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

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Someone is trying to set things on fire for the Sunday papers and morning shows. That usually means there is less in it than is being reported.
Times as well. "Minister 'whipping up revolt' against PM".

" The MPs are said to be threatening to vote against the budget this autumn, and to have been pushed into action by Williamson, who was promoted from chief whip to defence secretary by May last November. He is reported to have told senior military leaders: “I made her so I can break her.” "

If I were a suspicious sort of person, I might wonder if this was being leaked precisely so May can be seen to face down Williamson, refuse to squander billions on shooty bangy stuff nobody really cares about, and instead offer more cash tribute to the Great God Skoolzanospitals over the protests of her out-of-touch "nasty party" backbenchers who want to spend money on depleted-uranium baby-seeking missiles instead of NHS management bonuses priority healthcare requirements.

After all, voters claim to be deeply concerned about things like the NHS and schools and policing and social care; while the few who actually care about defence, are going to go... where? I mean, if you're going to withdraw your vote from the Tories in protest at their attitude to the defence of the realm, which Opposition party is offering to do better, spend more and more wisely, reform more boldly? Labour under Corbyn and McDonnell? The Liberal Democrats? The Greens?

For a calculating politician fighting short-term battles, like the PM, this is a no-lose situation. For Williamson it establishes his credentials in the longer game with the party membership (who bear little relationship to the rest of the population) for his leadership bid as The Only Candidate Wot Cares About Our Brave Boys (and girls).

What I very much doubt is that the actual details of defence are much known to, or cared about by, any of the players in this particular game...


edited to add... damn, beaten to it by something saying the same thing more succinctly from @alfred_the_great...
 
Times as well. "Minister 'whipping up revolt' against PM".

" The MPs are said to be threatening to vote against the budget this autumn, and to have been pushed into action by Williamson, who was promoted from chief whip to defence secretary by May last November. He is reported to have told senior military leaders: “I made her so I can break her.” "

If I were a suspicious sort of person, I might wonder if this was being leaked precisely so May can be seen to face down Williamson, refuse to squander billions on shooty bangy stuff nobody really cares about, and instead offer more cash tribute to the Great God Skoolzanospitals over the protests of her out-of-touch "nasty party" backbenchers who want to spend money on depleted-uranium baby-seeking missiles instead of NHS management bonuses priority healthcare requirements.

After all, voters claim to be deeply concerned about things like the NHS and schools and policing and social care; while the few who actually care about defence, are going to go... where? I mean, if you're going to withdraw your vote from the Tories in protest at their attitude to the defence of the realm, which Opposition party is offering to do better, spend more and more wisely, reform more boldly? Labour under Corbyn and McDonnell? The Liberal Democrats? The Greens?

For a calculating politician fighting short-term battles, like the PM, this is a no-lose situation. For Williamson it establishes his credentials in the longer game with the party membership (who bear little relationship to the rest of the population) for his leadership bid as The Only Candidate Wot Cares About Our Brave Boys (and girls).

What I very much doubt is that the actual details of defence are much known to, or cared about by, any of the players in this particular game...


edited to add... damn, beaten to it by something saying the same thing more succinctly from @alfred_the_great...
Oh you cynic! Do we get the politicians we deserve? What exactly is the angle of the press?

Yep- and anyone who hasn’t achieved sub-GCSE levels of English literacy despite a free education gets executed in the street.
ARRSE is going to be a quieter place then!
 
It’s interesting that after 20+ years that no-one can actually make this argument. If we could, it is self-evident that we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I presume the answer is re-submitting the same argument(s) and hoping it’ll change something this time around.
24% of the food we eat, 45% of the energy and a surprisingly high 60% of the medical products we use are imported into the UK. 45% of the fuel we use to transport people and goods is imported. Nearly all the copper, tin, lead, zinc and rare earth minerals industry uses are imported.

