MoD - Lord Guthries Verdict

#1
I think Lord Guthrie is right, of course, otherwise I wouldn't be posting on this site. However does anyone see a response coming from the Young Turks in the Conservative party front bench who we are meant to be hailing as the future HMG? Or even more poignantly from the present Govt who could do something now...
Interested in your thoughts on this.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6811382.ece
 
#2
Very Good artical, what one would expect from someone of Lord Guthrie's stature.
However no matter who forms the next government defence is going to stay a low priority.
There is no immediate threat to UK that the present set up cannot deal with.
We are not going to invade Pakistan where UK's Bombers come from in the main and I still cannot understand why Blair committed the Navy to Long range overseas wars in the shape of the two biggest warship Britian has ever had.
The days of Empire are long gone.
The days of expensive military are gone.
The Military Budget of the 30's will look extravagant.
A Tory administration may well increase the budget for a temporary period but long term UK just cannot afford a World Class expenditure on it's military.
Be a good idea to buy 'Land' helis for the Army and not a cab to suit the navy's requirements.
As for heavy lifters so badly needed, sack, fire the nonentities responsible for the Chinook saga and place responsible administrators in their place.
john
 
#3
jonwilly said:
Very Good artical, what one would expect from someone of Lord Guthrie's stature.
However no matter who forms the next government defence is going to stay a low priority.
There is no immediate threat to UK that the present set up cannot deal with.
We are not going to invade Pakistan where UK's Bombers come from in the main and I still cannot understand why Blair committed the Navy to Long range overseas wars in the shape of the two biggest warship Britian has ever had.
The days of Empire are long gone.
The days of expensive military are gone.
The Military Budget of the 30's will look extravagant.
A Tory administration may well increase the budget for a temporary period but long term UK just cannot afford a World Class expenditure on it's military.
Be a good idea to buy 'Land' helis for the Army and not a cab to suit the navy's requirements.
As for heavy lifters so badly needed, sack, fire the nonentities responsible for the Chinook saga and place responsible administrators in their place.
john
Sack/fire the non-entities responsible for the Chinook saga??You'll be lucky!They're probably comfortably 'seated' on the board of some Defence contractor's company with the automatic knighthood tucked in by now :x
If still working for MoD,however,probably in the Old Boy network so virtually unsackable.Either way,both the Forces and the taxpayer lose out.
As Lord Guthrie made crystal clear,some things never change. :x
 
#5
Agreed, a very good article. Clearly written. So clearly written that it is possible that Ainsworth may understand it - possible but unlikely. Even if Ainsworth does understand it, no improvement will result because the lard-lumpen 'Clown' Brown will not permit any additional funding for the military.

I am glad that General Guthrie made my point about SIX ministers in MOD and expanded thereupon by describing their 'own' offices and staffs - what a waste of money (Messrs Cameron, Osborne and Fox - nota bene).

Sadly, Guthrie spoiled the piece by allowing a dash of praise - albeit faint praise - to 'Clown' Brown regarding the oaf's words of sympathy for the fallen - to my mind these growled and insincere 'words' make matters worse, far worse.
 
#6
Quote said:
"Ministers change, but permanent staff ought to be there to provide continuity and experience. Unfortunately, too many senior civil servants in today’s MoD lack a defence background. Instead, they are parachuted in to lead this complex department with little idea of how it works.

Granted, the notion that a good civil servant can manage any department regardless of specialist knowledge has merit, but few people of that calibre exist in the dumbed-down modern Civil Service. "
Unless I'm being dense that is a very clear attack by Lord Guthrie on the MOD's Permanent Secretary, Bill Jeffrey (bio here), who doesn't seem to have spent a day in MOD before he became the top civil servant in the department.

Anyone care to defend him?

Don
 
#7
Donny said:
Quote said:
"Ministers change, but permanent staff ought to be there to provide continuity and experience. Unfortunately, too many senior civil servants in today’s MoD lack a defence background. Instead, they are parachuted in to lead this complex department with little idea of how it works.

Granted, the notion that a good civil servant can manage any department regardless of specialist knowledge has merit, but few people of that calibre exist in the dumbed-down modern Civil Service. "
Unless I'm being dense that is a very clear attack by Lord Guthrie on the MOD's Permanent Secretary, Bill Jeffrey (bio here), who doesn't seem to have spent a day in MOD before he became the top civil servant in the department.

Anyone care to defend him?

Don
Not knowing him, or even having heard of him I shouldn't comment - but I will :) .

Another Scot. He made a 'good job' of the 'Immigration Service' !

Looks and sounds like the sort of anonymous blob who would never contradict either the prime minister or 'Clown' Brown.

