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

Ergo the duty of responsible government is to sensibly provide and fund the necessary institutions of state for the safety and well-being of the country, and to take those funding decisions on behalf of the electorate.
Amazing how in some important matters of state the government apparently has a duty to ignore the wishes of the people but the same behaviour about our relationship with Europe is unacceptable autocracy.

If the people paying the taxes want it spent on hospitals, schools, roads and other stuff that immediately affects their quality of life instead of uppity-wog bashing, that's democracy.
 
Lets face it, we fight wars off the back of Defence Reviews, so the next one will be along soon.

The only way we'll get back to anything like the lifestyle we've become accustomed to is if it kicks off in the next 5 years. We'll get an uplift in funding, manning and procurement.
It's not popular with the public, but for Defence; war is good for business.
Having spent the better part of a decade in a HQ that runs around 'staffing' very important responses to very important PQs and MQs, I had rather formed the impression that we fight Defence Reviews off the back of wars, but there you go.

Either way, it strikes me that this story is just a crude way of deflecting attention from the real pachyderm in the parlour: everyone else questioning the top tier political status of our current crop of elected 'saviours'.
 
I'm a bit uncomfortable with this Tier 1 stuff - there is only one Tier 1 power and that's the USA, by an order of magnitude. The only other power with global (albeit thin) capabilities remains the UK - although, as Jim notes in his blog, the PLA Navy is rapidly and determinedly evolving into a true blue-water force, albeit with currently limited deployments. This is probably, nota bene, partly driven by the historical Chinese sense that only China really matters and that barbarian kingdoms can be allowed the illusion of independence as long as they continue to pay tribute to the Kingdom. The Russians are a busted flush, the French, under similar financial constraints to ours, have opted to concentrate on hard power in the Francophonie and not pretend to a global reach - and have very good national geo-strategic reasons for exercising that option. No one else is in this business - although a sharp investor might well go long on India in her Grossraum, I can certainly imagine our friends in Delhi taking a very, very marked interest in the Gulf and East Africa for a bunch of very good reasons....

So do we have too much, too little, or the wrong sort of stuff? I dunno, guv, I don't have sight of - if one exists at all - any UK National Grand Strategic Appreciation. It does seem to me that a heavy dark blue/light blue/sustainment/ISTAR/strategic nuclear/cyber attack capability and the maintenance of global basing rights is probably what we need going forward, with a very limited strategic land strike capability (16 x and 3 x + THEM of both wet and dry versions) seem adequate for the task) and some sort of home defence capability, heavily Reserve-manned and incorporating residual armoured skills and capabilities ('cos once they're gone, they're gone) will be adequate and perhaps affordable.

This is hard to write as one who spent a long, long time in the Army and still very much respects and admires the institution, but, realistically, the 200,000-man Army I joined was an historical anomaly and isn't sustainable - or has a role which I can see - within current spending limits. No-one's going to increase the defence budget, no-one's going to magically crunch DfID and its billions into defence and no-one at all is going to favour defence over the holy NHS or social care or education or.....
 
We haven't been a tier 1 military power for 10 years or so, we have neither the manpower or equipment to even claim that status. we are 32nd in the list of Navies, and defintley not in the top 10 when it comes to Airframes and Army personnel. We have a defence force at best and with recruitment and retention at a low level I can only see that getting worse.
If counting commissioned vessels is the only criterion then maybe but that actually puts NK at No.1 due to the hundreds of plastic patrol baths it has.
Real ability puts the UK 4th.
Same goes for the airforce at 5th & slated to be 4th once the F-35 arrives in any number.
Throw in Trident & claiming we're anything but First Tier is disingenuous at best.
 
D

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The cutbacks and streamlining, rundown of stores and closure of vital defence infrastructure has reached and then passed the point, that the politicians have now started to gamble with the defence of the realm, on the assumption, there is no threat.

I hope and pray they are right, as assumptions can suddenly look very stupid. Friends yesterday, can become enemies tomorrow and unforeseen events suddenly blow up.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
If the people paying the taxes want it spent on hospitals, schools, roads and other stuff that immediately affects their quality of life instead of uppity-wog bashing, that's democracy.
Only true if the people are properly informed though either reliable and sensible media or impartial goverment(ish) sources.
Which is where the problem comes
 
The cutbacks and streamlining, rundown of stores and closure of vital defence infrastructure has reached and then passed the point, that the politicians have now started to gamble with the defence of the realm, on the assumption, there is no threat.

