It's almost comical...

#1
Saw this on another site, apologies if it's already posted but......

Blair draws up plans to send troops to Sudan

· Army could be used to protect camps
· A million lives at risk from starvation

Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor
Thursday July 22, 2004

The Guardian

Tony Blair has asked Downing Street and Foreign Office officials to draw up plans for possible military intervention in Sudan, where more than a million refugees are at risk from famine and disease.
Despite a heavy commitment of British armed forces in Iraq and other troublespots, the prime minister has had discussions with advisers for on-the-ground involvement of troops.

The prime minister is still hoping that diplomatic and political pressure on the Khartoum government will resolve the crisis without the need for military involvement.

But with conditions in hundreds of camps sharply deteriorating this week with the onset of torrential rain, governments across Europe as well as the US are facing calls for action to prevent a repetition of the Rwanda genocide 10 years ago that claimed a million lives. A government official involved in the discussions said Mr Blair was being given regular updates on the condition of the refugees in the Darfur region.

"The prime minister has asked to look at all options that will save lives and not to rule out the military services," the official said.

Three options for military action have been put forward in Downing Street:

· British servicemen to help with the delivery of aid if the humanitarian agencies can no longer cope. At present, the Belgian air force is helping to fly in aid. Britain is using civilian planes because they are cheaper.

· British logistical support for an African Union force of 60 monitors and 300-strong protection force being deployed in the Sudan. The AU force is short of equipment, including helicopters, vital given the poor state of Darfur's roads.

· British troops to protect refugee camps being harassed by marauding militias. This creation of safe zones would be the most risky of the options and would require the agreement of the Khartoum government, which would be reluctant to give it.

The fact that Mr Blair is prepared to consider military options, even limited ones, so soon after the Iraq war may create controversy, not least among critics who already regard him as too interventionist. It would be his sixth military venture since becoming prime minister in 1997.

Mr Blair, speaking at the Labour party conference in 2001, said he would have a moral duty to intervene in any country to prevent a repetition of Rwanda. Two years earlier, Mr Blair set out in Chicago a doctrine for intervention in humanitarian cases.

Asked about Sudan in the Commons yesterday, Mr Blair did not mention the military option. But he said he "ruled absolutely nothing out".

A ministerial source said pressure was building on Mr Blair and the foreign secretary, Jack Straw.

"For Straw and Blair, Rwanda was a marker for the world," he said. "A reprise of Rwanda chills everyone's blood."

Mr Straw is to fly to Sudan soon to assess the plight of the refugees at first-hand.

The UN security council is shortly to table a resolution that is expected to set out a timetable to put pressure on the Sudanese government to resolve the crisis.

The Darfur refugees, mainly women and children, were forced to flee their homes after attacks by the Janjaweed, a militia armed by the Khartoum government to help combat rebels. The government, which initially slowed access by aid organisations to Darfur, has so far failed to fulfil promises to the UN to disarm the Janjaweed.

The onset of heavy rain in recent weeks has brought chaos to the camps by cutting off roads and aid, destroying shelters and disrupting water supplies, leaving malnourished refugees vulnerable to disease.

There is intense debate between Downing Street and the Foreign Office about the best approach. Some, especially in the Foreign Office, see military involvement as impractical given that Darfur is the size of France, and favour continuing to cajole the government into reining in the Janjaweed and making the camps secure.

Intervention in Sudan would help Mr Blair counter critics who accuse him of intervening only when US or British self-interest is at stake. Britain sent soldiers to Sierra Leone in 2000 in support of a beleaguered UN force: the other interventions were Kosovo, Afghanistan and twice in Iraq.

In spite of complaints by the Ministry of Defence about the overstretch of military resources, it could provide a few hundred servicemen. A request for thousands would be problematic. Government officials concede that the US is unlikely to put any troops on the ground and there is little support elsewhere in Europe.

At prime minister's question time, the Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy, asked Mr Blair: "What scope do you see for further practical steps now ... to assist the millions of Sudanese facing ethnic cleansing and starvation?"

