NAO concerned about armed forces resources: minister isnt.

#1
This story in the BBC is all about how even the National Audit Office is concerned about the lack of resources going into the armed services versus the operational demand curve.

Gotta love the MOD, who said:

But the Ministry of Defence says the risks are acceptable and forces could be ready for operations when needed.
Or Mr. Ingram, the armed forces minister, who said from the perilous locale of an armour-plated office surrounded by armed guards deep in the bowels of Whitehall:

"No Armed Forces can be perfectly ready at all times for every contingency, but we must be able to manage effectively the risks to preparing forces for new operations.
Interestingly, that quote is very similar to the one Don Rumsfeld came out with when he got hosed down by soldiers in Iraq about the lack of armour on military vehicles.

V!
 
#2
I have given up reading what politicians say about defence it just gives me too much rage. When the Labour candidate came canvassing during the election campaign I asked her about Labour's policy on defence and the, fat, middle aged, condescending bint didn't have a clue. The best she could do was to "send me a leaflet". Is it just me or as defence is such a major part of the budget (comes about third) shouldn't all MPs/prospective MPs know what the party policy is. Unfortunately she won; the conservative candidate didn't even come around though.
 
#4
Shouldn't this thread read: 'Army In Overstretch Shock' :)

The relevance of a report by the NAO is nearly next to none. They have limited powers to force changes, they cannot sanction their employers (the government) and base most of their findings on what the MOD already knows - i.e., the MOD shows the NAO its own documents and details.

I look forward to reading the NAO document in full to find out their full list of recommendations, I am confident that the earth will not be shattered by them!
 
#5
I take the point about the NAO being a Govt. Dept, but to be fair they aren't afraid of putting the boot in and enjoy a level of independence that probably puts Neu Arbeit's departmental special advisors teeth on edge.

Eventually something will go very, very wrong on operations due to government parsimony (even more so than usual) and there will be a large class action by army families against the MOD. Reports like this will be just a little more grist to that mill.

V!
 
#6
The army's been overstretched for years, but it's not a government priority,

The expect the army to do a good job on a shoestring, and they usually have . As a result the powers that be then reduce the budget and channel the money into benefit scrounging scum and completely useless City academies etc

Taken to the extreme, this situation could result in the Armed forces being unable to defend the land, and the French could invade!
 
#7
Threat Assessment ahoy! Well spotted, Hogspawn.The Frogs could, indeed try it on.

However, if they dare then the DLRRR (scroll down a bit) will be waiting for them at Calais, pub ashtrays at the ready!

V!
 
#8
'Kin awesome

They could amalgamate with my home regt - The Rotherhite Volunteer Cavalry!

Hurrah!
 
#9
This is the Daily Express' view of the same story:

Armed Forces facing 'serious risk'

Ministers were accused of putting the Armed Forces at "unacceptable" risk as a report revealed "serious weaknesses" in their ability to go to war.

More than a third of the military would struggle to deploy on operations within the time set by defence chiefs, Whitehall's spending watchdog said.

The National Audit Office report comes as the Army is preparing for a major deployment next year to take over the lead in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan.

Shadow defence secretary Michael Ancram said: "This Government is effectively sending our forces to war with one arm tied behind their back.

"The risk that the MoD is taking is utterly unacceptable and entirely driven by the Treasury's ambition to save funds by depleting the capability and the readiness of our Armed Forces."

Across the three services, 38% of forces had "serious weaknesses" in their readiness levels - with 2% being described as "critical", the NAO found.

The Royal Navy was particularly hard hit with, in the worst-case scenario, little more than half the Fleet able to deploy within the allotted time.

That was the result of the Ministry of Defence's decision to run down the readiness of the Navy in order to concentrate on bringing the Army up to the required state, the NAO found.

NAO director David Clarke said: "They are using the money they would normally have had to reach a particular state of readiness to put towards more pressing needs to do with operations.

"The cost is in terms of readiness of other things, it is in terms of longer-term training and it is in terms of people being stretched."
Well said that man. :D
 
#10
At the risk of being labelled a pedant; the NAO is not a Govt dept, its an independent parliamentary body created by statute. Also, remember the uproar generated by kit shortages after TELIC despite Hoon's initial assurances (think body armour etc) - that was generated on the back of an NAO report on TELIC - they may base a lot of their findings on MOD documents/internal knowledge, but without reports like these very little of that knowledge/data would make it into the public domain (and various ministers and press officers would be much happier with that).
 
#11
The expect the army to do a good job on a shoestring, and they usually have . As a result the powers that be then reduce the budget and channel the money into benefit scrounging scum and completely useless City academies etc
The difference between army and civvy is that a civvy will refuse point blank to do something unless all the equipment is provided and they have a legal system to back them up. In the army you end up forking out quite a bit of money to have the kit to do the job which should have been available to begin with. You do not have the luxury of the legal system to back you up.
 
#13
Lasalle said:
Maybe the civvy is right and we are wrong?
Heretic. :lol:



Interesting to hear the MinAF on The Today Programme this morning say, '...we will not put our people in harm's way if they are not adequately trained or equipped...' (I was driving, so there may well be a certain 'senior-moment memory-lapse' style quality to my quoting, but that was the gist)

He did go on to say that there are more service personnel in NI than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, and that with peace breaking out all over the place in the Province there will be lots of troops to reallocate to alleviating the;

The_Sloping_Wire said:
"unacceptable" risk [due to] "serious weaknesses" in their ability to go to war.
Was the thrust of FAS not that the 'peace dividend' was going towards reduction of the budgetary overstretch via the expedient of removing infantry units from the ORBAT? In which case are these units now reprieved? You heard it here first. :roll:
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#14
Just another report on the same bumf.

Reuters said:
UK body warns on armed forces' readiness to deploy

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) More than one third of Britain's armed forces would have trouble responding promptly to emerging operations, the country's spending watchdog said today. The National Audit Office warned that 38 percent of Britain's forces, encompassing the Army, Airforce and Navy, had serious weaknesses in their readiness to deploy in the time decided by defence planners.

About two percent of the forces faced critical weaknesses in their levels of readiness, according to the most recent data.

''Given the unpredictable security environment and high operational tempo, there are risks to readiness of the Armed Forces for contingent operations that need to be managed,'' said the report.

It comes at a time when British forces are stretched. The country has about 9,000 soldiers in Iraq following 2003's U.S-led invasion plus several hundred troops in Afghanistan.

''Looking at readiness for future tasks, this was assessed overall as being ''amber'' with serious weaknesses that would need to be addressed before forces could deploy,'' said the National Audit Office.

An ''amber'' designation in the Ministry of Defence's traffic light system means there are serious shortcomings. It is a step below ''red'', which would imply critical problems.

The National Audit Office blamed the weaknesses, measured for the last three months of 2004, on reduced training due to operational commitments and also longer-term risks from logistics issues and helicopter shortages.

The report singled out the Navy as being worst equipped to deploy in the designated time, due largely to a decision to focus on improving readiness levels in the Army.
http://www.deepikaglobal.com/latestnews.asp?ncode=28776

Cheers for that NAO, everyone majored in Stating the Bloody Obvious then ?
 
#15
''Looking at readiness for future tasks, this was assessed overall as being ''amber'' with serious weaknesses that would need to be addressed before forces could deploy,'' said the National Audit Office.

An ''amber'' designation in the Ministry of Defence's traffic light system means there are serious shortcomings. It is a step below ''red'', which would imply critical problems.
This "green/amber/red" stuff is abject nonsense and is part of a defence-wide management system (supposed to be computerised) that is eating up dosh that could be spent on filling pairs of boots. I narrowly avoided being roped into it at my unit before handing my kit in!

Well fone to the NAO. Ingram is a lying buffoon and a walking embarrassment to the Armed Forces. The oxygen thief should be hung from a lamp post! :twisted:
 
#16
Darth_Doctrinus said:
This is the Daily Express' view of the same story:

Armed Forces facing 'serious risk'

Ministers were accused of putting the Armed Forces at "unacceptable" risk as a report revealed "serious weaknesses" in their ability to go to war.

More than a third of the military would struggle to deploy on operations within the time set by defence chiefs, Whitehall's spending watchdog said.

The National Audit Office report comes as the Army is preparing for a major deployment next year to take over the lead in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan.

