Spanish Defence minister kicks arrse.

#1
Things are looking up for the Spanish soldier it seems. Possibly some help coming to Afghanistan too judging by the tone.

Spain's Defence Minister, Carme Chacon, resumed command with a flourish this week after taking six weeks' maternity leave, and announced a clean sweep of all the military top brass.


Before taking time to get to know the country's top generals personally, Ms Chacon said she would remove Spain's most senior officer, General Felix Sanz, the defence chief of staff, in addition to the chiefs of all three armed forces. Her action reportedly defies the advice of her socialist predecessor Jose Antonio Alonso, who urged her to keep General Sanz in post, and the private opinion of the Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Her wholesale replacement of chiefs of the army, navy and air force was sweetened with expressions of "admiration and pride" in their work, and a desire to count on their "wise advice". She did not name their replacements.

Ms Chacon, who became Spain's first female defence minister in March when seven months pregnant, plans to boost military operations abroad "both in peacekeeping missions and in war zones", she told the parliament's defence commission on Monday. "Our armed forces are a force for peace that often operate in the theatre of war to protect civilians," she said. "There is no contradiction between one and the other. The armed forces are an armed, military organisation, not an NGO."

She proposes to lift restrictions on numbers of troops that can be deployed in such operations, currently limited to 3,000, and increase total troop numbers from 126,000 to 130,000, to raise the profile of Spain's international military presence. Spanish troops currently operate in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Chad and Bosnia. Her recommendations must be approved by parliament.

Troops stationed in Spain's disputed North African enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, which are claimed by Morocco, will be increased by 350 soldiers to 3,000. The territories have recently fended off attempts by African would-be immigrants to break through the frontier into Spanish soil.

She promised to establish defence universities, and creches, care homes and hospitals for military families. She also signalled an improvement in soldiers' rights and conditions, originally laid down in 1978, promising to supply better equipment and to establish equality between male and female troops. Complaints over armed forces' working conditions prompted a demonstration last November for the first time in Spanish military history.
From the Independent
 
#3
Can we not just get her?
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Sounds like someone we need over here.
 
#5
"The armed forces are an armed, military organisation, not an NGO."
Now that's a piece of advice our lot could do with heeding.In amongst a whole lot of other stuff they'd do well to listen to...
 
#7
Really, increase the size of the Armed Forces?! Surely that's impossible otherwise we would've done the same. :roll:
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#8
smartascarrots said:
"The armed forces are an armed, military organisation, not an NGO."
Now that's a piece of advice our lot could do with heeding.In amongst a whole lot of other stuff they'd do well to listen to...
What a brilliant quote. That could become the Arrse motto.

Why is it that the politicians with the biggest balls don't have any?
 
#9
Auld-Yin said:
smartascarrots said:
"The armed forces are an armed, military organisation, not an NGO."
Now that's a piece of advice our lot could do with heeding.In amongst a whole lot of other stuff they'd do well to listen to...
What a brilliant quote. That could become the Arrse motto.

Why is it that the politicians with the biggest balls don't have any?
Well said! However we don't want any of our female politicians in this role - the current bunch are worse than useless. :evil:
 
#13
Let´s not get too enthusiastic in our eulogy of Ms Chacón´s comments. A little bit of conext is called for. The present Spanish government was elected against the polls for one reason only - its promise to pull out of Iraq immediately. There is a very strong anti military lobby in Spain, and as a result, Spanish participation in all coalition/UN type mission is largely a flag waving exercise, with the use of force restricted to the launch of well cooked tortillas only after ten written warnings. Furthermore, Spanish participation in overseas missions is capped by law at 3000 TOTAL, IN ALL MISSIONS. Considering that thay are deployed in Herat (Afghanistan), Lebanon (UN), Kosovo, Chad (EUFOR) means that they have no real balance in any of their deployments, and will never meet any operational objectives while faced with this artificial barrier to force generation. However much you may feel let down by the present civilian leadership, I think we are far better served than our Spanish counterparts. And to cap it all, she´s just fired her CDS, and the three service chiefs, against the advice of her predessesor and her Prime Minister. So PMT has obviously kicked in again. Do you really want her here?
 

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
#14
boobs said:
She'd get it.
Twice.

Do we have any politicians that are that tasty? Doesn't seem fair.
 
