Out of Iraq – but will army ever recover?

#1
'Out of Iraq – but will army ever recover?'

Published Date: 18 December 2008
By Tanya Thompson

He said: "We knew why we were in Northern Ireland, we knew why we were in Korea and the Falklands. But after the regime change, when you kicked out Saddam and there were no weapons of mass destruction, you had six years of scratching your head thinking, 'what are we doing here?'

http://news.scotsman.com/opinion/Out-of-Iraq--but.4803555.jp

'A moment for truth as Britain exits Iraq'
By Andrew Grice, Political Editor
Thursday, 18 December 2008
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/a-moment-for-truth-as-britain-exits-iraq-1202312.html
 
#2
Yes the British Army will recover.
Provided it is not thrown into a new war in it's desperately small state.
A complete Defence Review is required and the future tasks planned or expect need to be sorted out.
The Army now is just to small for the tasks the Political Masters require.
john
 
#3
Then the Politicians, who can't, or won't fund a larger army, have to live up to their obligations and reduce the commitments placed on the army to match its strength.
To fail to provide an army commensurate with the strategic demands that are placed upon it, is as criminal a piece of negligence, as that which deployed the B.E.F. to France in 1939-40.

I am confident that the Politicians will make the incorrect response to this particular "riddle of the sands"!
 
#4
jonwilly said:
Yes the British Army will recover.
Provided it is not thrown into a new war in it's desperately small state.
A complete Defence Review is required and the future tasks planned or expect need to be sorted out.
The Army now is just to small for the tasks the Political Masters require.
john
Agreed. But the armed services all need to get some support from the politicians and "talking heads" who influence them, otherwise the review will come up with the usual efficiency cuts formula. Our service people go into foreign countries with good will and try to make a postive difference. It is to our shame that they are consistently let down in their efforts, starved of resources, and largely ignored by the press and media. The Army in particular also seem to be losing all the named regiments to conform to the American model of organisation. If America goes bust, opts for isolationism and withdraws from everywhere, we will have traded our traditions in for fcuk all. There was a good letter in The Times yesterday from Dr Christopher Martin, Lecturer in War and Strategic Studies at Hull University. He said
"Sir, Since 1945 successive UK governments have struggled to match finance to commitment. Nevertheless, one principle has underpinned UK defence policy — that the UK is, and should be, a world leader with global responsibilities and interests.

We have been here before with the CVA-01 aircraft carrier cancelled in 1966 after another financial crisis. Those who would take advantage of the current crisis and seek to terminate the carrier programme must pursue a logical and honest reappraisal of what the UK is, and wants to be, in the world.

The abandonment of our global role has inevitable consequences: the reduction of our conventional Forces to a gendarmerie, for if we cannot support them beyond our shores we should have no business sending them; the termination of our nuclear deterrent, for in the absence of adequate conventional Forces it becomes a first line of defence that must be unacceptable in any circumstances; and finally, we should be obliged to surrender our permanent seat on the UN Security Council, for we should have no business keeping it from those who would have to assume our responsibilities.

Such a situation is intolerable. We have no right to ask others to defend our global interests. Everything we rely on must come by sea, and much of that through volatile littoral regions. We are the world’s fourth-largest economy and benefit enormously from global trade. To abandon our role in properly defending it is equivalent to absolving the rich of taxes.

Dr Christopher Martin

Lecturer in War and Strategic Studies, University of Hull" http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article5354505.ece is the link for this/
 
#5
Of course it will, so long as Mr Obama doesn't decide to take on a "rough state" for a few years & so long as the troops who would have been going to Iraq aren't sent to Afghanistan.
 
#7
heard_it_all_before said:
irlsgt said:
Of course it will, so long as Mr Obama doesn't decide to take on a "rough state" for a few years & so long as the troops who would have been going to Iraq aren't sent to Afghanistan.
Which they will.
Or won't.

See link

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk...718464.stm

JOCK STIRRUP

"Our top priority is to deliver success, military success in both theatres (Iraq and Afghanistan), but equally I've said for a very long time that the British armed forces are stretched," he said.

"We're doing more than we are structured or resourced to do in the long term. We can do it for a short period but we can't continue doing it ad infinitum.


So we also have to get ourselves back into balance; it's crucial that we reduce the operational tempo for our armed forces, so it cannot be, even if the situation demanded it, it cannot be just a one for one transfer from Iraq to Afghanistan, we have to reduce that tempo.
Further entrenched by David Milliband

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the UK did not want an "unfair burden (in Afghanistan)".
The Chiefs are generally seen as a mouthpeice of the politicians so if Jock is not reprimanded for sticking his head above the parapet it can generally be assumed he is voicing the wishes of Whitehall.


Shadow foreign secretary William Hague told Sky News he believed the bulk of British troops would be pulled out of Iraq next year but warned that Britain made a "disproportionate contribution" to the Nato effort in Afghanistan.

Asked whether those troops would then be sent to Afghanistan, Mr Hague said: "The British Army is very overstretched and Britain makes a disproportionate contribution to the Nato effort in Afghanistan.

