"May questions UK’s top tier military status.."

Looking at Op Granby (Gulf 1), the RAF had 4 Sqns of C130, 1 of VC10 and 1 dual role Tristar. It also had 2 tanker Sqns of Victors. This transport capacity was enough to put over 25k troops into theatre with 13k tons of freight.

Nowadays we have 2 C130 Sqns replaced by 2 A400M Sqns instead. VC10/Tristar has been replaced by 2 Sqn of Voyager - although acknowledging they are part of the tanker capability. On the plus side, there are 8 x C17 we didn't have before.


So could we deploy a Brigade inside 2 weeks given our AT looks about the same or slightly more capable - I reckon on paper yes. This would have to be after the usual question is asked of the politicians - Yes we can but what of our existing commitments do you want us to stop.

I'm hedging an inf Bde, not a mixed BG with armour. You didn't state that and you can do your own poxy logs estimate, or specify the task better.

As to a Division, no, I doubt it very much. But is that the be all and end all (and to go back OT, the acknowledged qualification for Tier 1 military status?) - I refer you to Voltaire:

"God is not on the side of the Big Battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best."
We are talking about an element with 6-7 Battalions. Is this also assuming your lift assets are 100 percent functional the entire time?

I don’t think Voltaire was committed to stopping T-90’s and BMP 3’s.

If the UK cuts it’s defense budget which seems to be the writing on the wall. We won’t be able to get the majority of NATO to pony up the money either. Which means NATO goes back to country club status and the US needs to rethink our commitments.
 
May was in a strong position as Home Secretary; as Prime Minister she is not. She cannot afford to make any more enemies, something which contrary to everything else she does she seems to excel at.
She cannot afford to make any mistakes either, which her tenure at the Home Office was littered with.

She seems to have run out of ministerial meat shields to hide behind.
 
All this back and forthery about brigades and divsions ducks the question - do we have a strategic need for a heavy metal division or even a ditto brigade, on short notice to deploy and capable of self-sustainment for 6-12 months? I'd submit the answer is clearly 'no' - I sense not only no pending strategic need, but also an utter lack of political or popular enthusiasm for yet another oozing-sore conflict like Telic or Herrick. Don't be blinded by the sympathy and affection fplk felt for the Service personnel involved in those conflicts - the great British public has firmly decided they were pointless and, in any case, lost (and, arguably, according to popular legend, illegal, at least in Iraq).

Short of an existential threat, it'll be a long time before it becomes acceptable to go stomping on to someone else's real estate unless it's for clearly defensive purposes - an Article 5 invocation, for example. Under those circumstances, it's kind of hard to justify spending a huge amount of time and money maintaining a full-fledged high readiness heavy metal capability, if you can't see likely circumstances where you'd want to deploy the specific effects that capability allows. Keep it on life support, probably in the Reserve and light pres so you don't have to rebuild from scratch if you need to and that's probably good enough.
You sense ‘no’ but you are entirely and absolutely wrong.
 
I don't think that's the case - the strategic case for maritime and air power is considerably easier to make than for heavy metal. The political and electoral case, ditto, of course - especially as a lack of land power actually makes it highly unlikely we'll get dragged into any more losing ground wars. That's politically attractive.
Except it isn’t. It may be when you are talking in the empty space on ARRSE but not in the real world.

Major strategic partnerships matter - and those partnerships are interested in certain things. Niche capabilities are nice but don’t really get people interested. If required Qatar or Sweden can provide them. If you really need them you can provide them yourself.
 
It might well be a relevant need and task, but I'd rather like - as a citizen and a taxpayer - to have it spelled out under which circumstances and in pursuit of which ends this sort of intervention capability would be required. I rather think it would be hard to come up with a convincing set of circumstances fpr our deployment of a heavy metal component, over a deployment ditto by a partner or ally, freeing us to do the light-blue and dark-blue stuff we're better suited and equipped to do.
Because major strategic partners are interested in people they can build deep coalitions with - not people that say ‘send your people to do the dying and the bleeding - we will Park a boat in the Med while you do it’
 
Except it isn’t. It may be when you are talking in the empty space on ARRSE but not in the real world.

Major strategic partnerships matter - and those partnerships are interested in certain things. Niche capabilities are nice but don’t really get people interested. If required Qatar or Sweden can provide them. If you really need them you can provide them yourself.

Your commitment to NATO for one. Armored forces are needed, which is why you have to have multiple Armored Brigades.
 
In part I disagree. Having almost leapt out to work in the NHS my wife, who has for 30 years been in the NHS, refused to let me. Her daily tails of utter inept management and bizarre process really do make the MoD look effective. It's the internal mechanisms which defeat it.

A lot of the poor management has sprung up since their desegregation and the creation of the myriad of trusts and supporting entities, they are so complex that they require way too much support from people who don't seem to fully appreciate exactly what it is they need to be doing or how to achieve it. Enormous amounts of time and money and lost simply in the creation of support and contracts between the trusts and their supporting entities.

There is quite simply a huge degree of over complexity, duplication and incoherence built into it's new organisational construct., with very ineffectual overseeing bodies. When you take a step back and look at exactly how big the NHS is and what it does, you can see why people struggle to put their arms around it.

Equally until we all cease to expect everything for free, when we stamp out feet, then at the output end the NHS will suffer.
Lessons for MOD there? How much manpower and money is tied up in processes that serve themselves without adding value?
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
The moment you concede on armoured warfare every else is politically on the table and HMF will be gutted.
Armour doesn't protect your sea lines of communication, ensure POL, foods get through undisrupted, deter/intercept smuggling/drug trafficking/CT, conduct NEO/HADR, add to strategic ISR or CASD. That's probably why we've parked ours in sheds for a long time and the outcry has been minimal.
 
Armour doesn't protect your sea lines of communication, ensure POL, foods get through undisrupted, deter/intercept smuggling/drug trafficking/CT, conduct NEO/HADR, add to strategic ISR or CASD. That's probably why we've parked ours in sheds for a long time and the outcry has been minimal.
Yes but his point stands. Let’s assume we want an isolationist foreign policy and purely a defence force. We could get away with a much smaller Navy used only for local defence couldn’t we?
 
There's a LOT in the NHS that needs some love. 'Love' in the sense of a good boot.

I'm interested as to why porters were declared special cases. It rings bells.

A friend whom I've mentioned before on here used to run the outpatients physio departments at my local NHS trust. She had a porter who would come in once a year with 'back problems'. He would freely declare to her that there was nothing wrong with him - he just felt that five weeks' paid leave a year wasn't enough and he'd decided that he was entitled to six.

The point was that the system was set up such that she wasn't allowed to 'refuse treatment'.

I've written that in quotes because there wasn't any to be given. But nor could she call this guy out within the system. He knew that she couldn't call him a liar, so could be as blatant as he liked with her. The burden was then placed on her to cover for him and it made her complicit, which she had a lot of issues with (she's basically a very honest sort).

Per many other posts on here, there's a LOT needs sorting out before we throw more money at the NHS.

The posts on the relatively low-threshold fixes to people's lifestyles that would make huge differences are spot-on.

I'm blessed through my other half with having private cover. I've had to have a few things done in recent years (hernia repair, some necessary maxillofacial work) and it's been seamless. I also jog through the campus of my local hospital fairly regularly - it's my route to the local lanes and hills.

The difference is not just in the efficiency. It's in the patients. The private hospital is clean, the areas outside deserted. The NHS hospital's outside areas are littered (a word that works in so many ways...) with people in wheelchairs, many with limbs missing, puffing away. Let's just say that the limb losses aren't the results of severe trauma events.

But we're not to judge. It makes me very angry that there have been efforts made to have obesity declared an illness, not a result (in a huge number if not the majority of cases) of lifestyle choices.

According to the Obesity Health Alliance — a coalition of over 40 leading charities, medical royal colleges and campaign groups working together to share their expertise and support the national government in tackling the complex issue of overweight and obesity in the UK — the financial burden to the NHS amounts to £5.1bn a year. That figure is based on NHS data from 2005/6 and, with rates of obesity increasing, it is expected to increase by an extra £2.5bn per year by 2035. The cost to wider society amounts to tens of billions of pounds annually.

