Maj Gen Mackay says MoD incapable of fighting modern wars

#1
Note the MoD spin:

Ex-general says MoD 'incapable' of fighting modern wars

Maj Gen Mackay led the recapturing of Musa Qala

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is "institutionally incapable" of adapting to rapid change needed to fight modern wars, a former Army commander has said.

Maj Gen Andrew Mackay accused the military of failing to understand local Afghans' motivations and called for fresh thinking on the battlefield.

His comments are published in a report by the MoD's Defence Academy.

The MoD said it would consider the report but it did "not represent the views of the MoD or wider government".

Maj Gen Mackay retired in September, citing personal reasons.

Most recently, he led a successful British operation to recapture Musa Qala from the Taliban.

The paper, co-authored by Royal Navy Commander Steve Tatham, also highlighted a need for more focus on "behaviourist" strategy and criticised the shelving of academic research and courses for non-commissioned MoD officers.

The structures, despite the best will in the world, are institutionally incapable of keeping pace with rapid change and the associated willingness to adapt - and quickly - at the same time
Maj Gen Andrew Mackay

Its publication by the Defence Academy in Shrivenham, Oxfordshire, comes as the the 246th member of the British military is killed on operations in Afghanistan.

The unnamed soldier, from 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, died in an explosion in the Nad-e-Ali area of Helmand province on Sunday.

In the report, Maj Gen Mackay claimed that if the military was to be successful in battle, it had to focus on understanding the culture, economy and psychology of the Taliban.

It suggested the Western education system was designed for a previous age and could not adapt to future challenges.

'Enthusiastic amateurs'

It went on: "We fear that the British armed forces may be similarly pre-disposed and from the top of the MoD through to the Army's staff colleges, the structures, despite the best will in the world, are institutionally incapable of keeping pace with rapid change and the associated willingness to adapt - and quickly - at the same time."

The authors called for a radical change in attitude over the importance of information and media officers to conflicts such as Afghanistan.

At present "well-meaning and enthusiastic amateurs" were seconded from every branch of the military for two or three-year tours, who "did their best with minimal training but who are unlikely to return to such duties again", they said.

It was "ridiculous" such positions were given to people with no experience as they were "one of the most important appointments to any battle group or staff", they added.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "The Defence Academy seeks to stimulate debate and discussion to aid the formulation of policy and while we will consider this report it does not represent the views of the MoD or wider government.

"The MoD and the armed forces are constantly evolving to deliver the best military capability at home, abroad and particularly in Afghanistan where our training and strategy joins military action with social and economic development alongside the other 43 nations with whom we are operating."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8439945.stm
 
#5
Bernster said:
Another recently retired senior brass states the bloody obvious. Very quiet while serving, another book coming out soon I guess!
I don't think so. He resigned.
 
#8
Rudie said:
Bernster said:
Another recently retired senior brass states the bloody obvious. Very quiet while serving, another book coming out soon I guess!
I don't think so. He resigned.
And good riddance too.
 
#10
jointhedots said:
You need to do your homework. He is still serving. Last I heard is not out until March
So what? He has gone, fallen on his sword etc etc. I only wish he was so proactively involved when he commanded.

Whilst under his command, a more able defender of the "correct/party line/dictate" I have yet to hear. Afghanistan (or perhaps the realisation that he wasn't going to go any further) seems to have spurred on this sudden gobbiness and chest beating.

I'm sure the book will do well :roll:
 
#11
General Monck (father of the British Army) wrote in 1671.....................

"A General is not so much blamed for making trial of an ill-digested project, as he will be for the obstinate continuing of the same. Therefore the speediest leaving of any such enterprise doth excuse the rashness which might be imputed to the beginning".

Make what you wish of that folks.
 
#12
Surely in Afghan we're incapable off fighting an ancient war? If we're fighting a modern war surely the Taliban would be engaging us with JDAMS, armoured battle groups, UAVs c/w Hellfire etc.

Probably just pedantry on my part, he is a Maj-Gen after all and I'm not.............................
 
#13
bluntslane said:
Surely in Afghan we're incapable off fighting an ancient war? If we're fighting a modern war surely the Taliban would be engaging us with JDAMS, armoured battle groups, UAVs c/w Hellfire etc.

Probably just pedantry on my part, he is a Maj-Gen after all and I'm not.............................
The wars you describe are industrial wars of the last century.
Winning the people is the present war.
Makes sense then that most of our theory (at least at junior level) is Heavy Metal centric.
Learning for the last war then. Again.
 
#14
T-b-bt, I think the Maj-Gen was quoted as saying "modern WARS". The one previous to Afghan was still going on this century (Iraq), the last century only being 10 (just) years ago. I believe we are capable of winning this current war, we just need our political masters to give an EXACT mission requirement.

Also at what level do you believe the thinking switches to Light-Role Centric?
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads