NY Times article on our cuts...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Yeoman_dai, Sep 24, 2010.

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  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/world/europe/24allies.html?_r=2&hp

    Interesting points made here - personally, and i'm sure i'll get vehemently disagreed with here, I believe that we cannot, in any way afford to give up our status as a tier 1 ally to the US - simply put and most importantly 99% or thereabouts of our intelligence info comes from the US, we just don't have the same kind of capability in that regard anymore. Take this into account, along with the kind of terrorist threat we are under we'd be foolish to ignore it.

    NOT for a second taking anything away from all the boys and girls who work that angle before someone kicks off - we as a state are very good, we just can't compare resources wise.
  2. Not sure about the reliablilty of my source (i can't remmber it for a start) but I did read that while the Yanks are very very good at gathering technical intelligence while our security services are still bloody good at gathering human intelligence due to our extensive networks around the world.

    Its a worry as our last few govenments have been content to put our physical security increasingly in the hands of our allies. If they decide we are not pulling our weight they might not bother to help when the brown stuff hits the air con!
  3. "British Cuts to Military Concern U.S. Officials"

    Well I trust they will blame King George II and his running Dog Blur, for the state of UK's finances.

  4. Following the other thread, I think it's helluva foolish to decimate our navy the way it's being proposed. Our armed forces will be tiny if this all goes ahead, only equipped for a war that arguably we shouldn't have been in in the first place...........and at this rate we'll not up to the job of doing anything particularly well....

    I'll admit I'm a Tory, but this SDR seems like it's going to be a farce, and I fear, seriously, for the ability of the UK to be able to defend herself from the real threats.....and yet we still keep chucking 9 billion a year at 'developing' countries like China and India....unreal, tbh.....
  5. I know it seems counter intuitive to subsidise developing nations but we do it for a very good reason. Bribery, both of the countries you mentioned have a population of over a billion. Access to the markets in these places are on a "What's in it for us basis?" we need these people to buy British goods and services, we need the Chinese's manufacturing might to keep inflation down. So while you or I may not like it, we will continue to spend money on developing nations because it buys us influence in those nations.

    As to the cuts, cuts are coming, we should concentrate on cutting what we can afford to cut. Do I need child benefit? No, some people do, but I don't and I shouldn't get it. I live in Wales and get free prescriptions, don't need them, only the chronically ill should get them. Dole to be a temporary benefit for those who have worked and are temporarily unemployed. Non contributors to be obliged to take work as allocated to them by the local job centre. If no work is available then break out the picks, shovels and wellies cos litter picking and ditch clearing is still available.

    The final thing is horrible but necessary. Two pence on tax for a set period with a legal guarantee that it will be reduced when the deficit drops below a certain level. A further guarantee that when the tax is reduced, the austerity measures will be left in place until he deficit is reduced to a level that can allow for a further tax cut while still maintaining a decent level of NHS, police, military etc.
  6. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    I know he is uttlerly villified on these boards, But Lewis Page's central argument from his book happens to be the same as the majority of the sensible regular posters. I.e. huge ammounts of money are wasted on bollocks. Bollocks non-jobs in various HQs and utter bollocks procurement processes being the two main ones harped on about.

    We currently have 10,000 people out in Afghanistan and talking heads comment in the media and the press that the armed forces are at "full stretch". Is this 10,000 army or 10,000 TOTAL armed forces? If 10,000 army then with the current tour plans thats 40,000 bodies tied up (stay with me. I have a point with all these figures. And yes they have been rounded for simplicity).

    So if it is the army as a whole and current deployment IS "full stretch" then less 40% of strength is available for long-term deployment, of which less than 10% CAN actually be deployed. If it is the armed forces as a whole then the numbers are even more depressing (a little over 20% and 5% respectively). Ok, there are other deployments which are also required- assorted RN ship and boat patrols, FI garrison, and the like- but it strikes me that if such low percentages are "full stretch" then the tail really is wagging the dog. Put simply I do not believe that the UK taxpayer is getting value for money from the £40billion plus change MoD budget. While procurement eats up the majority of the money spent, the above illustrates for me the almost lax manner in which the movers and shakers think about the core
    mission of the MoD- defending this nation, its citizens and its interests around the world (in roughly that order of importance. PS the sovreign counts as a major chunk of "this nation" to me).

    And now to the conclusion of this rant. Major reform is needed in the entire structure of the MoD and the three branches of the armed forces it administers. Its not about there being £4-8bn less in the budget next year and for the forseeable future. Its about the almost uncountable billions that have been squandered for no worthwhile return in the last 30 years (time picked arbitrarily out of a hat).

    As a final thought exercise to conclude this rant, call it homework if you will:

    I was born in 1982. Since that time til now how many big ticket procurement projects (costing £1bn or more) have been delivered on time and on budget. And of those (probably few) projects, how many delivered a final product that was workable, reliable and useful WITHOUT extensive training or post-delivery modification?
  7. Join up you could be 10001
  8. I find it absolutely ridiculous to be considering cutting defense spending while the NHS spends money on treatments that have not passed clinical trials.
  9. A2_Matelot

    A2_Matelot LE Book Reviewer

    is a throbber plain and simple. Rose to the dizzy heights of Lt RN and on that basis alone feels he is supremely qualified to voice his opinion on a body he hasn't been involved with for longer than he actually served. He knows nothing in any professional capacity about military acquistion, requirements management or military financial management. He trawls up and spouts 3rd hand clap trap.

    We all know military acquisition isn't right and there are some very good and some very bad reasons for that. What Page and the rest of the jouralists fail to mention, or perhaps even recognise, is the amount of reform and change in acquistion that has taken place over the last 5-8 years. Never helps that HMT are always changing goal posts and the politicians change the goals far too frequently.

    SDSR won't change a thing, far to rushed, insufficient focus on potential future scenarios. All it will leave us with is lightweight, pared back, capabilities that will be sadly lacking in any future conflict. Stretched...we don't even know the meaning of the word yet!
  10. Good post A2.

    Page - agreed. Lt RN whoopydoo!

    ABW - won't change without root and branch reform. There is lots of resistance to be overcome.

    HMT is almost an enemy within but let it be remembered that the good guys and girls at ABW have the best interests of those serving at heart...there are also many at ABW that couldn't give a toss!

  11. Yeah - 'cos SIS did soooooooo much better than CIA in recruiting HUMINT sources able to provide good intelligence on Iraqi WMD (or the absence thereof), didn't they?

  12. T-S,

    Your maths is wrong.

    Assuming 10,000 Army on Afg ops. That accounts for 50,000 "in the cycle". That is almost half the total.

    Now consider that we also have ongoing commitments (albeit relatively small) in such places as Cyprus and the Falklands and also the requirement to maintain training facilities etc in batus and so on.

    Now it doesnt look so wasteful does it!
  13. britain's a tier 1 ally?

    learn something new every day.

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    No it wasn't, it was a rotten post, right is right because it's right, rank's got nothing to do with it. Liddell Hart was a Captain and David Stirling was a Lieutenant, as was Lawrence. Clive was a company secretary/writer and Cromwell was a farmer. Play the ball not the man. Sometimes the grown-ups are just good bluffers - a quick review of procurement cock-ups and equipment shortfalls over the last twenty years doesn't offer much empirical evidence for great expertise and a profound wisdom in our highest echelons.
  15. Does not mean he isn't wrong 90% of the time