Mr Blair said he was in touch with ministers on the issue every day and had spoken to the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, twice over the past couple of weeks. He said it was vital to "make sure whatever aid is given gets through to the people who need it most and secondly to keep up pressure on the government of Sudan to make sure they are dealing with the real problems that are giving rise to the violence and ethnic cleansing."

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004
You've got ot admire his balls, just after telling the army it is being reduced he lets them know of another possible little jaunt.....
 
#2
All hail the glorious leader and his world vision.

Lets go and do his bidding brothers and never complain. He is all wise and all seeing. Lets put our lives on the line for our glorious leader.

Now where did I put that other spliff :wink:
 
#3
Sorry , how can we help.All of us are about to become civilians , after yesterdays cull.
As much as I personally hate to see this situation escalate, why are WE , the British and the US getting involved again . Are the French not a part of Europe,or will they only intervene when it suits their national interest?
 
#4
heard a debate on the radio yesterday, where some bod stated that the general staff are looking at Africa as they know its on the horizon, called him a w4nker at the time, not so sure now.
yes, agree totally about France, at the mo europe seems to consist of the uk and the uk alone.
overstretch, what overstretch. gibber,gibber
 
#5
Cuts reduce RAF to The Few
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent, and Neil Tweedie
(Filed: 22/07/2004)

Nearly a quarter of the RAF is to be axed, with the loss of more than 100 front-line aircraft, Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, said yesterday.

Overall, the Armed Forces will be reduced by a tenth in what the Tories described as "a political and moral betrayal". Many ships and tanks will be scrapped.

The RAF is to be cut from 53,800 personnel to 41,000 and will lose all 108 Jaguar ground attack aircraft. A fifth of its Tornado F3 fighter aircraft are to go, plus its base at Coltishall, Norfolk.

It will also lose nine of its Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft and the RAF Regiment's air defence capability.

The Royal Navy will lose 5,000 men and 15 vessels, including the Type 42 destroyers Cardiff, Newcastle and Glasgow, the Type 23 frigates Norfolk, Grafton and Marlborough and the hunter-killer submarines Spartan, Superb and Trafalgar.

The Army is to lose 5,500 men and more than 80 Challenger II tanks as part of a major restructuring in which all 19 single-battalion "famous names" will be subsumed into large regionally-based regiments, with the loss of four named regiments.

Much of the detail of the cuts will not be given until later in the year when military bases and many helicopters will be axed.

The only expansion is in special forces, with a second regular SAS regiment expected to be created to cope with the amount of work the SAS and SBS have been carrying out in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Hoon told MPs that 10,000 Ministry of Defence civil servants would lose their jobs as part of "improvements to military capabilities".

He said the "rebalancing" was designed to ensure that the Armed Forces were "equipped and trained to continue to perform with success in the future those tasks which they have so admirably undertaken in recent years". The forces had "enthusiastically embraced this process of transformation" which would "see a shift away from an emphasis on numbers of platforms and of people".

But last night there was a deep sense of shock in the RAF and the Royal Navy, the two services hardest hit. A recently retired senior officer said both felt "the top brass have sold them out".

Nicholas Soames, the shadow defence secretary, said the forces would feel "betrayed politically and morally" and the public would be "dismayed" by the "underhand" treatment meted out to those who had fought for their country.

All three services are below their established strengths and the Army and the Royal Navy will need to lose only about 1,500 personnel. But many RAF and MoD civil servants will be made redundant.



Defence sources said the calculations had been very difficult, with the Treasury refusing to pay for the redundancies that were an inevitable result of its failure to fund defence properly.

It is still refusing to pay more than £500 million of the money spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence is in the grip of a major financial crisis, caused in part by its failure to realise the full effect of the Treasury's introduction of resource account budgeting, which penalises it heavily because of the large amount of land it owns. It also over-estimated the amount it could save by making small cuts to large procurement projects such as the Eurofighter and the Royal Navy's two new aircraft carriers. Both projects will continue but the number of the Navy's new Type 45 destroyers will be cut from 12 to eight.

