Officers attack MoD muddle

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Mar 21, 2009.

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  1. From The Sunday Times
    March 22, 2009
    Officers attack 'MoD muddle'

    Tony Allen-Mills
    SENIOR British Army commanders have denounced the government's strategy in Afghanistan as a "constant muddling through" that has resulted in a "failing" approach to defeating the Taliban after three years of bloody confrontation.

    In a series of outspoken interviews, several high-ranking officers who commanded British troops in Helmand province express anger and frustration at what one brigadier described as "making it up as we go along".

    Brigadier Andrew Mackay, who commanded Helmand's Nato forces for six months last winter, claimed a British failure to deliver economic development or reconstruction for ordinary Afghans meant that "one of the central tenets of counter-insurgency doctrine is failing".

    Major Nick Haston, who was Mackay's deputy chief of staff, revealed he had resigned from the army in protest at bureaucratic incompetence. He said troops had been so short of vital equipment that his staff bought spares on the internet. "I would say that some of the people that procure (equipment) in our Ministry of Defence haven't a clue," said Haston.
    More on the link
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5950402.ece
     
  2. Tytus_Barnowl

    Tytus_Barnowl On ROPs

    My bold. A morally courageous man, sadly few are like him and it appears that the cancerous policy of brushing problems under the carpet at that level still afflicts the Army HQ system.
     
  3. The sad thing is that this won't be the last example of the QM going online with the Regtl credit card. Amazon and E-bay deliver a lot quicker than DSDA! :lol:

    It is absolutely appalling that a Bde COS, someone who had clearly been marked out for high office, has been driven to resignation by this. It won't have been a decision that he took lightly, and it is a sad loss for the Army.
     
  4. I wonder just how many high flying young officers (Tim Collins type of people) have jacked because of the MOD cock up in Iraq, and Afghanistan
     
  5. Me for a start. Well except for the high flying young officer bit - more like low flying old goat

    RC
     
  6. Thought Andrew MacKay was a Major-General now.
     
  7. This makes for very sombre reading.

    One question though, who exactly is responsible for defence procurement?

    Is it a Government Minister or a senior civil servant or a senior officer from one of the armed services?

    This may appear, to some, a daft question but at the end of the day somebody must have a sign on their desk which says "THE BUCK STOPS HERE"!
     
  8. From the military POV, I imagine it would be down to the 3 Chiefs of Materiel (Fleet, Land &Air). There is also a Minister for DE&S.

    The titles would suggest that these are prime candidates for "buck stopping".
     
  9. Govt Minister (MINDES) heads the show, with service chiefs ultimately having responsibility.

    I'm a little concerned about the internet ordering side of the story. To what extent did this exacerbate their problems? DSDA was trying to get kit into theatre through some very taut supply lines, and I'm concerned that in fact ordering extra kit may have made the problem worse. From a practical perspective its the worst thing to do as MOD can't charge back the cost of it to HMT - so we ended up being out of pocket from the deal, meaning more cuts had to be made elsewhere.

    Sorry to sound harsh here, but the system, while it has its faults, is generally fairly good at getting kit to theatre as a whole in short order.
     
  10. Interesting comments at the end of the article from one Mr. Tim Toyne-Sewell, Nether Wallop, UK. Would that be Major General Timothy Toyne-Sewell, Retired?
    Praise from him on Counter Insurgency capability; is praise indeed.
    Nick Haston is yet another Officer HM can ill afford to loose.
     
  11. In my current post I have a lot to do with specialist procurement and UORs. I have seen projects that the military ( myself included) have reported on not being fit for purpose being pushed through by the civilian members of DE&S because they have been on the project for so long.(I could make sweeping comments on friendship and backhanders but this would just not be cricket.)
    Most of the the decision makers in this department have no military or op experience and will happily advise on what the "customer" wants without checking with the military personnel working in the department.

    The process requires so many hurdles that it is the most frustrating part of the job.