If UK Defence can not make an argument for defence spending based on those figures then they're even more pig ignorant than I thought.
 
Those NHS billions have to come from somewhere.
Another 5 to 10 years of decreasing investment in The Police as well in order to fund this vote winning NHS windfall.

No longer the party of Strong Defence and Law and Order. Soon to be the party of rising taxes.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
I am concerned about defending the country against the only plausible existential threat.
Which is?

But you happily dismiss any ASW operations since 1982 or the successful use of the deterrent, both of which are most likely faced against the opposition you're going to state.

beardyProf said:
These neo-colonial police actions are optional extras, not real warfare.
They're government directed tasks, prove capability and allow the warfare capabilities to be trained and tested.

You could say the same thing for our current deployments in Estonia, but we do it for a wider reason.
 
You think anyone but the frontier states would be bothered. There are people on this board openly saying the Baltic states, Byelorussia [aka East poland], the Ukraine are disposable. I suspect your average Belgian, or even German would give them half of Poland as well before they began to take notice.
A lot would
Your policy could leave NATO consisting of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Greece, Turkey, the USA and UK.
A coalition of the willing and (GDP dependant) capable.
 
If UK Defence can not make an argument for defence spending based on those figures then they're even more pig ignorant than I thought.
Maybe just divided and too bloody parochial?

To protect the trade behind those figures sounds mostly like a hands off Dark Blue/Light Blue task - threatening a greater penalty on those who would disturb the sinews of commerce, smacking noses when needed in a limited manner, but dominating by shifting presence and threat to where it is needed most.

All the current arguments seem to be about expensive sunk green costs in equipment fleet, manpower and casualty liability on deployment.

British Army - be the best exemplifying Dunning Kruger repeatedly every 3 years through the medium of APC and Career paths...
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I think this is Lord High Gavlar, bestest friend and trusted side kick to warrior monk mad dog Mattis, positioning himself with the blue rinse brigade who select the next leader.

Whether Defence actually needs £20Bn is neither here nor there - this is about positioning for a post-May era.

And I think Gavlar, or sources close to him, have been watching too much House of Cards...
Well, perhaps.

As @jrwlynch says, the other likely option is that this was leaked by the other side of the table, precisely to smack Williamson down. It's never a great idea to bet against incompetence, but I can't imagine someone who is saavy enough to know how to leak stuff to the DM actually thinking that saying "I made her so I can break her" is ever going to play well, with anyone. It is of course possible that the DM desk just spiced or made that quote up.

jrwlynch said:
Times as well. "Minister 'whipping up revolt' against PM".

" The MPs are said to be threatening to vote against the budget this autumn, and to have been pushed into action by Williamson, who was promoted from chief whip to defence secretary by May last November. He is reported to have told senior military leaders: “I made her so I can break her.” "
The Times is not above stealing stories from the previous evening's website rounds. Also, the language of circular reporting in the news world goes:

"XXX said" = on record quote.
"XXX is said to have said" = source, rumour or invention, take your pick depending on how much you trust the news outlet.
"XXX is reported to have said" = another news outlet has printed this quote and we are repeating it.

There are many others, of course. Point being that a lot of these things which look like concerted campaigns are often a media cascade effect of a single tasty article, which is then jumped on by all the other outlets.

Anyway, I don't know why you said that Alfred got there before you. You were both saying opposite things! Whether May/Hammond or Williamson/and friends leaked it has quite a bit to do with whether it is actually intended to help or prevent the budget increase.
 
24% of the food we eat, 45% of the energy and a surprisingly high 60% of the medical products we use are imported into the UK. 45% of the fuel we use to transport people and goods is imported. Nearly all the copper, tin, lead, zinc and rare earth minerals industry uses are imported.

If UK Defence can not make an argument for defence spending based on those figures then they're even more pig ignorant than I thought.
HM Government, MOD, and the single Services would struggle to put across the message that a brewery is a good place for a piss up!