The angry debate that preceded the announcements had led Mr Hoon to warn the defence chiefs that any sign of dissent "would lead to them being shown the door", defence sources said.


In a personal message to the fleet, Adml Sir Alan West, the First Sea Lord, emphasised the difficulties the Navy now faced.

He said that "clearly a ship can only be in one place at a time" and added: "I do not instinctively welcome the early disposal of good ships."

Gen Sir Michael Walker, the Chief of the Defence Staff, told service personnel in a letter that "tough choices" had been made and that the numbers of personnel being axed were "stark".

Defence sources said he had gone to see Tony Blair three times to curtail the cuts to levels that he and the other defence chiefs believed the forces would accept.

So contentious were some of the cuts that changes were being made up to the last minute. The decision to axe only one of the Scottish famous name infantry regiments was taken this week for purely political reasons to try to contain the angry reaction in Scotland.

The names of the one Scottish and three English regiments to be axed will not be announced until later in the year. The six Scottish infantry line regiments have been told to decide among themselves which regiment is to go, with the Highlanders the most likely.
it's ok! The new SAS regt will be able to do any work in the Sudan. Though it does begger the question of how they intend to double the amount of SF troops whilst at the same time reducing the pool of potential candidates they draw from.
Also seems that big brave hoon has read the riot act to "service chiefs" ie those that can't answer back yet doesn't have the balls to stand up to Brown who is refusing to pay for small little details such as afghanistan.
 
#6
The angry debate that preceded the announcements had led Mr Hoon to warn the defence chiefs that any sign of dissent "would lead to them being shown the door", defence sources said.
Christ the cheek of the cnut! The sooner he ficking........better stop there. I was thinking things that will get me in serious trouble.

2 years, 11 months, 300 days and counting :roll:
 
#7
When is the next by-election? Can we get enough support for a candidate and a deposit? The powers that be need a warning shot across the bows , I think .
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#8
notmesir said:
Cuts reduce RAF to The Few
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent, and Neil Tweedie
(Filed: 22/07/2004)

The only expansion is in special forces, with a second regular SAS regiment expected to be created to cope with the amount of work the SAS and SBS have been carrying out in Iraq and Afghanistan.
How the feck do they expect to do this? As far as I'm aware, 22 SAS has never been anything like fully manned because, quite rightly, they refuse to lower standards to make up numbers.
 
#9
chickenpunk said:
notmesir said:
Cuts reduce RAF to The Few
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent, and Neil Tweedie
(Filed: 22/07/2004)

The only expansion is in special forces, with a second regular SAS regiment expected to be created to cope with the amount of work the SAS and SBS have been carrying out in Iraq and Afghanistan.
How the feck do they expect to do this? As far as I'm aware, 22 SAS has never been anything like fully manned because, quite rightly, they refuse to lower standards to make up numbers.
They've had 2 squadrons fully deployed for getting on for 2 years now...........how can they say there is no overstretch!

If it wasnt for their criminally incompetent procurement disasters we would have plenty of cash to spend............... :x
 
#10
chickenpunk said:
How the feck do they expect to do this? As far as I'm aware, 22 SAS has never been anything like fully manned because, quite rightly, they refuse to lower standards to make up numbers.
By doing just that Chikenpunk, they will lower the standard, much to the detriment of the Regiment, I can see no other way of having 2 fully manned SAS Regiments.
 
#11
Ozgerbobble said:
They've had 2 squadrons fully deployed for getting on for 2 years now...........how can they say there is no overstretch!
But, as has been pointed out already, they can't be suffering from overstretch as we don't know what understretch is. errr in which case why are they thinking of doubling their manpower?
 
#12
When is the next by-election? Can we get enough support for a candidate and a deposit? The powers that be need a warning shot across the bows , I think
Agreed , very very very agreed.

The problem we have, is the Beloved Leader likes to call snap by-elections, to try and reduce the chance of credible opposition getting organised.