Our poor, sad, seriously damaged Armed Forces.
 
#8
We need to scrap the 'Ministry of Defence' and go back to calling it what it really is - The War Department with a Secretary of State for War.


That would be a start by actually calling the spade a spade rather than some fluffy PC name.
 
#9
This is not new it has been happening since the year dot.

Yes the procurement system has been crap, but it has been for ever. There will never be enough of this that or the other. As for the forward planning, who knows what activities the forces will be engaged in in 10 years time. Yes it is unweildly, but you try and get rid of some of the wasters that are employed in the department, not a snowballs chance in hell.
 
#10
Again,in the space of 3 weeks Guthrie comes out of the woodwork,giving us words of wisdom,about things he could have done,or influenced during his tenure,instead of sucking up to Nu Liarbor,Bliar,and Broon,the man was a disgrace then,and still is! :roll:

I still reckon there is a book in the pipeline! :wink:
 
#11
An interesting article, which falls into the age old trap of giving the impression that the MOD in London is solely staffed by civilians, rather than the reality which is that the building is roughly 50/50 split, with military personnel occupying all the top slots.

He correctly notes that we have 6 ministers, but neglects to note that many of those ministers have military staff on their teams, and that the other 5th Floor ‘empire’ of the Joint Chiefs, rely on an equally heavy structure of military personnel to run their offices.

He also falls into the old fallacy of suggesting that of the 87,000 MOD CS, we’re all desk warriors. Had he bothered to do even some very basic research, he’d have discovered that the majority of those staff include the RFA, dockyard workers, storemen, A/T instructors, teachers, rocket scientists, factory workers, marine engineers, munitions technicians, psychologists, nursery assistants, mess hands, stewards, policemen, MPGS, lecturers and so on. He’d also have found that nearly half of all posts are considered ‘admin grade posts’ as its vastly cheaper to employ a CS to do photocopying than a trained soldier. Dig a little deeper and you find that the MOD is an all embracing title for all the multitude of support functions carried out to keep the armed forces in the field, and that its been cut by a third (over 40,000 jobs gone) over the past 10 years.

The reasons why the procurement system is in a mess owe as much to the lack of forward planning, lack of money and requirement to run 2 wars and meet SDR endorsed scenarios without the money to do so, as it does to 'incompetence'.
 
#12
jonwilly said:
We are not going to invade Pakistan where UK's Bombers come from in the main and I still cannot understand why Blair committed the Navy to Long range overseas wars in the shape of the two biggest warship Britian has ever had.

Without strike carriers the Navy has to scale back to being nothing more than a maritime self defence force.

No offensive ops capable Navy, no expeditionary capability for the army, no expiditionary role for the army, it may as well size down to a glorified home guard.

Is that what you want to see?
 
#14
duffdike said:
If we now had - hypothetically - two carriers - what use would they be in either Iraq or AfG?
Either of them could have been used as helicotper assault carriers or proper strike carriers with fast air for our ground ops.
 
#15
duffdike said:
If we now had - hypothetically - two carriers - what use would they be in either Iraq or AfG?
We could sail them to Pakistan then roll them to Helmand on giant logs with thousands of squaddies and matelots pulling on ropes. When they are in place they will be a brilliant fire support asset.

I'm a cnut?

Possibly but I still have a clearer grasp of military reality than Anusworth.... :twisted:
 
#16
jonwilly said:
Very Good artical, what one would expect from someone of Lord Guthrie's stature.
However no matter who forms the next government defence is going to stay a low priority.
There is no immediate threat to UK that the present set up cannot deal with.
We are not going to invade Pakistan where UK's Bombers come from in the main and I still cannot understand why Blair committed the Navy to Long range overseas wars in the shape of the two biggest warship Britian has ever had.
The days of Empire are long gone.
The days of expensive military are gone.
The Military Budget of the 30's will look extravagant.
A Tory administration may well increase the budget for a temporary period but long term UK just cannot afford a World Class expenditure on it's military.Be a good idea to buy 'Land' helis for the Army and not a cab to suit the navy's requirements.
As for heavy lifters so badly needed, sack, fire the nonentities responsible for the Chinook saga and place responsible administrators in their place.
john
Utter tosh! We're the 6th Richest Country in the world, according to the World Bank, IMF and the Men in Langley. We damm well can afford a "World Class" budget. Some Governments just prefer pissing money up the wall to doing any real work.
 
#17
Ah yes, the "what use are two carriers debate", done many a time on ARRSE.

If you've forgotten what use they'd be then search for the threads, rather than repeating it here.