"So I think we would all take some persuading that there would have to be a much larger British contingent there - there's already a very large British contingent.

He added: "We do need the rest of Nato to play its part in Afghanistan and undoubtedly it seems that Barack Obama does intend to send larger US forces and that is part of what is necessary in Afghanistan."
So maybe not
 
#8
Dontdreamit said:
heard_it_all_before said:
irlsgt said:
Of course it will, so long as Mr Obama doesn't decide to take on a "rough state" for a few years & so long as the troops who would have been going to Iraq aren't sent to Afghanistan.
Which they will.
Or won't.

See link

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk...718464.stm

JOCK STIRRUP

"Our top priority is to deliver success, military success in both theatres (Iraq and Afghanistan), but equally I've said for a very long time that the British armed forces are stretched," he said.

"We're doing more than we are structured or resourced to do in the long term. We can do it for a short period but we can't continue doing it ad infinitum.


So we also have to get ourselves back into balance; it's crucial that we reduce the operational tempo for our armed forces, so it cannot be, even if the situation demanded it, it cannot be just a one for one transfer from Iraq to Afghanistan, we have to reduce that tempo.
Further entrenched by David Milliband

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the UK did not want an "unfair burden (in Afghanistan)".
The Chiefs are generally seen as a mouthpeice of the politicians so if Jock is not reprimanded for sticking his head above the parapet it can generally be assumed he is voicing the wishes of Whitehall.


Shadow foreign secretary William Hague told Sky News he believed the bulk of British troops would be pulled out of Iraq next year but warned that Britain made a "disproportionate contribution" to the Nato effort in Afghanistan.

Asked whether those troops would then be sent to Afghanistan, Mr Hague said: "The British Army is very overstretched and Britain makes a disproportionate contribution to the Nato effort in Afghanistan.

"So I think we would all take some persuading that there would have to be a much larger British contingent there - there's already a very large British contingent.

He added: "We do need the rest of Nato to play its part in Afghanistan and undoubtedly it seems that Barack Obama does intend to send larger US forces and that is part of what is necessary in Afghanistan."
So maybe not
Your editing obviously left out a few key elements:

Referring to Mr Obama's proposal to step up operations, Sir Jock said: "I am a little nervous when people use the word 'surge' as if this were some sort of panacea.

"What we are quite clear about is that we need more military force in Afghanistan...


So I don't mean to sound 'Offish', but Sir Jock Stirrup does as he's fecking told: He's not a politician.
 
#9
That's correct. So if he is publicly making statements it is likely that White(house)hall already knew before hand and sanctioned it.

Otherwise Jock will be joing the rest of the jobseekers shortly...
 
#10
1/ Politicians have their opinions and try to send orders, but I don't do them.
2/ I write my own missions and ignore these festering corupt penguins.
3/ They couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery (Thats all parties).
I wouldn't leave them in charge of their own willies.
4/ Just repeat the March of Alexander From: Macedonia to Pakistan and you won't go far wrong.
5/ If you have to fill in a reply, just say something sweet . Then carry on with your Battle March to eternity.
6/ This method has got me through twenty years and never failed yet.
 
#11
bl-ue, AKA Errol

What a brilliant military and social mind you have. Veterans really look forward to your enlightening military writings under the pen name of Tom Elliot SAS RSM and your social commentary on Bloody Sunday on Google Group Forums.

Len
 
#12
I don't feel it will recover. What we had has gone along with the regiments that made it.

It will adapt, but what we had has gone.

Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, Major, Blair and Brown, you robbed this country of more than you gave it. ******* the lot of them, may the rot in hell for their defence cuts...
 
#13
We never really played it up in the media, but the British Army was actually fairly successful in its aims in SE Iraq as explained to Jon Snow last night on Channel 4 news by a chap from RUSI and in today's Guardian by Sir Jock Stirrup:


Exit Iraq, heads high
British forces will not leave Basra in shame, but with reputations intact. We should salute them


some selected quotes from the above:

To understand how this all came about, it is necessary to look back to late 2006. It was clear at that stage that our presence in Basra was creating an excuse both for violence by the militias and for inaction by the Basrawi authorities. We drew up plans to confront the militias, but the Iraqi government did not want us to implement them. We needed another way to break the cycle of violence, and concluded that the best course was to withdraw from Basra city and to put the Iraqis in the security lead there.

This would, in our view, force them to confront the intra-Shia political issues that were the source of much of the violence. This judgment was shared by the Iraqi government and by our US allies, who agreed that the Iraqi forces were ready. With their agreement, we carried out our plan - on our terms. We were not driven out. There was no "deal" that left Basra prey to militias.

This was the backdrop to Charge of the Knights - which was based on an Iraqi plan drawn up with our prompting and our help. We would have preferred it had the operation been launched in a more considered fashion, but it at least provided the clear political lead that had until then been absent in Basra and that was a prerequisite for success. The Iraqis deserve congratulations for that. And so do our forces, who provided air, aviation, armoured, artillery, logistic, medical and other support.
Oddly enough, elsewhere on their site ...

