International Defence Engagement Document

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#1
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/international-defence-engagement-strategy-published

Very interesting document and worth a read. Talks about wider defence engagement and has pointers to how the RN will become a key player in "flying the flag".

It is nothing new for the Navy and puts down what we are good at.

Have to say there have been some interesting and well written policy documents that have come out and help define where the Naval Service will be aiming over the next few decades.

Thoughts?
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#4
Seems I am part of the Enduring Footprint of Defence Engagement. I tried to score my effectivness. Tea drinking in my Directorate is up 25% but use of bespoke remains flat lined at 0.
 
#5
As someone who's done a bit of Defence Engagement, we remain stubbornly rubbish at quite a bit of it because of cloying bureaucracy and parsimony (for the dull-of-thinking: Resistance to spending money). Circumstances perhaps have improved but I can think of some attaches who refused to engage with the locals and spent their three years embalming themselves at the public expense on the cocktail circuit - with other friendly attaches. I recall one attache Ina Middle Eastern post who looked the epitome of a Colonel Blimp - and behaved like one. He called the locals wogs or worse and never ever submitted reports to London; refused to respond to collect requests and refused to engage in defence sales, unless there was a trip to London involved. An utter red- cheeked, walrus mustached waste of space. And he left post less than 3 years ago as a regional advisor to a defence firm.
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#6
It is something the RN does well, compared to the rest of Defence, and it even practises it in Operational Sea Training (well it did @alfred_the_great might know better).

A warship alongside with its cocktail party and ships tours is a very useful tool for UKTI to get a foot hold in to local markets.
 
#8
Ukti cocktail parties amd defence diplomancy days are good, but require industry to know their market well. Having a done a few i am not always convinced that is the case.

As for defence engagement , its fine when defence recognises it is part of a bigger collection of assets and soft power tools. Too oftenhave i met people from the military who assume that they know better than everyone else and spend time reinventing wheels and pissing off key contacts who could help them achieve even more.

The mod has to stop treating DA posts like a 'thanks for having a career' job and see them as high profile mover and shaker jobs.


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#9
The mod has to stop treating DA posts like a 'thanks for having a career' job and see them as high profile mover and shaker jobs.
Complicated further by the fact PET including language is very nearly the length of a WtE/Executive stream tour. Getting movers and shakers into such jobs can only happen when we stop penalizing people for having a non-generalist job that they've actually had to do some training for and commit some time to.

The prevailing culture of ICSC, ACSC and RCDS being all the training you need is also nonsense. The US Army sent Norm Schwarzkopf to study missile engineering at a time when the man was close to ditching the Army. Meanwhile, 40 learned years in the future, a paltry amount of Service chiefs have ever undertaken one of their own Fellowships. A stark and clear message to any young thruster entertaining a fleeting thought of doing something out of the pre ordained path.
 
#10
The prevailing culture of ICSC, ACSC and RCDS being all the training you need is also nonsense.
RCDS is for 2nd XI losers - HCSC is the course of choice these days.
 
#12
So, the words are interesting, could one of you great and good translate this into minimum number of platforms needed?
Platforms for what? You obviously didn't read it very well - it expressly says DE is not Force driving.
 
#14
Indeed, and then the countries that have paid quite a lot of money to send their top Officers on the "premier" course get all grumpy when they find its actually for those who didn't quite make the HCSC cut...
 
#16
Without a doubt, ship visits are good for the Prosperity agenda. The RN may be a mere shadow of its former self, yet it is still extremely capable and would think nothing (budgets and fleet availability notwithstanding) of taking a couple of ships on a global cruise, or whatever the term is. I did staff college (HCSC) in a foreign country and they made huge amounts of noise about taking two frigates around Africa, stopping off at predominantly Islamic countries and dispensing aid. This was as far afield as their Navy had ever been and had documentaries, commemorative books and a huge range of tat produced to commemorate this 'huge and glorious achievement'. The Navy lead amongst the DS was an enthusiastic advocate for defende engagement and praised the effortless ability, as he described it, of the RN's presence in foreign ports.

However, we make huge 'asks' of the RN; after a long patrol and along time away from family and friends, they go alongside in Al-shi'teola, expected to dress the ship, host the local(and generally venal) expat community, accommodate defence sales teams and the 'hollow eyed' middle aged salesmen, pay a visit to the port authorities, chief of police, local Governorate, various High Commissioners and Consul-Generals, make sure that the crew don't get into any trouble ashore, and then depart with all the bills paid. All funded o a shoe-string.
 
#17
A friend of mine (with a similar career profile to mine) now an attaché, did the Defence fellowship at Cambridge, attended ACSC equivalent overseas and then did HCSC, polishing it off with 18 months of language and attaché training (security, 'advanced operational techniques', driving, a 'difficult' language to 3333). Relatively young, he still has at least two full tours in front of him. He was talking to his desk officer the other day and asked about his competitiveness. The desk officer responded that he ceased being competitive when he did the defence fellowship and headed down the defence diplomacy route. He's decided to PVR (or whatever it is called these days) coinciding with the end of his tour in a very challenging country. Yet, mutual colleagues who have never done any further professional training outside staff course and have done a series of short 'face time' postings are knocking on 1 star and above.

It Will take a very long time to shake the 'pale, male and stale' image of attaches until defence engagement is seen as a career choice for thrusters and that the package is made attractive (compensation for lose of spousal earnings being primus inter pares).
 
#18
I was invited to a cake n arrse party on board HMNZS Wellington off New Georgia two years ago. It was a superb evening and the Hakka done by the crew had some of the locals about to leap overboard.

Good hospitality and excellent food. The gin flowed well and a great time was had by all.

The local "dignitary" contingent talked about it for weeks.
 
#19
I was invited to a cake n arrse party on board HMNZS Wellington off New Georgia two years ago. It was a superb evening and the Hakka done by the crew had some of the locals about to leap overboard.

Good hospitality and excellent food. The gin flowed well and a great time was had by all.
All well and good, but what was the objective of the visit - influence, supporting prosperity agenda, cementing ABO rights?....
 
#20
All well and good, but what was the objective of the visit - influence, supporting prosperity agenda, cementing ABO rights?....
No, it was about the visit of a multinational EOD team whose objective was to spend a month clearing hundreds of tons of WW2 UXO related to the Japanese occupation and subsequent removal by the allies (predominantly US forces). The visit was also related to the reconstruction of Munda airport, a 22 MUS$ project paid for by the NZ govt.
 

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