Smoke and mirrors says former CGS

#1
New ePolitix interview with Gen Sir Mike Jackson.

...all the details will come out in my autobiography.
Question: Are you convinced that the Army has the right backing and equipment it needs in Iraq and Afghanistan?

General Sir Mike Jackson: We know from opinion polls what the attitude of the country is towards Iraq. It is interesting that at the beginning of military action two-thirds backed the action and now two-thirds are against it so we have a complete shift.

In terms of equipment for the troops on the ground now there aren't many difficulties now.

There were three areas that were a problem: a lack of armoured patrol vehicles; support helicopters and thirdly strategic transport aircraft.
Question: Is the amount of money being earmarked in the comprehensive spending review enough for the armed forces?

General Sir Mike Jackson: Is it enough? I would say no, not quite, there is still something missing. You only have to look at the state of accommodation for example.

That is not a complicated thing to provide. It requires no new technology, research and development or anything like that. It just needs money to be spent on some decent housing.

The housing situation is not good and I would want to see a lot more.

It's all very well there is a 1.7 per cent real-terms increase but there are some conditions.

I understand there are some changes in accounting procedures where you get a bit of a smoke and mirrors element coming in.

In addition, historically, defence inflation has always been higher than general inflation and that 1.7 per cent is measured against general inflation projections.
Many other subjects covered in the interview - see link below. Gen Jackson gets slightly sniffy at the end about the Government activities of Baron West of Spithead, who he demotes to "Sir Alan".

Full interview at ePolitix.com. Also link to mp3 recording.
 
#3
Oh so everythings OK then.

He was partly responsible for the state the Army is in today. Not totally but partly.
 
#4
We know from opinion polls what the attitude of the country is towards Iraq. It is interesting that at the beginning of military action two-thirds backed the action
I didn't know it was that many. Well you learn something every day.


He was partly responsible for the state the Army is in today. Not totally but partly.
FAS anyone?
 
#5
All this from a guy that was in charge not long ago but didn't feel the need to speak up on behalf of us until he left post. I have little more than contempt for this man who can sit back now, with a very large pension and who is pretty much fire proof, trying to pretend that he is all for the guys. Jacko you should have stood up and been counted while you were in post.
 
#6
groover said:
All this from a guy that was in charge not long ago but didn't feel the need to speak up on behalf of us until he left post. I have little more than contempt for this man who can sit back now, with a very large pension and who is pretty much fire proof, trying to pretend that he is all for the guys. Jacko you should have stood up and been counted while you were in post.
I entirely agree - he had his chance to speak out & make a difference when he was in. He didn't. A cynical attempt to boost the sales of his autobiography?
 
#7
A biography that lets be honest he shouldn't be allowed to write, but who is going to stop him when he has the ear of the media.
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#8
groover said:
A biography that lets be honest he shouldn't be allowed to write
Why?
 
#9
Yep shame he didn't have a pair when he was in post although the top man openly complaining could have a negative effect and undermine morale.

Having said that I think it is good that Gen Dannat it more interested in the job he has in hand rather than his future employment potential within the establishment.
 
#10
Sorry should have said in my opinion only. The reason is that whilst there are still operations going on that he was directly involved in there is a lot that could be said to anger people and colour peoples judgments on ongoing matters. I am not saying that he will effect OPSEC, just that anything that comes out in this book will be jumped upon by the media, and all this does is detract from what is actually going on day to day in Iraq and Afganistan, and let's be honest are lads and lasses out there don't get enough recognition as it is. Like I said it is just my opinion. I am still allowed one of those under the new guidelines, aren't I? :D
 
#11
groover said:
All this from a guy that was in charge not long ago but didn't feel the need to speak up on behalf of us until he left post. I have little more than contempt for this man who can sit back now, with a very large pension and who is pretty much fire proof, trying to pretend that he is all for the guys. Jacko you should have stood up and been counted while you were in post.
Could he have spoken up though?

The cabinet assumes collective responsibility for their decisions - and the disposition of the armed forces is devolved by Royal Prerogative by HM Queen to the Secretary of State for Defence. As the army is a non-politically affiliated organisation sworn to defend the realm etc - is the CGS in any position to start "gobbing it" as to why he shouldn't carry out the wishes of the government. This is a function perhaps more properly aimed at defence select committees (of which he will no doubt be a member).

Nonetheless you may claim that he could have spoken up - and you would be right, of course he could. But all that would have happened is that he would have been forcibly retired and replaced by someone who could carry out the wishes of HMG without being so vocal about his personal opposition.

As for speaking out - well he cannot really, just by convention more than anything else (e.g. Robin Cook who resigned and then shot off his mouth).

You could argue that the CGS is a soldier and not a politician and should not be bound by these conventions - and you would be right - but at the level that these guys operate at, there may be grey areas between the relationship the CGS has with the army, and the relationship that he has with the state.