Pride over making a difference

Many soldiers have welcomed the news that resources will be focused on Afghanistan.

But on the Army Rumour Service website arrse.co.uk, those posting comments - not necessarily in the army - were rather more cynical. Rockpile wrote: "Leaving Iraq to go to ... Afghanistan. Brown is going to get the most publicity out of 'bringing the troops home' between now and July and then as quietly as possible deploy them to Afghanistan."

The site moderator, signed in as Part Time Pongo, said he didn't blame Gordon Brown: "What exactly is the point of a continued presence we are paying for in blood and treasure? Are the Iraqi government going to give us suitable compensation for helping rid them of a tyrant?"
 
#14
I understand the strain on married soldiers and their families, which is more important than it seems to politicians. This will always result in the more experienced NCOs and officers thinking of PVR. However, there is nothing like constant warfare to make keep Army procedures up to date and keep us as the best army in the world. Ops in northern Ireland kept a very good edge on the soldiers' skills in those decades, which others could never match. Whether ops in AFG and Iraq are too high intensity, however, may be open to debate.
 
#15
jonwilly said:
Yes the British Army will recover.
Provided it is not thrown into a new war in it's desperately small state.
A complete Defence Review is required and the future tasks planned or expect need to be sorted out.
The Army now is just to small for the tasks the Political Masters require.
john
Going on past records that the last thing we need, these shysters would use it to make even further cut backs.......... :evil:
 
#16
We would all love a larger army, more money and better equipment. The one big flaw in this plan is not the Government or money, its personnel where will these extra soldiers we all want come from? We can't recruit enough to man the army at it present size at the moment. The facts are simple too many young people are not intersted in a military career and thats not down to any of our recent conflicts its more of a lack of interest throught the UK. :(
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
WhiteRabbit said:
We never really played it up in the media, but the British Army was actually fairly successful in its aims in SE Iraq as explained to Jon Snow last night on Channel 4 news by a chap from RUSI and in today's Guardian by Sir Jock Stirrup:


Exit Iraq, heads high
British forces will not leave Basra in shame, but with reputations intact. We should salute them


some selected quotes from the above:

To understand how this all came about, it is necessary to look back to late 2006. It was clear at that stage that our presence in Basra was creating an excuse both for violence by the militias and for inaction by the Basrawi authorities. We drew up plans to confront the militias, but the Iraqi government did not want us to implement them. We needed another way to break the cycle of violence, and concluded that the best course was to withdraw from Basra city and to put the Iraqis in the security lead there.

This would, in our view, force them to confront the intra-Shia political issues that were the source of much of the violence. This judgment was shared by the Iraqi government and by our US allies, who agreed that the Iraqi forces were ready. With their agreement, we carried out our plan - on our terms. We were not driven out. There was no "deal" that left Basra prey to militias.

This was the backdrop to Charge of the Knights - which was based on an Iraqi plan drawn up with our prompting and our help. We would have preferred it had the operation been launched in a more considered fashion, but it at least provided the clear political lead that had until then been absent in Basra and that was a prerequisite for success. The Iraqis deserve congratulations for that. And so do our forces, who provided air, aviation, armoured, artillery, logistic, medical and other support.
Oddly enough, elsewhere on their site ...

Pride over making a difference

Many soldiers have welcomed the news that resources will be focused on Afghanistan.

But on the Army Rumour Service website arrse.co.uk, those posting comments - not necessarily in the army - were rather more cynical. Rockpile wrote: "Leaving Iraq to go to ... Afghanistan. Brown is going to get the most publicity out of 'bringing the troops home' between now and July and then as quietly as possible deploy them to Afghanistan."

The site moderator, signed in as Part Time Pongo, said he didn't blame Gordon Brown: "What exactly is the point of a continued presence we are paying for in blood and treasure? Are the Iraqi government going to give us suitable compensation for helping rid them of a tyrant?"
WhiteRabbit - just because there was a successful outcome doesn't necessarily mean that it was as a direct result of our actions. Personally I'll wait to see what happens in the next five years or so before deciding if I think it's been a success or not. Perhaps the bad guys simply decided that it wasn't worth wasting fighting power on troops with uncertain political support, who had adopted a largely passive posture on account of a casualty-averse government and who were scheduled to be withdrawn anyway.

The passage regarding Charge of the Knights is disingenuous as that episode could equally read that the British weren't fully involved because we were no longer trusted. The British Army, particularly the Infantry, is not usually an available asset left on the sidelines unless there's something very wrong. I think there's a lot to learn from Iraq but, if it was a success, I think the jury's still out on whose success it was. Certainly the boys and girls on the ground did their bit, but I'm not sure everyone else involved could say that, least of all our political masters.

I am sure that the British Army will recover from Iraq but we will not do so by spurious rationalisation, telling ourselves comforting little lies and ignoring some pretty serious shortcomings, particularly at the military/political interface.
 
#20
Now, now you must agree that bl_ue is unique veteran, he is all things to all men. I love his Tom Elliot RSM SAS persona, he is undoubtedly the next Andy McNabb.

Len
 

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