>90% of our trade goes by sea - exports as well as imports.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Anyway, I don't know why you said that Alfred got there before you. You were both saying opposite things! Whether May/Hammond or Williamson/and friends leaked it has quite a bit to do with whether it is actually intended to help or prevent the budget increase.
There I disagree, and where I think (he's welcome to correct me) @alfred_the_great and I are similarly minded: defence is merely the ball being kicked around the pitch, the games here are short-term politics for May and leadership ambitions for WIlliamson.

I'm sure SoS Defence wouldn't mind if the Treasury say "Tell you what, here's a 50% increase in the money for Defence, try not to spend it all at once..." but I doubt he's got any realistic expectation of seeing an increase: this is about being seen to put up a fight for Our 'Eroes In Uniform, rather than merely gripping his ankles and saying "Thank you sir, please may I have another?" to every stroke of Hammond's paddle.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
A few months before the horror of SDSR 10 I heard a senior RN Officer (a Commodore) say that it was likely the defence review would involve certain tasks not currently being used, but needed long term being kept running by the Reserves. I think he did mention Armour.

A local Army Reserve unit trains CR2 Gunners and Loaders, can the AR also train Drivers and Commanders and get them SEQP? Same with the maintenance guy
No

Armoured soldiering takes constant practice and training, just like most other parts of the armed forcesd activityt, and there is a heck of a lot more to it than being able to drive / load / gun a tank.

What people tend to forget is that tanks are sapce out and move fast. Thus every commande r(Corporal, Sergeant of officer) was to lear to work as part of an intricate operation with minimu radio chatter and maximum autonomy and initiative.

And its not just the tanks,. Armoured infantry has to keep up (although they dent to be less widely dispersed), plus the FOOs and the armoured engineers. And the higher command and, every now and then, the loggies with more motion potion and bang sticks.

and of coruse evryone has to be able to map read at 30+ mph, rather than the 3 mph that foot soldiers are used to.

Only someone completely igorant of the practicaliuties of armoured soldiering (i.e. pretty much 90% of the army) could suggest such a course.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
No

Armoured soldiering takes constant practice and training, just like most other parts of the armed forcesd activityt, and there is a heck of a lot more to it than being able to drive / load / gun a tank.

What people tend to forget is that tanks are sapce out and move fast. Thus every commande r(Corporal, Sergeant of officer) was to lear to work as part of an intricate operation with minimu radio chatter and maximum autonomy and initiative.

And its not just the tanks. Armoured infantry has to keep up (although they dent to be less widely dispersed), plus the FOOs and the armoured engineers. And the higher command and, every now and then, the loggies with more motion potion and bang sticks.

and of coruse evryone has to be able to map read at 30+ mph, rather than the 3 mph that foot soldiers are used to.

Only someone completely igorant of the practicaliuties of armoured soldiering (i.e. pretty much 90% of the army) could suggest such a course.
/cough, and how much time do our CR2 and armoured units spend, with the kit, practising this intricate dance currently? How much time did they spend doing it ten years ago? How much time did it take to stand them up 15 years ago for TELIC?

You are undoubtedly right that all of that is required for the gold standard of a unit about to deploy as a combined arms armoured group tomorrow. It's also clearly horseshit that they need to do that every month for them to be a viable force. Even the most highly trained ninjas of [ninjutsu] that we have, recognised world leaders for their ninja skills, don't spend most of their time doing [ninjutsu]. They have training rotas and deployment rotas, and they get initial training that is then refreshed and built up at intervals before they go on deployment.

The point about the Reserves that everyone in the Regulars is always keen to omit is that they aren't meant to deploy tomorrow. Yes, it will take 6-18 months to get them together and up to the kind of speed you mention above. The whole point about mothballing certain capabilities is that we will only be able to use them given that 6-18 month lead time.
 
Meaningful rearmament/modernisation by NATO countries would be a start.
Simply abiding by the terms of the treaty they've already signed would be a start!