I hope and pray they are right, as assumptions can suddenly look very stupid. Friends yesterday, can become enemies tomorrow and unforeseen events suddenly blow up.
Well, I, for one, welcome our new Danish overlords. God save Queen Margerete II!
 
There is very little reason to think the NHS would cost less if people died younger. If you're 85 you have about a third of lifetime medical costs to come, but that would still be the case if you were equally sick and 65. It's being ill that costs. (See here: Prevention, longevity and health system costs)

The point everyone is missing is that is that the cohorts of people getting old are huge because of the post-war baby boom. Whether people run up a lot of medical costs at 65 or 85 is not a big deal. That group of people being a huge group is. And there is nothing anyone can do about that.
And recruiting immigrants to fill a perceived "gap" is only going to make the situation far worse when they all start requiring intensive medical intervention (which is far more often than those born here - at any stage of life).
 
I'm a bit uncomfortable with this Tier 1 stuff - there is only one Tier 1 power and that's the USA, by an order of magnitude.
Couldn't agree more. Russia is not tier 1 military power and it is not a tragedy at all.
 
I'm a bit uncomfortable with this Tier 1 stuff - there is only one Tier 1 power and that's the USA, by an order of magnitude. The only other power with global (albeit thin) capabilities remains the UK - although, as Jim notes in his blog, the PLA Navy is rapidly and determinedly evolving into a true blue-water force, albeit with currently limited deployments. This is probably, nota bene, partly driven by the historical Chinese sense that only China really matters and that barbarian kingdoms can be allowed the illusion of independence as long as they continue to pay tribute to the Kingdom. The Russians are a busted flush, the French, under similar financial constraints to ours, have opted to concentrate on hard power in the Francophonie and not pretend to a global reach - and have very good national geo-strategic reasons for exercising that option. No one else is in this business - although a sharp investor might well go long on India in her Grossraum, I can certainly imagine our friends in Delhi taking a very, very marked interest in the Gulf and East Africa for a bunch of very good reasons....

So do we have too much, too little, or the wrong sort of stuff? I dunno, guv, I don't have sight of - if one exists at all - any UK National Grand Strategic Appreciation. It does seem to me that a heavy dark blue/light blue/sustainment/ISTAR/strategic nuclear/cyber attack capability and the maintenance of global basing rights is probably what we need going forward, with a very limited strategic land strike capability (16 x and 3 x + THEM of both wet and dry versions) seem adequate for the task) and some sort of home defence capability, heavily Reserve-manned and incorporating residual armoured skills and capabilities ('cos once they're gone, they're gone) will be adequate and perhaps affordable.

This is hard to write as one who spent a long, long time in the Army and still very much respects and admires the institution, but, realistically, the 200,000-man Army I joined was an historical anomaly and isn't sustainable - or has a role which I can see - within current spending limits. No-one's going to increase the defence budget, no-one's going to magically crunch DfID and its billions into defence and no-one at all is going to favour defence over the holy NHS or social care or education or.....
The problem with the military you are suggesting is that our major strategic partner would not be interested in us.
 
Like I said, triple locked and whoever said, I was trying to deter anybody ? I saw it as a demonstration, that the negative costs of migration, would be deducted from money spent overseas, hardly fruit loopy to me.
One could argue, peacekeeping costs should come out of the foreign office or foreign aid budget.
Aid to civil powers, like fire brigade operations, should come out of the home office budget.
Yes I know what you said: it just didn't make sense.

I'll give you that idea of how peacekeeping is funded and how 'concurrent activities' are funded are subjects worthy of discussion however.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
The problem with the military you are suggesting is that our major strategic partner would not be interested in us.
Oh, really. I'd have thought that the ability to generate niche capabilities to fill in the gaps and provide Security Council cover while actually risking blood and treasure would be well-regarded. The US needs coalition partners for political, not military reasons. The fact that we can help out with global laydown and take some pressure off their major assets - for example, in five or so years' time deploying a QE carrier group somewhere reasonably benign to allow them to move a CVN group in harm's way - doesn't hurt, either.

