Our Forces are no Longer World Class

#1
#2
The flow of the article doesn't really say that but rather we are being badly let down by politicians and on the verge of breaking.
 
#3
Surprising that Hastings trots out the General and the interviewer urban myth. A little research would have nailed that one.
 
#4
Edited to remove the ND and responses :)
 
#5
I just read this as well.

I admit to likeing Max Hastings, he has a geniune love of the British Army, and if you read through the whole thing he is talking more about Blairs choice of conflicts, coupled with the strangling off of budget.
 
#6
and the little boy said:
"But the Emperor's not wearing any clothes".

He covers a few issues in this article, but echoes much of what has been said on these pages for the past couple of years. Sooner or later the country will realise that it has a big problem on its hands - hopefully before an army is needed and we haven't got one.
 
#7
Public distaste for Blair's unpopular wars, coupled with the unfitness of our teenagers, has left Britain woefully short of soldiers
I bet that Conservative government would participate in these 'unpopular wars' and the result would be absolutely the same.

As the author himself points out it is not specific British problem

The result is that all western nations are struggling to identify enough young men able and willing to carry rifles on battlefields. It is hard to foresee social trends that will make it less so.
 
#9
Oh dear, will we be losing a Michelin star or something over this or will everybody get up and turn in for work again tomorrow?
 
#10
It's not true. We now have an efficient, streamlined and dynamic† military which is well-equipped, properly funded and in which everyone is foole - ah, happy all of the time. The new electronic administration system works well, procurement is no longer an issue*, and there is a genuine respect and trust at all levels for their leaders. All our units are operating within harmony guidelines (for a given value of 'harmony') and there are no recruiting or retention problems.

That said, Prime Minister Brown constantly has one eye** on the issues the military are facing and is very concerned to prevent soldiers feeling they have to speak out about their concerns.

The RAF's new aircraft, the Porker 2000, is now in-service.

† i.e., small
* Because there's no money for it, so it isn't happening.
** His blind one.
 
#11
If anyone here can draw, I'd suggest a 'Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen'esque cartoon with Brown holding the telescope up to his blind eye, and the caption reading "Crisis, what Crisis?"

Royalties to Arrse Charity, please.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
KGB_resident said:
Public distaste for Blair's unpopular wars, coupled with the unfitness of our teenagers, has left Britain woefully short of soldiers
I bet that Conservative government would participate in these 'unpopular wars' and the result would be absolutely the same.

As the author himself points out it is not specific British problem

The result is that all western nations are struggling to identify enough young men able and willing to carry rifles on battlefields. It is hard to foresee social trends that will make it less so.
Taking a very deep breath ... I'm going to have to agree with KGB_Resident. Would the Tories have done anything different? Likewise the culture and values of today's society. It's something we have in common with most of the Western world.
 
#13
anything I ever read by max hastings tended to be how crap everything was, and I get the impression he'd be shouting "ain't it awful" no matter what. That for me detracts from his credibility - the downside is not necessarily objectivity or realism.

I remember reading in his memoir, "Editor" about his tenure as editor of the Daily Telegraph. Before he got the job, his books were bringing in £160k a year (in 1985!), but would've dried up sooner or later, so he needed full time regular employment, and had to take up the editorship. What a bitch.
 
#14
Max Hastings thinks it all when downhill when they stopped wearing red coats and firing muskets.
 
#15
Yokel said:
Max Hastings thinks it all when downhill when they stopped wearing red coats and firing muskets.
Have you read the whole article? Hastings says nothing that the majority of people here disagree with. The title is inflamatory but the content is not.

IMO.
 
#18
RP578 said:
KGB_resident said:
Public distaste for Blair's unpopular wars, coupled with the unfitness of our teenagers, has left Britain woefully short of soldiers
I bet that Conservative government would participate in these 'unpopular wars' and the result would be absolutely the same.

As the author himself points out it is not specific British problem

The result is that all western nations are struggling to identify enough young men able and willing to carry rifles on battlefields. It is hard to foresee social trends that will make it less so.
Taking a very deep breath ... I'm going to have to agree with KGB_Resident. Would the Tories have done anything different? Likewise the culture and values of today's society. It's something we have in common with most of the Western world.
One would assume they might have spent some money on naval procurement, as virtually everything coming onstream now was contracted for pre 1997, and they certainly wouldn't be cutting the military budget in real terms while involved in 2 wars
 
#19
The RAF is "uttertly, utterly useless".

The RN hands over its Ipods without a fight.

The Army is ignored by Americans and Iraqis alike in the 'Battle of Basra'.

Of course, justifications for all 3. But 'what a gift the giftie gie us, to see ourselves as others see us', no?

Where does that leave us?
 
#20
Uh, which nation said the RAF is useless, I'd seriosly love to see that quote since they seem to have the best record at every Red Flag (and other events of the type) that they attend, and unlike the other top of the line Airforces, actually cross convert pilots
 

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