The answer, DD, is that they would be very useful. Al Faw was taken by an amphibious assault, and the first major British presence in Afghanistan was HMS Illustrious of the Pakistani coast. A substantial proportion of US sorties over Afghanistan have come from US carrier aircraft.

Back to Guthrie.

His article is very interesting, not least because it's directly critical of individuals, not just "the system". His attack on Brown is, admittedly, not new, but he's also critical of ministers, senior civil servants and special advisers. Effectively the entire senior management of the Mod.

If there was any justice there would be a scandal to match the ammunition crisis of the First World War, which brought down Asquith.

The timing is also interesting given that CGS retires tomorrow. Warning shot across Labour's bows?
 
#18
duffdike said:
If we now had - hypothetically - two carriers - what use would they be in either Iraq or AfG?
Right now. Not much. In the future? Could mean all the difference between the UK starving in the cold or not as someone decides to cut our sea routes for fun.


Will peoplestop thinking about the last war FFS.. It's the same bone head c**ts who are quite happy to play Arm chair with this usless regime over Snatch in Iraq but endlessly dribble on on the same "Only one war right now" shite. If you can claim to have honestly predicted in 1989 that we'd deploy an Armoured Divison to Kuwait 2 years later, I'll listen. Otherwise stop f**king dribbling into your Crystal balls...
 
#19
My only gripe with the carriers is that we don't need 2 at teh moment. and we don'thave any planes to fly off the fcukers.

We do NEED the carrier mind. Invincible et al are old now, Lusty commissioned in 1982 (en route to the Falklands IIRC) so she is coming up to 30 years of service. Ark Royal is not long behind.

We haven't had a tag team like Hermes and Invincible for some time, it would be nice to have big boat that could sail to where we want the airfield, rather than having to go cap in hand to the nearest "friendly" area - or have our aircrews flying halfway around the world.

Get the QE down the slip way as fast as, but what putting the PoW on hold for a few years? Or seeing if someone will by her? A nice big boat like that gives us a huge flagship and/or aviation capability to defend a TF (esp with decks like Ocean and Bulwark in the mix).

Then get the old Queen Elizabeth class dusted off, and get two of these afloat, pref with a heavy emphasis on a Kiev style "Aviation Cruiser". Inline with Admiral Zumwalts Sea Control Ship doctrine.

In a Falklands II scenario QE could command and protect the TF with a "Kiev" and two destroyers marauding around like a corsair.
 
#20
chocolate_frog said:
My only gripe with the carriers is that we don't need 2 at teh moment. and we don'thave any planes to fly off the fcukers.

We do NEED the carrier mind. Invincible et al are old now, Lusty commissioned in 1982 (en route to the Falklands IIRC) so she is coming up to 30 years of service. Ark Royal is not long behind.

We haven't had a tag team like Hermes and Invincible for some time, it would be nice to have big boat that could sail to where we want the airfield, rather than having to go cap in hand to the nearest "friendly" area - or have our aircrews flying halfway around the world.

Get the QE down the slip way as fast as, but what putting the PoW on hold for a few years? Or seeing if someone will by her? A nice big boat like that gives us a huge flagship and/or aviation capability to defend a TF (esp with decks like Ocean and Bulwark in the mix).

Then get the old Queen Elizabeth class dusted off, and get two of these afloat, pref with a heavy emphasis on a Kiev style "Aviation Cruiser". Inline with Admiral Zumwalts Sea Control Ship doctrine.

In a Falklands II scenario QE could command and protect the TF with a "Kiev" and two destroyers marauding around like a corsair.
Wrong. If we need one carrier then we need two. Ships can't be in two places at once, and they need to be maintained. It would be a severe pain in the arrse if we needed QE and she was 4 months in to a 16 month refit.

The ships themselves are not bad value for money. We're getting the second biggest and second most capable carriers in the world for a fraction of the price the US are paying for them.

No idea why you're suggesting dusting off the CVA-01 design. It's 50 years old, powered by oil-fired steam turbines, and would require about have the Navy to man. What would fly off it? A second QE is better by an order of magnitude.

And as for the Kiev class 'aviation cruisers' / sea control ships, why? Either you have a carrier, carrying a worthwhile number of capable aircraft in order to generate a meaningful sortie rate, and able to project power ashore as well as fight a naval battle, or you can have a smaller cheaper carrier-lite, incapable of doing those things. Which is a waste of money.

If you accept that we need the carriers then the QEs are as good as it's going to get (though not as good as they could have been).

And if you don't accept that we need carriers then I suggest you start thinking a bit more seriously about where the UK's strategic priorities lie. Food and energy security are pretty high up in the next 50 years.
 

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