Article 3
In order more effectively to achieve the objectives of this Treaty, the Parties, separately and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.

https://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/official_texts_17120.htm
 
/cough, and how much time do our CR2 and armoured units spend, with the kit, practising this intricate dance currently? How much time did they spend doing it ten years ago? How much time did it take to stand them up 15 years ago for TELIC?

You are undoubtedly right that all of that is required for the gold standard of a unit about to deploy as a combined arms armoured group tomorrow. It's also clearly horseshit that they need to do that every month for them to be a viable force. Even the most highly trained ninjas of [ninjutsu] that we have, recognised world leaders for their ninja skills, don't spend most of their time doing [ninjutsu]. They have training rotas and deployment rotas, and they get initial training that is then refreshed and built up at intervals before they go on deployment.

The point about the Reserves that everyone in the Regulars is always keen to omit is that they aren't meant to deploy tomorrow. Yes, it will take 6-18 months to get them together and up to the kind of speed you mention above. The whole point about mothballing certain capabilities is that we will only be able to use them given that 6-18 month lead time.

Well when you find a way to coordinate and schedule a kickoff with the Ivan’s 12-18 months prior please let us all know. You keep referring to these long term mobilization timelines, that are not feasible
in today’s societies. If the Russians took the Baltic’s and NATO needed 18 months To build up for a counteroffensive to occur, you can bet the public will not let it happen.


You keep going back to COIN as if it is the only type of operations your military forces could be engaged in. The trend these days is to prepare for mechanized operations against a neer peer competitor in Europe. This is a rehash of what the Cold Warriors faced.


So yes an Armored Battlegroup as you call it, will spend quite a bit of time in their tracks in order to be profiecent. You can only do so much in the simulators.
If your reserves don’t have armor now, what makes you think it is a capability they can handle in the future?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
As long as we don't anticipate deployment for any UK troops for six to eighteen months we may as well transfer everything to the reserve apart from the ceremonial troops they can be replaced by drama students
 
As long as we don't anticipate deployment for any UK troops for six to eighteen months we may as well transfer everything to the reserve apart from the ceremonial troops they can be replaced by drama students
Just think how much could be saved if we didn't anticipate deployment for even longer, say a decade.
We could call it the Ten Year Rule or summink...
 
Russia and if you can't see that you really are underwater with all sensors switched off.

But you happily dismiss any ASW operations since 1982 or the successful use of the deterrent, both of which are most likely faced against the opposition you're going to state.
These 'operations' are as effective deterrents as the presence of MBTs, again something you don't seem to understand. Just out of interest who's submarines have we been operating against, wouldn't be Russia's by any chance would it.
 
A coalition of the willing and (GDP dependant) capable.
but one with such large geographical holes as to render it a military joke. I like the idea in principal, I just don't think most states would pay regardless. So I'd rather keep them in paying something and integrated into the structure in the hope that later they see sense and start contributing more.
 
Well when you find a way to coordinate and schedule a kickoff with the Ivan’s 12-18 months prior please let us all know. You keep referring to these long term mobilization timelines, that are not feasible
in today’s societies. If the Russians took the Baltic’s and NATO needed 18 months To build up for a counteroffensive to occur, you can bet the public will not let it happen.
What, by George, you think, Russia needs in Baltic? Peat? Sprats? Amber? There are nothing worth (by iself) to occupy Baltic. Occupation of Baltic have means only in case of the war. War between NATO (first of all - USA) and Russia. First goal in this war (for Russia) is to cut off Atlantic searouts. So, it means devastation of the North Atlantic Barrier (Norway-Britain-Ireland-Iceland-Greenland) in the very first hours of war. Sorry, guys, nothing personal, but geography is the fate.
So, Her Majesty should provide a mobilisation, and send her forces and her heirs in Europe, Australia and Canada before war shall begin.
 
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