..... and by the time you get to General you are not far off your pension, which is perhaps soemthing at the forefront of his mind.
 
#12
That's exactly the point - as a General he is very close to his pension and is in just the position where he can throw his hand in if he objects in principle to what his political masters decide.

The problems only arise when the top man has no principles. Cut spending minister? - why not. Go to war without enough troops - we'll manage somehow. Cut infantry - yeah why not. Re-organise to obscure the truth - what a great wheeze sir, no skin off my leathery red nose.

General Jack-arse has just announced a speaking tour - could that be why he is raising a few issues at this stage. Might bump up numbers and top up that pension. Will he come out with full blown criticism - probably not whilst carrot of a Lordship is still dangling.
 
#13
God, you're a cynical load of gits aren't you?

Sad thing is you're right..................
 
#14
Herrumph said:
That's exactly the point - as a General he is very close to his pension and is in just the position where he can throw his hand in if he objects in principle to what his political masters decide.

The problems only arise when the top man has no principles. Cut spending minister? - why not. Go to war without enough troops - we'll manage somehow. Cut infantry - yeah why not. Re-organise to obscure the truth - what a great wheeze sir, no skin off my leathery red nose.

General Jack-arse has just announced a speaking tour - could that be why he is raising a few issues at this stage. Might bump up numbers and top up that pension. Will he come out with full blown criticism - probably not whilst carrot of a Lordship is still dangling.
Well said H. Anyone in doubt about the ability of a General to speak out should take a close look at what General Dannatt has been doing. In fact he was all over the TV screens just last week. If you truly care for your boys (and not just the ones you commanded in the past), you find a way of fighting for them. I am heartily sick of faint hearted Top Brass waiting to retire before explaining what a great job they did.

Jackson is a prime example. Decisions taken by him have materially affected the state of the Army today. At least Dannat will leave post with his head held high. One of very few Chiefs of Staff I could name.
 
#15
Herrumph said:
That's exactly the point - as a General he is very close to his pension and is in just the position where he can throw his hand in if he objects in principle to what his political masters decide.

The problems only arise when the top man has no principles. Cut spending minister? - why not. Go to war without enough troops - we'll manage somehow. Cut infantry - yeah why not. Re-organise to obscure the truth - what a great wheeze sir, no skin off my leathery red nose.

General Jack-arse has just announced a speaking tour - could that be why he is raising a few issues at this stage. Might bump up numbers and top up that pension. Will he come out with full blown criticism - probably not whilst carrot of a Lordship is still dangling.
And.... he will lose that lucrative book deal, that directorship of that sucessful company, that associateship of that influential body, that membership of the board of some NGO.....

Everything is connected and interconnected at that level - perhaps I am being cynical. niaive or (most likely) grossly misrepresenting the actual case. Nonetheless - operating at the army in that level (in my opinion) is just a game where you play the cards that the dealer knows he has just dealt you. In other words - me Defence Secretary - you CGS - Me Talk - You Listen.
 
#16
Defence spending row escalates

Liam Fox has backed calls by the former defence chief General Sir Mike Jackson to increase spending on the armed forces.

Responding to an ePolitix.com interview in which Sir Mike accused ministers of using "smoke and mirrors" to obscure the size of the armed forces budget the shadow defence secretary said: "Not only are our forces overstretched to the point of imminent crisis, but now the government appears to be using spin yet again to disguise the real levels of defence spending.

"They have consistently increased the commitments of our armed forces without increasing the levels of manpower or equipment proportionately."

...
Full story at ePolitix.com
 
#17
Sammy The Cat said:
groover said:
All this from a guy that was in charge not long ago but didn't feel the need to speak up on behalf of us until he left post. I have little more than contempt for this man who can sit back now, with a very large pension and who is pretty much fire proof, trying to pretend that he is all for the guys. Jacko you should have stood up and been counted while you were in post.
Could he have spoken up though?

The cabinet assumes collective responsibility for their decisions - and the disposition of the armed forces is devolved by Royal Prerogative by HM Queen to the Secretary of State for Defence. As the army is a non-politically affiliated organisation sworn to defend the realm etc - is the CGS in any position to start "gobbing it" as to why he shouldn't carry out the wishes of the government. This is a function perhaps more properly aimed at defence select committees (of which he will no doubt be a member).

Nonetheless you may claim that he could have spoken up - and you would be right, of course he could. But all that would have happened is that he would have been forcibly retired and replaced by someone who could carry out the wishes of HMG without being so vocal about his personal opposition.

As for speaking out - well he cannot really, just by convention more than anything else (e.g. Robin Cook who resigned and then shot off his mouth).