You obviously know far better than I, what with being, you know, smart and all, but I rather had the sense that certain aspects of the US-UK were so strongly intertwined that they effectively can't be unpicked.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
[QUOTE="Glad_its_all_over, post: 8635025, member: 815". The US needs coalition partners for political, not military reasons. The fact that we can help out with global laydown and take some pressure off their major assets - for example, in five or so years' time deploying a QE carrier group somewhere reasonably benign to allow them to move a CVN group in harm's way - doesn't hurt, either..[/QUOTE]

Feedback that I have heard from VSO is that US now (i..e. post Afghan and Iraq) regards having UK as deployed partner as a tactical liability as we are forever having to borrow stuff from them.

Sure. we might have a deployable carrier battlegroup in half a decade, but on current uninspired leadership I would not count on it.
 
Feedback that I have heard from VSO is that US now (i..e. post Afghan and Iraq) regards having UK as deployed partner as a tactical liability as we are forever having to borrow stuff from them. Sure. we might have a deployable carrier battlegroup in half a decade, but on current uninspired leadership I would not count on it.
That same statement applies equally to pretty much anyone deploying alongside the US nowadays in anything other than tiny strength. It even applies bilaterally - note that the French could only do Mali with RAF strategic mobility.
 
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Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
Maybe they are sufficiently informed and have made their decision?
Possibly
But in the case of NHS - whence their information
In the case of defence - ditto

And "the people" really only get to speak at elections and at that time they can only express their opinion through closed choice of limied number of multi-issue manifestos, which may or may not be complete.

Conservatives, who won most seats / votes at last election, are generally regarded as being "strong" on defence. which would imply that people want defence.
 
Various points / thoughts in brief after being at a Spectator / BAe systems bash on 100 years of Crab Air.

1. Rt Hon Mark Francois MP (member of Defence Select Committee) stated that the committees view was (a) state on state ware is back (presumably Vlad) (b) aspiration was to increase defence spending to 3% GDP (whihc PMTMs £20Bn to NHS black hole would have achieved).
2. BAe made point that, for the fist time since the 1939-45 live fire FTX there is no one working on designing the next jet. This is serious as if there is no design team working Gen 6 combat aircraft (as it is, apparently, called -effectively Typhoon replacement) then we will lose the ability. One of the major reaosns for the Astute fiasco was that following the completion of Vanguard class we stopped building submarines, so design team went elsewhere.

More genrally

NHS is so brilliant no other country has copied it. Most of reason for out of control costs and lack of income is pensioners who died at (from memory) 68 (i.e. 3 years post retirement) are now dodging coffins for 20+ years, without working for most of them.

One F35 = £100M, or 20 CR2. If you want to stop tanks in (say) Baltic States / Eastern Europe) you can either get an F-35 / Typhoon load of Brimstone through a very challenging air defence environment and deliver or park many panzers (which we actually already have) on the ground and start dishing out the APFSDS

Migrant workers per se are not the problem. But those migrants who ship much of their wages home rather than spend in UK are damaging the UK economy, which is why growth seems sluggish in spite of ever increasing levels of employment.

The biggest existential threat to UK is HoC / EU as that is dramatically altering British way of life, laws etc. We're an island with a poor climate, bolshy population and little iun the way of natural resources. Why would anyone want to invade?

BUT we are also a trading nation, and many of our trade partners (particularly once we're out of EU) are suffering from existential threats. We have an interest in being able to shore up their defenses - not least because we can make mucho wonga out of that (which we can then chose to throw at NHS). One example, the UK Hawk programme cost £900M. Total export sales of Hawk generated £11,000M. Go figure.

General observation on alleged Tiers - back in 1982 no-one rated Argies as near peer. Until they started sinking the RN. (and yes, OK, their Army was poor - but that didn't make the battles on the Falklands easy). As Kipling wrote of the Northwest Frontier "Tow thousand pounds of education felled by a ten ruppe jezail"

My opinion:
1. Throwing money at NHS buys headlines and nothing else.
2. We need an armed forces structure sufficiently large to support UK defence industry (Typhoon supports 100,000 UK jobs).
3. Which does not mean that MOD does not need a thorough purge (and the problem is not the Regimental System - but lets not go there on this thread)
4. There are votes in defence. Having top notch armed forces is actually deeply embedded in the electorate's psyche (except perhaps for snowflakes, but they are a minority)
I wish I could give that more than one mark of approval.
 

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