The time to start the process is now, because I believe there will certainly be one, possibly 2 by-elections before the next General.

Possible candidates? Sir Mike Boyce , Tim Collins or any other profile Ex-service OR soon to retire in a blaze of glory individual :wink:

As regards the French, they certainly have no problem deploying troops in support of their former colonies, or countries within their sphere of influence, but does Sudan count? I have a feeling historically, that Sudan is our Tar baby 8O

Personally, I am in favour of Military intervention in a situation like this, having witnessed Rwanda first hand. It's the sort of thing we are bloody good at, and it's the sort of situation that we can make that vital difference in.

The problem is, we are stretched like a drumskin , or maybe we aren't , according to TCH?



Gen Sir Michael Walker, the Chief of the Defence Staff, told service personnel in a letter that "tough choices" had been made and that the numbers of personnel being axed were "stark".
Didn't he say that in 1999?

I don't know how hard he fought against this , I would hope very. But I remember the veiled and naked threats against personnel involved in anti-SDR operations the last time.

I also remember vividly, that we had to get the real story of what was happening to us , from a Broadsheet Journo. 8O

We need a Sir Mike Boyce right now. We need Red Tabbers , who think "What the hell, we're not taking this lying down"

We need to know, in some public fashion, that our GS fought to the bitter end to protect us, and our interests .

Anything but, just leads to speculation and an attendant collapse in morale at unit level. I saw it first hand , when the cull was done within the Regiment in 1999

It was almost "All those who think they're going to be in the new Regiment one pace forward - STAND FAST THAT MAN!"

This is almost the same, but on a far far larger scale.

It's easy to blame our GS for not sticking up to TCH and his minions of mediocrity. But, below them, are the up and comers who won't rock the boat either, and the whole "Roll over and play dead, it's the knighthood, pension and all the frills under threat old boy" permeates down the chain.

As I found out first hand 8O

The duty justification "New kit, more of it, more efficient , smaller army, force multiplier, Small war containment blah blah blah" was used in 1999

It's being used here. What has actually changed since then?

Would be nice for a red tabbed grown up to come in and put their view.
 
#13
From toadys Scotsman:

http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1034&id=835842004

Commanders warn all ranks to silence dissent in public

JAMES KIRKUP and GETHIN CHAMBERLAIN


MEMBERS of the armed forces have been warned they face harsh punishment if they publicly speak of their anger at yesterday’s defence cuts.

The Scotsman understands that army chiefs have written to the commanding officers of all six Scottish regiments to warn them that public displays of discontent will not be tolerated.

And lower down the chain of command, officers and men have been left in no doubt that there will be severe consequences for anyone who communicates complaints about the cuts to the media, even anonymously. "Some of our more sensitive friends threatened all sorts of bad things," said one serviceman, referring to those responsible for military discipline.

Punishments could include "administrative action and a nasty letter or interview without coffee," a reference to a formal disciplinary meeting with superior officers.

Queen’s Regulations forbid serving personnel from speaking to the media without authorisation, and traditionally, members of the forces have relied on retired officers and regimental associations to communicate their thoughts to the wider world.

But some serving officers have expressed unhappiness at the way the "traditional" system has worked during the debate over yesterday’s cuts, and are considering more dramatic steps including a open letter-writing campaign to newspapers.

Another protest being discussed last night was to use so-called "redress" rules within Queen’s Regulations that allow service personnel to ask formally for commanding officers to express their concerns to the Defence Board, the highest body in the UK armed forces which is chaired by Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary.

The prospect of serving officers speaking out against the cuts may put at least one Labour MP in an awkward position.

Eric Joyce, the MP for Falkirk West, left the army in 1999 after being disciplined for publicly criticising military management.

He has been one of the most outspoken advocates of yesterday’s modernisation plans on the Labour back-benches.

Some serving forces personnel regularly use internet message boards and other electronic forums to discuss military developments, and tip off reporters about them.

But there are indications that military police investigators have taken to monitoring the boards and are trying to trace the identities of those responsible for potentially controversial messages.