You could argue that the CGS is a soldier and not a politician and should not be bound by these conventions - and you would be right - but at the level that these guys operate at, there may be grey areas between the relationship the CGS has with the army, and the relationship that he has with the state.

..... and by the time you get to General you are not far off your pension, which is perhaps soemthing at the forefront of his mind.


Your true in all you say above...but I am not suggesting that he go so far as his position becomes untenable. What I am saying is that he could have spoken up more than he did...something along the lines of what Gen Dannett did. But to say very little at all on our behalf while in post, retire, and then lay into the government is both hipercritical and shows little of the morale courage that he, and others, always talk about being so vital within the Army. My opinion, and I know it is one of over 100.000 in the Army, is that he could of and should of said more while he was in. One only has to look at his comments before Christmas last year, when in a speech he talked of the disgusting state that much of the military housing is in, and the fact that HM Government has broken the Military Covernant. Why was this not brought up as a higher priority under his stewardship? Why did it have to wait until the press got involved in the matter?
Like I say just my opinion...but I think a valid one!
 
#18
groover said:
Sammy The Cat said:
groover said:
All this from a guy that was in charge not long ago but didn't feel the need to speak up on behalf of us until he left post. I have little more than contempt for this man who can sit back now, with a very large pension and who is pretty much fire proof, trying to pretend that he is all for the guys. Jacko you should have stood up and been counted while you were in post.
Could he have spoken up though?

The cabinet assumes collective responsibility for their decisions - and the disposition of the armed forces is devolved by Royal Prerogative by HM Queen to the Secretary of State for Defence. As the army is a non-politically affiliated organisation sworn to defend the realm etc - is the CGS in any position to start "gobbing it" as to why he shouldn't carry out the wishes of the government. This is a function perhaps more properly aimed at defence select committees (of which he will no doubt be a member).

Nonetheless you may claim that he could have spoken up - and you would be right, of course he could. But all that would have happened is that he would have been forcibly retired and replaced by someone who could carry out the wishes of HMG without being so vocal about his personal opposition.

As for speaking out - well he cannot really, just by convention more than anything else (e.g. Robin Cook who resigned and then shot off his mouth).

You could argue that the CGS is a soldier and not a politician and should not be bound by these conventions - and you would be right - but at the level that these guys operate at, there may be grey areas between the relationship the CGS has with the army, and the relationship that he has with the state.

..... and by the time you get to General you are not far off your pension, which is perhaps soemthing at the forefront of his mind.


Your true in all you say above...but I am not suggesting that he go so far as his position becomes untenable. What I am saying is that he could have spoken up more than he did...something along the lines of what Gen Dannett did. But to say very little at all on our behalf while in post, retire, and then lay into the government is both hipercritical and shows little of the morale courage that he, and others, always talk about being so vital within the Army. My opinion, and I know it is one of over 100.000 in the Army, is that he could of and should of said more while he was in. One only has to look at his comments before Christmas last year, when in a speech he talked of the disgusting state that much of the military housing is in, and the fact that HM Government has broken the Military Covernant. Why was this not brought up as a higher priority under his stewardship? Why did it have to wait until the press got involved in the matter?
Like I say just my opinion...but I think a valid one!
Yes - on reflection, you are quite right and I retract my previous statement about convention.
 
#19
Sammy The Cat said:
Herrumph said:
That's exactly the point - as a General he is very close to his pension and is in just the position where he can throw his hand in if he objects in principle to what his political masters decide.

The problems only arise when the top man has no principles. Cut spending minister? - why not. Go to war without enough troops - we'll manage somehow. Cut infantry - yeah why not. Re-organise to obscure the truth - what a great wheeze sir, no skin off my leathery red nose.

General Jack-arse has just announced a speaking tour - could that be why he is raising a few issues at this stage. Might bump up numbers and top up that pension. Will he come out with full blown criticism - probably not whilst carrot of a Lordship is still dangling.
And.... he will lose that lucrative book deal, that directorship of that sucessful company, that associateship of that influential body, that membership of the board of some NGO.....

Everything is connected and interconnected at that level - perhaps I am being cynical. niaive or (most likely) grossly misrepresenting the actual case. Nonetheless - operating at the army in that level (in my opinion) is just a game where you play the cards that the dealer knows he has just dealt you. In other words - me Defence Secretary - you CGS - Me Talk - You Listen.

And do you really think someone of Gen Dannett's ilk will be uset by losing these potential jobs...or feel proud that he has stood up for the lads? My money is on the second. Besides I think people will still want to employ him anyway as he has a proven track record as a good leader and a good dealer. You don't get to the top without being able to juggle the political side too.

P.S. Sammy not just having a go at your posts because your view differs from mine by the way...this is just something I feel strongly about.
 
#20
I image Sir Richard already has his post-military career lined up. He's a shoe-in as a minister in his very own ministry.
 

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