St with his shopping list..... Five minutes later, the whole Department is being reconfigured to pay for it.

We are now doing things as an instead of Department not an as well as....

One thought - part of the problem is the road crash of new equipment to service the conclusions of the last SDR...... which has only lasted for 10 years... and is completely fecked, well before large parts of the capabilities are delivered.

People are still slapping the backs of the people who made careers out of the last SDR..... which is where we are today.
 
#16
bluntslane said:
... we have just been asked to justify duty vehicles at place of residence whilst on duty. The concern from above is that HMRC could consider this a perk and so a declaration should be made for tax assessment purposes.
We work on a small site with no MOD catering facilities. My reading of the rules is that we can claim Meals Out. Our - civvy - Admin team disagree - claiming that the boys can go home for lunch - and that a 26 mile round trip home is "reasonable".

I've told the boys to claim it via JPA and sod the "advice", I'll authorise it.

...I'll add that its not just the CS that can be clowns. I raised the point on the LSI...some SPS wallah started talking about getting a sandwich vending machine installed....
 
#17
"We work on a small site with no MOD catering facilities. My reading of the rules is that we can claim Meals Out. Our - civvy - Admin team disagree - claiming that the boys can go home for lunch - and that a 26 mile round trip home is "reasonable". "

So in other words, you are trying to claim for things to which you aren't entitled? Why is it so hard for your guys to bring in a packed lunch, or heaven forbid, actually pay for their own lunch in advance like 99% of the working population do?

Stop trying to blame others because you don't like the rules - if its such an issue then sign off - seems to me that the CS and the SPS have given you fair advice in line with the regs - don't blame them for implementing it.Especially as the CS admin team will be expected to bring their own lunch in with them.
 
#18
jim30 said:
"We work on a small site with no MOD catering facilities. My reading of the rules is that we can claim Meals Out. Our - civvy - Admin team disagree - claiming that the boys can go home for lunch - and that a 26 mile round trip home is "reasonable". "

So in other words, you are trying to claim for things to which you aren't entitled? Why is it so hard for your guys to bring in a packed lunch, or heaven forbid, actually pay for their own lunch in advance like 99% of the working population do?

Stop trying to blame others because you don't like the rules - if its such an issue then sign off - seems to me that the CS and the SPS have given you fair advice in line with the regs - don't blame them for implementing it.Especially as the CS admin team will be expected to bring their own lunch in with them.
The point, if I understand it, is that the CS didn't understand the rules pertaining. The SPS gadgee was talking about making a catering service available (sarnie machine?).... but in the absence of such, Salad man was saying Meal Out applies?
 
#19
jim30 said:
"We work on a small site with no MOD catering facilities. My reading of the rules is that we can claim Meals Out. Our - civvy - Admin team disagree - claiming that the boys can go home for lunch - and that a 26 mile round trip home is "reasonable". "

So in other words, you are trying to claim for things to which you aren't entitled? Why is it so hard for your guys to bring in a packed lunch, or heaven forbid, actually pay for their own lunch in advance like 99% of the working population do?

Stop trying to blame others because you don't like the rules - if its such an issue then sign off - seems to me that the CS and the SPS have given you fair advice in line with the regs - don't blame them for implementing it.Especially as the CS admin team will be expected to bring their own lunch in with them.
Exactly. I mean, who does he think he is - an MP?! 8O :twisted:
 
#20
"
The point, if I understand it, is that the CS didn't understand the rules pertaining. The SPS gadgee was talking about making a catering service available (sarnie machine?).... but in the absence of such, Salad man was saying Meal Out applies? "

Fair enough - but it makes a wider point IMHO - why do we still have allowances like this in existence? I see no reason why a soldier, who is paid a very good wage by any reasonable standard, should not be expected to sort his own lunch out if he is working in a normal office environment in the UK.

How much money do we spend every year on paying allowances to forces personnel for meals, that any other organisation would have binned a long time ago? If you're deployed, or in the field, then I have no issue with free meals, but to expect the taxpayer to spend more money buying someone lunch, when chances are that they earn a good living seems nonsensical to me.

If we want to save money, lets start by cutting all meals out allowances for military personnel.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top