Such moves have left some members of the armed forces feeling even more disaffected.

"Unlike the rest of the human race which enjoys the protection of the law of the land, the military still has various internal kangaroo court processes to hang people out to dry," said one disgruntled serviceman yesterday.

General Sir Mike Jackson, the Chief of the General Staff, acknowledged that there would be discontent, particular among Scottish servicemen and women.

"I’m sure they will not all be happy," he told The Scotsman.

And in an remarkable display of how the language of modern management has even penetrated the upper echelons of the military, the former paratrooper pledged to work to soften the blow and "help them through the emotional change barrier."

The general refused to discuss the attempt to gag service personnel, but left no doubt that he would take a dim view of anyone found communicating with the media.

"There are rules about serving personnel talking to the press," he said. "Rules are rules. The army is not a democracy."
 
#14
tell the f*cking monkeys they can pitch up round my house any time they like , just because people don't say it's a big bulging bag of puke it doesn't mean it isn't.

don't know if anyones already mentioned this , but i don't think that Geoff Hoon bloke is very good at his job. :roll: :wink:
 

X-Inf

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#15
From L-Gs quote from the Scotsman

"But there are indications that military police investigators have taken to monitoring the boards and are trying to trace the identities of those responsible for potentially controversial messages. "

So much for free speech! Don't give a toss - I'm civvy now. Anyway CRMP, unless they have changed dramatically, can't even catch a cold.

I hope ARRSE Mods who are serving are not put in trouble over this. Hand over all duties to non-serving pers if you are in danger of the Monkeys feeling your shoulder.

So much for the 'indications' that senior officewrs were monitoring this site and valued the views expressed - obviously don't apply to TCH.

However, I am surprised that TCH said that the TA would be used before reserves as he has just put 10,000 on the reserve.
 
#16
i fortunately have no reserve liability , seeing as i was "option for changed" in 1995 , but can you imagine the answer they will get from the people being made redundant WHEN ...not if they get called up in a couple of years time...
F*CK OFF..........AND WHEN YOU GET THERE,F*CK OFF AGAIN. :twisted:
 
#17
X-Inf ,

I'm just formulating a sticky now as regards this, hopefully in a fashion that allows personnel to express righteous indignation etc, but without CFF'ing an interview with their hats on 8O

To this end, the broad outline will be

NO slagging CGS or CDS
NO mentioning of specific unit or formation morale or problems
NO talking to Journalists , especially PM's from individuals you don't recognise.

Broader outline - If you wouldn't say it to a local newpaper, don't say it here.

However, what your unit is doing as regards counter-chop operations, is your own concern, but I imagine the lobbying is going in hard.
 
#18
Thankfully, when Bliar signed up to the European Constitution, it also allowed citizens of UK freedom of expression and political views. Any attempt to charge individuals for using that right could be taken to European Court.
It is also possible that an individual could face administrative action, under civil employment law, for breach of contract. However, this would fall under the service test and whether, on the balance of probability, what was said had damaged the image or reputation of the service. So, for example, an individual openly stating that the CGS/CDS etc was incompetent/not working hard enough/lacked moral fibre COULD face action under this for publicly undermining the chain of command. An individual who said that they personally felt demoralised as a result of these announcements would have a good defence.
The question of redress of complaint is a very good one. Officers can redress direct to the Queen, which would be embarrassing. However, most redresses are stopped at ECAB before that, and they are the ones who decided which units were to disbanded, so I cannot see that path being successful except in gaining publicity.
 
#19
OK, so let me throw this out to the posters at large.

What would YOU have done, to preserve our capabilty to defend ourselves, and simultaneously project, to protect our individuals and interests overseas?

How would you have altered the balance, and what equipment and manning would you attempt to procure to enable this?

Most importantly, how would you get the money to do this?

How would you role our troops, and how would you decide on priority of future involvement?

Caveat - Imagine that doctrinal thinking didn't involve hiding behind America's skirts. So think French 8O
 

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