Scottish Defence Force or British Armed Forces? - Research Questionnaire

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by GGrantEsq, Apr 25, 2013.

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  1. Gents (and Ladies),

    I'm a former foreign correspondent with The Times turned defence analyst, and am preparing a report on the potential defence implications of Scottish independence. I've spoken with the admins and they've kindly given me the all-clear to start this thread to that end.

    As part of my work, I want to obtain some reliable, empirical data on what proportion of servicemen and women in Scots regiments would choose to join a Scottish Defence Force if given the choice, and what proportion would prefer to remain with the British Armed Forces.

    I've spoken to Angus Robertson, the SNP Defence Spokesman, and he's assured me that should Scotland vote for independence next year, service personnel in Scottish regiments will indeed be given that choice.

    I've prepared a survey, and if you are a currently serving in a Scottish regiment, or have done so in the past, or if you are a Scot in another regiment or service arm that cannot be so easily classified (RLC, Air Force etc) , I would be grateful if you could fill it out. It's only one page with four questions, so not a lot!

    If you are not or have not served with a Scottish regiment or you aren't a Scot who complies with the above,
    please do not fill out the survey, as alas, this question won't apply to you.

    Please post your completed survey below, or else send direct to me at

    Survey below, and thanks very much!



    1. In the event of Scotland voting ‘Yes’ to Independence in 2014 would you want to:
    (Choose only one answer)
    A. Remain in the British Armed Forces
    B. Join the Scottish Defence Force (SDF)
    C. Don’t know

    i. If you answered ‘A’ to Question 1, was this because you believed the British Armed Forces would:
    (You can choose more than one answer)
    A. Offer more opportunities for foreign travel and operations than the SDF
    B. Offer better pay and conditions than the SDF
    C. Be a more effective fighting force than the SDF
    D. Best enable me to serve my country
    E. Other (please explain)

    ii. If you answered ‘B’ to Question 1, was this because you believed the SDF would:
    (You can choose more than one answer)
    A. Offer more opportunities for foreign travel and operations than the British Armed Forces
    B. Offer better pay and conditions than the British Armed Forces
    C. Be a more effective fighting force than the British Armed Forces
    D. Best enable me to serve my country
    E. Other (please explain)

    2. Compared with the British Armed Forces, do you believe a Scottish Defence Force could provide an independent Scotland with:
    (Choose only one answer)
    A. Better protection than it receives as part of the United Kingdom
    B. Worse protection than it receives as part of the United Kingdom
    C. About the same

    3. In the 2014 referendum will you vote for Scotland:
    (Choose only one answer)
    A. To remain a part of the United Kingdom
    B. To become independent
    C. Don’t know
    D. Won’t vote
  2. You forgot this question:

    4. If your unit became part of Scotland's Defence Forces would you:
    (Choose only one answer)
    A. Follow orders
    B. Go to jail
    C. Go AWOL to Australia with your other half
    D. Bleat about it on military-themed websites
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Perhaps you might like to tell us who you are then - rather than hiding behind a pseudonym?

    I would also caution two things - firstly anyone can respond, meaning that the survey can easily be fixed for whatever result.

    Secondly, if you are serving then I would suggest serving personnel remind themselves of guidance relating to involvement in political matters.
  4. Jim, as I said, I'm a former journalist now defence analyst. I signed off as George, and my username is GGrant, so George Grant being the answer!

    As for serving personnel, I'm hoping that an anonymous response will not be too much of a problem.

    Thanks all,

  5. Gosh that was hard: George Grant -

    Who are you, oh great blogging one?
  6. Some of those articles are by me - the ones about Libya. The ones about Liverpool and sport are obviously a different George Grant!
  7. He's said from the start that he is a reporter with the user name G Grant. You don't need to be a Rocket Surgeon to work out who the hell he is with a quick Google Machine. If he's coming on Arrse with this declared from the start what's the problem? Its when Journalists/Luvvies come on here pretending to be something they are not which is a problem.

    That said Current Serving can't fill out this form. Sorry. The form will have to be filled out by those with Early Onset Alzheimer and Tourettes with the word "SLR" instead of the word "****".
    • Like Like x 2
  8. George. The 'offer to transfer' is an interesting one. What size will the SDF be? What capabilities will it have? Will people move across at same rank and role? What is all the, let's say, LCpls want to move across but none of the Majors do?

    An open offer seems a v poor way to populate a new force! Will transfer be a right? What have the MoD said? Are they content to lose Scots soldiers?

    I am British (no Scottish blood) so have no dog in the fight but seems a funny start point!

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  9. SNP envisages an SDF of 15,000 men, including all "current Scottish raised and restored UK regiments", with a total annual budget of £2.5 billion. There are very many issues with the SNP plans on defence, and that's what my report is looking at, but don't want to get into all of it now if possible.

  10. Any other info on the SDF i.e . Weapons, what are they going to use ? Will they have Heavy Armour and what type . Just wondering where the will be getting them from?
  11. Why just those who are or have served in the jock div?

    I'm beginning to feel unloved, first Salmond and his band of merry mongs make it difficult for me to vote in the referendum, now big George doesn't care about my opinion. ..I'm tempted to comment on the depression thread.