Shadow defence secretary Michael Ancram said: "This Government is effectively sending our forces to war with one arm tied behind their back.

"The risk that the MoD is taking is utterly unacceptable and entirely driven by the Treasury's ambition to save funds by depleting the capability and the readiness of our Armed Forces."

Across the three services, 38% of forces had "serious weaknesses" in their readiness levels - with 2% being described as "critical", the NAO found.

The Royal Navy was particularly hard hit with, in the worst-case scenario, little more than half the Fleet able to deploy within the allotted time.

That was the result of the Ministry of Defence's decision to run down the readiness of the Navy in order to concentrate on bringing the Army up to the required state, the NAO found.

NAO director David Clarke said: "They are using the money they would normally have had to reach a particular state of readiness to put towards more pressing needs to do with operations.

"The cost is in terms of readiness of other things, it is in terms of longer-term training and it is in terms of people being stretched."
Well said that man. :D
The Express managed a couple of pages on this story. The Scum (remember 'Support Our Boys') managed two column-inches, obviously not enough t*ts in the story!
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#17
How much tits do want? Ingram not tits enough for you?
 
#18
from another version of the same story:
  • [Adam Ingram] said: "We have the largest sustained increase in defence expenditure for 20 years. We have a major shipbuilding programme, we have major renewal of the RAF and major investment coming along for the Army.

    "We are steadily identifying where the demands are, where the shortfalls are. We have begun to put in place this process that can deal with it," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

    "I think it creates a very healthy debate about what it is we ask of our armed forces and what it is we need to do to make sure they are capable of carrying out those tasks."

    However, Lord Garden, the Liberal Democrat defence spokesman and a former Assistant Chief of Defence Staff, warned that the report highlighted the increasing pressure on the forces from the high tempo of operations.

    He said: "I am afraid it is getting to the stage where, if we can’t have a bigger defence budget, we are going to have to take some rather difficult decisions about what sort of forces we need in future."
Forces minister under fire over unready troops [TIMES ONLINE]
 
#19
If you think things are bad for the Army you should chat to our Naval brothers or even the RAF. The Navy have been cut so much they are now practically unable to self sustain the organisation with oportunities for promotion, variety and shore time almost non-existant.

Government Policy is not really based on what the forces need to be the 1st class fighting organisation they are but more to do with keeping us in front of the third world for a reasonable coat. The fact is if any one of the potential adversaries actually stood a chance of giving us difficulties we would not engage them in combat operations.

God forbid Sadam had actually said F#ck It and invaded Kuwait 2 weeks before we invaded him. Every thing would still have been painted green and we would have had no ammuntion to fight back with.

As for the forseeable future we will mostly be deployed in Dessert type terrain why don't we just wear dessert DPM routinely and hold limited stocks of the green stuff on the shelf??? Insted of the other way round.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#20
barbs said:
Shouldn't this thread read: 'Army In Overstretch Shock' :)

The relevance of a report by the NAO is nearly next to none. They have limited powers to force changes, they cannot sanction their employers (the government) and base most of their findings on what the MOD already knows - i.e., the MOD shows the NAO its own documents and details.

I look forward to reading the NAO document in full to find out their full list of recommendations, I am confident that the earth will not be shattered by them!
Huzza! Next time I see someone on this Board fulminating about the latest Torygraph piece subbed:

" NAO slams 'Ministry of Waste ' in yet another procurement scandal "

I will remember these fine words - and may even requote them back at you.

Don't underestimate the extent to which an adverse NAO report can spoil an MoD Project Manager's whole day ....trouble is, who can they point the finger at for leaving the Forces chronically short of cash and overloaded with new commitments ?

Is it CDS' fault ?
Only if he hadn't repeatedly warned No 10 of the dangers.
Is it Secretary of State's fault ?
Only if he hadn't fought the Treasury tooth and nail every day he was in office for better resources.
Is it The Cabinet's fault?
Only if they have sat at the table bleating and baa-ing instead of telling The Great Helmsman that, frankly Boss, you're dead WRONG about this.......


Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition should be pounding arTone into the ground with ammunition like this....spineless, limp-wristed mass debaters....


:evil:

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