Liam Fox interview on Defence Cuts - Telegraph

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Semper_Flexibilis, Jul 22, 2010.

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  1. This kind of thinking is shoite, with them saying we will be out of afghanistan by 2015 why are we manouvering ourselves for an SDR focussed on Afghan?

    We spend such a low % of GDP on defence the question is not if we can afford our armed forces it's if we have the stomach to fund them properly and the backbone not see it as an easy target for cuts in a word which is getting smaller and more dangerous as resources become more and more scarce.
  2. What a cock

    “We have to keep sufficient land forces to hold territory if required, we have got to maintain enough maritime power and we have got to maintain air power to maintain air superiority.”

    It would be nice if we had sufficient land forces in theatre full stop, and I mean blokes at the coal-face, not people eating from pizza hut in Bastion/KAF every night.
  3. You are an idiot. What good is a coal face without a rear echelon to be supplied from? Inevitably the relative safety of that area is going to lead to easier tours for others than some.

    But as the Brigadier wrote in Soldier Magazine: If an infantryman wanted to sort mail and helped guide in C-17's then he would be doing that job. Instead he chose the Infantry.
  4. I'm pretty sure I remember Fox saying something about the SDR being shaped by potential threats and not resources.

    Seems the new lot play as fast and loose with the truth as the last lot, which is pretty depressing.

    The headline should read: "British Government no longer has the will to defend the nation from every threat."
  5. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    before the election Dr Fox, as an opposition spokesman, spoke to cpunk and 'answered' some questions put by Arrsers. Some of his responses then seem to be at odds with what is being proposed now. Here is what he said in March 2010.

    Have a look and compare with what is being considered now.
  6. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Sorry, not the case. The SDSR is far from focussed on Afghanistan, despite all the pressure from the Army (See e.g. Gen Dannet in the DTel yesterday).

    The SDSR is just that - strategic - and will look way beyond the threshold of Afghanistan, which is a couple of years in serious terms.
  7. Despite having zero knowledge yet of the detail of the SDSR, on the face of it Dr Fox's reply above appears more than a little disingenuous. Perhaps someone who is actually involved could comment on whether this is indeed the way the process is being conducted, but his comments in the Telegraph article suggest the opposite of what he has stated here. The opportunity to question him again could be informative, but now he's in office I very much doubt he'd want to trouble himself with difficult questions.

    Bold: Indeed, or maybe wholly intended consequences - *tinfoil on*: By pulling out enough of our teeth the politicos can make pan-European defence a necessity rather than an option to be considered, with the economic crisis conveniently providing sufficient cover to whip out the axe. However, he was hardly likely to come on Arrse pre-election and announce mass redundancies followed by a plan to outsource key elements of the defence of the realm to nations that have no great love for this country.

    Whether that is the actually the case I don't know, but if it is I fail to see how relying on Europe for vital capabilities in the future marries up to the Tories professed realpolitik approach and safeguarding of the 'UK national interest'.
  8. Bet this one comes back to haunt him -
    “... The Russians are not going to come over the European plain any day soon,”
    Their doctrine is to attack as soon as they are the strongest side. They still cannot understand why NATO did not occupy them when the Berlin Wall came down. Neither can they get their heads wrapped round the fact that the Anglo-Saxon peoples have lost their appetite for ruling other countries directly. The Russians have a different outlook, and they clearly bear us a grudge about the cold war. The Litvenenko case proved that they could come into this country, kill someone, and go back to Russia undetected. They detected our weaknesses and exploited them to do that. This is not the time to be scrapping our defenses.
  9. I think you're missing the point, I'm well aware of the need to maintain a rear echelon, merely saying how galling it is to be slugging it out and spilling good blokes' blood to take ground that we don't have sufficient manpower to then hold onto.
    I hope things have improved since the last time I was out there, but wouldn't bet on it.
  10. Fair point but Dr Fox is also hinting at in the interview cuts in MBT numbers under the justification that they are not operating in Afghanistan and because of that asking the question what use are they?
  11. This is absolute nonsense. The Russians restructured their doctrine and capabilities in 2008. It is an ongoing process which revolves around expeditionary Brigades of volunteer soldiers, not conscription Divisions.

    Capabilities have been designed for rapid deployment to a caucus under threat at short notice. The Russians have neither the arms nor the will to engage in conventional warfare any more than we do. They have copied the Western Doctrine almost word for word and are making absolutely massive cutbacks in manpower.

    Jamestown Foundation have covered this is massive amounts of depth. However, they have recently purchased 5 Mistral Class Warships including amphibious assault landing craft in order to bolster the Black Sea Fleet because they believe the Navy is future of Russian influence projection. Same as Dr. Liam Fox believes...


    Second Point @ Smithy: MBT's are not being scrapped because they are not bieng used in Afghan. In actual fact the Canadians have found excellent use for MBT in Kandahar.

    MBT's will be scrapped because they are becoming redundant. Advances in rotary wing and UAV power expose them massively, not to mention the fact that Israel lost an entire Coy of Merkhava Mk 4 in Lebanon to IED's and guerilla tactics. The MBT is logistical nightmare - 65 tons of essentially useless metal which requires a ridiculous amount of maintenance and is only good for killing other tanks. A tank cannot hold ground, attack ground troops and is not compatible with a successful counter insurgency campaign.
  12. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    Whoa, tin foil hat time! You sound like KGB_Resident!
  13. Perspective and common sense. Are you implying that the SDR could contain both?!
  14. Its all swings and roundabouts, with the current state of affairs being that tanks are more vulnerable to AT/IED's.

    It may well be different in 5 years, if projects like that "Electric armour" which effectively neutralises all HEAT rounds or the israeli trophy system (The Cutting Edge News), which will provide an active countermeasure, make armour much less vulnerable to infantry. Against IED's, someone, somewhere will undoubtedly develop a scanner which can check out any threats in front of the vehicle.

    Defence is all about foresight, and it would be wrong to presume that just because Challenger is not massively useful right now, that it will continue to not be in the future!