Masters and commanders: BBC4 last night

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Agent_Smith, Nov 13, 2006.

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  1. Did anyone catch this last night.

    I thought it was a brilliant programme that traced the ever increasing level of micro-management imposed on the work of the armed forces by their political masters.

    Some really good input from Senior officers. Appears wacko Jacko seriously contemplated resignation on more than one occassion, but felt he could do more from inside than the limited effects his resignation would have on the governments policies.
  2. Certainly an interesting program. Whilst it went over the saga of Goose green which has been in various publications before, didn't rehash everything and learnt a bit as regards Monke and Haig.

    Alanbrookes War Diarys are a good read.
  3. Caught part of it, but not all unfortunately.

    Thought it was a very good programme, and General Jackson's comments were interesting. The comment about the Admiral who resigned - until I read it here, on a post a month or so ago, I'd never heard about it.

    Did Urban go back to WW2 at all? I missed the early part of the programme, but having read a few biographies, including Allanbrooke and Montgomery, it would appear that Churchill was also a meddler. Be interesting to see what he would have done with the power of modern technology.

    The problem with politicians in my view, is that they all see themselves as able to be back seat generals. (And arguably the Press as well.) The lack of politicians who have real experience of the military leads them to question a professionals ability at one level, but not able to critically question the advice at the other.

    I also think that Commanders at all levels have the ability to play with the "long screwdriver" - I read it described as "Squad commander in the sky" during the American experience in Vietnam, and have no doubt today that Army commanders, with access to more and more information, and Staff Officers with little to do but tinker, and justify their existence, do meddle.