    (I may just start a new one called the 'minor irritants resulting in dull rants' thread)

    Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
    • Like Like x 1
  12. As I say, their plans are very sketchy at present, and I'm writing on this exhaustively, but not here! Here's is their most recent "Foreign Policy and Defence Update". It is vague.

    Resolution to SNP Conference: Foreign, Security and Defence Policy Update:
    The Foreign, Security and Defence policy of Scotland should be determined by the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament and always reflect the priorities of people living in Scotland.
    An independent Scotland will be an outward-looking nation which is open, fair and tolerant, contributing to peace, justice and equality. By mobilising our assets and the goodwill and recognition that Scotland enjoys in the world, we will provide sustainable access to natural resources to tackle need and prevent insecurity in the world for this and future generations.
    The SNP reiterates its commitment to non-nuclear defence, international law, the United Nations and supporting multilateral solutions to regional and global challenges.
    While conventional military threats to Scotland are low, it is important to maintain appropriate security and defence arrangements and capabilities. This includes a cyber security and intelligence infrastructure to deal with new threats and protect key national economic and social infrastructure.
    Scotland is maritime nation with more than 11,000 miles of coastline, including nearly 800 islands, critical under-sea and offshore infrastructure and an area of responsibility extending far into the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.The SNP recognises our national responsibilities as a northern European nation to work with our neighbours to fulfil current defence and security responsibilities and improve collective regional arrangements. Environmental changes to the High North and Arctic Region raise major regional challenges and responsibilities which Scotland shares.
    Scotland will require military capabilities to fulfil these responsibilities. These will be provided by the Scottish defence and peacekeeping services which will be answerable to the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament. An independent Scottish government led by the SNP will commit to an annual defence and security budget of £2.5bn, an annual increase of more than £500m on recent UK levels of defence spending in Scotland but nearly £1bn less than Scottish taxpayers currently contribute to UK defence spending.
    The Scottish armed forces will comprise 15,000 regular and 5,000 reserve personnel, operating under Joint Forces Headquarters based at Faslane, which will be Scotland’s main conventional naval facility. All current bases will be retained to accommodate units, which will be organised into one regular and one reserve Multi Role Brigade (MRB). The air force will operate from Lossiemouth and Leuchars.
    Regular ground forces will include current Scottish raised and restored UK regiments, support units as well as Special Forces and Royal Marines, who will retain responsibility for offshore protection.
    The Scottish armed forces will be focused on territorial defence, aid to the civil power and also support for the international community. The Multi Role Brigade structure and interoperable air and sea assets will provide deployable capabilities for United Nations sanctioned missions and support of humanitarian, peacekeeping and peace-making ‘Petersburg Tasks’.
    The Scottish defence and peacekeeping forces will initially be equipped with Scotland’s share of current assets including ocean going vessels, fast jets for domestic air patrol duties, transport aircraft and helicopters as well as army vehicles, artillery and air defence systems. A Scottish defence industrial strategy and procurement plan will fill UK capability gaps in Scotland, addressing the lack of new frigates, conventional submarines and maritime patrol aircraft.
    Joint procurement will be pursued with the rest of the UK and other allies as well as shared conventional basing, training and logistics arrangements, fulfilling shared priorities in ‘Smart Defence’. This includes sharing conventional military capabilities, setting priorities and better coordinating efforts providing economic synergies, job stability and taxpayer value for money.
    A long-standing national consensus has existed that Scotland should not host nuclear weapons and a sovereign SNP government will negotiate the speediest safe transition of the nuclear fleet from Faslane which will be replaced by conventional naval forces.
    Security cooperation in our region functions primarily through NATO, which is regarded as the keystone defence organisation by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the United Kingdom. The SNP wishes Scotland to fulfil its responsibilities to neighbours and allies. On independence Scotland will inherit its treaty obligations with NATO. An SNP Government will maintain NATO membership subject to an agreement that Scotland will not host nuclear weapons and NATO continues to respect the right of members to only take part in UN sanctioned operations. In the absence of such an agreement, Scotland will work with NATO as a member of the Partnership for Peace programme like Sweden, Finland, Austria and Ireland. Scotland will be a full member of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union and the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE).
    Angus Robertson MP and Angus MacNeil MP
  13. Oh and my non Scottish 4p Worth which in no way reflects my MoD employers opinion. For those who like being given a uniform and a gun with no actual danger involved, the Scottish Defence Force might be an interesting skirt and drizzle alternative to the MPGS - with the added "bonus" of UN Tour Child Brothel Sex Tourism every once in a while. Those that want to fight and do something worthwhile will probably stick with the British Army.
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  14. All you are going to get at this stage is a 'gut feeling' from people until the real detail is known about terms and conditions, keeping rank, opportunities etc.

    The situation will be very different for a young, single Jock with only 2 years service and SNCO with a family who has 16/22nds of a pensions built up with the British Army. Desire to serve in the SDF may well be overcome by practical, financial considerations for a lot of people.
    • Like Like x 2
  15. The SDF will be good for tour dodgers...
    • Like Like x 1