Walking and cycling for just 10 minutes a day can contribute towards the 150 minutes of physical activity for adults per week which are recommended by the UK’s senior medical officers. And, as well as obesity, physical activity helps to prevent and manage quite a number of other chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, dementia and several forms of cancer. It is also linked to overall health benefits, such as reduced injury risk, improved quality of life, increased productivity and reduced absenteeism at work.

Obesity is also a major cause of cancer.

...that's just obesity. Add in smoking, add in alcohol and substance abuse - as well as the incidents caused by the latter in particular. Call it £10bn right there in 'funding' for the NHS which we could gain by forcing people to get a grip.

Yet still we're not allowed to judge.


Apologies for the thread drift.
You seem to be advocating a joined up policy of of education, preventative testing, taxation and advertising restrictions, and so on.... Standby for 'nanny state' cries...
 
Yes but his point stands. Let’s assume we want an isolationist foreign policy and purely a defence force. We could get away with a much smaller Navy used only for local defence couldn’t we?
Probably not - if we did something silly (read really f***ing stupid) like withdrawing from NATO we would no longer benefit from allies defending our interests.
 
You seem to be advocating a joined up policy of of education, preventative testing, taxation and advertising restrictions, and so on.... Standby for 'nanny state' cries...
I always find this an interesting contrast. The left - who by and large want a more funded NHS and bigger Govt normally shy away from demanding the sort of civic responsibility and interference in people’s lives that would reduce burden on the NHS through healthier lives and education. It’s peoples human right to eat Maccy D’s and smoke after all.

On the other side you have the right - predominantly interested in smaller Govt and less state intervention. But are more likely to demand more state interference in people’s lives to ease the burden on the NHS. After all why should they pay for Tina to have her third kid, or for someone who is obese or who smokes?
 
Probably not - if we did something silly (read really f***ing stupid) like withdrawing from NATO we would no longer benefit from allies defending our interests.
But that is the logic used. We don’t have to worry about NATO commitments or other strategic partners because someone else will do the fighting for us. We can invest in niche capabilities and sit on the flanks.
 
I always find this an interesting contrast. The left - who by and large want a more funded NHS and bigger Govt normally shy away from demanding the sort of civic responsibility and interference in people’s lives that would reduce burden on the NHS through healthier lives and education. It’s peoples human right to eat Maccy D’s and smoke after all.

On the other side you have the right - predominantly interested in smaller Govt and less state intervention. But are more likely to demand more state interference in people’s lives to ease the burden on the NHS. After all why should they pay for Tina to have her third kid, or for someone who is obese or who smokes?
Ironically, the NHS and Welfare State were designed in Wartime (1944 and Beveridge come to mind, perhaps someone like @Archimedes can correct me), very much with the realities of a wartime population influencing things.
The hands off type of right wing liberalism proposed by some is doomed to fail, as it ignores human nature, in the same way Marxism is doomed to fail.
 
I forget where the quote is meant to be found, but Nye Bevan is supposed to have said that the NHS would 'always be found wanting'.

Beveridge issued his report in 1942. The Cabinet had a spirited debate about whether to publish it or not (the Treasury argued that the welfare system it outlined was quite unaffordable), but did so in part to give the public an idea of the 'new world' they were fighting for. It went down very well with the public, and by 1944, it was pretty certain that some form of welfare state would be introduced; the Labour landslide in 1945 is held, in part, to have been down to a view on the part of the electorate that Attlee would deliver it whereas they couldn't be sure about the Tories.
 
Another theory doing the rounds is the threat from Russia is not heavy metal and is more likely to be SF incursions in the manner of Crimea so a fast, flexible but punchy response is all that is required. Can you hear "Strike"?
Yes all those T90s and Armatas are just for fun, but we will convince ourselves otherwise because it suits the people in charge, both civil and military to do so. We really really do seem to be copying the early 30's at present in most unsettling ways.
 
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