#15
Jorrocks said:
Let´s not get too enthusiastic in our eulogy of Ms Chacón´s comments. A little bit of conext is called for. The present Spanish government was elected against the polls for one reason only - its promise to pull out of Iraq immediately. There is a very strong anti military lobby in Spain, and as a result, Spanish participation in all coalition/UN type mission is largely a flag waving exercise, with the use of force restricted to the launch of well cooked tortillas only after ten written warnings. Furthermore, Spanish participation in overseas missions is capped by law at 3000 TOTAL, IN ALL MISSIONS. Considering that thay are deployed in Herat (Afghanistan), Lebanon (UN), Kosovo, Chad (EUFOR) means that they have no real balance in any of their deployments, and will never meet any operational objectives while faced with this artificial barrier to force generation. However much you may feel let down by the present civilian leadership, I think we are far better served than our Spanish counterparts. And to cap it all, she´s just fired her CDS, and the three service chiefs, against the advice of her predessesor and her Prime Minister. So PMT has obviously kicked in again. Do you really want her here?
Definitely worth one but first...

This has gone on a bit sorry lads.
Looking at that:
It is simply not true that the government was elected on a promise to pull out of Iraq, though about 80% of the population were against the initial deployment.
The mishandling of the previous government over the Madrid bombing trying to pin the blame on ETA as opposed to islamics (and threfore a direct result of the support for the invasion) was to blame for their defeat.
Spain has just re-elected Pres. Zapatero with a fair majority supporting him over a range of policies, and in areas like Catalonia, totally rejecting the right-wing party whose policies towards the regions were unacceptable.

Spanish deployment is capped by law, but it wouldn't be too difficult to change or ammend. The biggest block is the president himself who has refused to countenance troop increases when the commanders on the ground have asked for it.
I think Spain is divided over the military, there is the patriotic flag-waving bunch which is more in central Spain, and the totally anti group, which is more in the regions. But yes this is a big political consideration and a potentially huge vote-loser if the troops are seen to be in a conflict which may be perceived as imperialistic, illegal, inhumane, macho, - take your pick. This is why the Pres. publicly insists that the troops are there to help rebuild the country and are not engaged in a conflict. So it is unlikely that he will give the orders to get in and start dispensing lead, unless the talib really get going in their zone.
Increasing the size of the military may be difficult as recruitment is not hitting targets, and there is a large proportion of S. Americans to make up the numbers. In areas such as Basque Country and Catalonia almost nobody joins.

As to Chacon, yes she is rather tasty and I would be happy to talk military matters to her, after a demonstration of the use of the personal-bayonet of course.
But as a female who has never studied military things she is less experienced with the wider military scheme and I am not surprised that she is looking at welfare aspects first. Partly because she can understand them more easily and can make an immediate impact. Partly because by improving the standards of living for Los Tommos and by being tough with the generals she is striking a chord in not only the military but society too.
Perhaps the decision over the CDS is unwise as it comes against advice, and I am not convinced that she is right, but also it might be that she has had the balls to do what no-one else did and that the decision will come to be seen as the right one. It does rather establish her as the boss in a very conservative, often very right-wing cupola, and that may well cause resentment, but she does have steel in her.
Finally she is Catalan, which might not mean much to you lot, but is an important thing to be aware of. Very broadly speaking imagine a Scotland where all the Jocks speak Gaelic, thus making them different from the rest of the UK, that a significant proportion are independance-minded, and the majority wouldn't be against it either way.
Chacon is anti-Spanish military, anti-militaristic, and inclined to independance or much greater autonomy/separation from Spain. Yet she has come to the job, to which she was appointed by a president who knows all this, and is making some very necessary decisions which previous ministers couldn't. The re-inforcement of Ceuta- Melilla is a big thing, it is a target for illegal immigrants and the fence is constantly under pressure. Deployment could also be seen as imperialistic and could annoy the muslims, so on that level it is courageous.

Would she shy away from making the hard decisions? I think not, though the pres. might. Also a couple of years back under the previous govt. to save cash they hired a very dodgy Ukranian Yak 42 tpt aircraft to bring troops back from Afghanland. It ploughed in killing twelve crew and sixty two soldiers on their way home. Chacon would not allow that to happen, or she would make sure that heads would roll immediately and not cover up as the govt. of the time did.

Give her a chance, she will make mistakes but I think she could do OK.

Now what do you think, red stockings or black?
 
#17
AnotherBerliner said:
Dwarf, good post. Just one quibble though, Zapatero is Prime Minister not President. Or has the King been deposed while we were not looking?!
Thanks. No the problem is the translation, Zapatero is in fact a prime minister but his title in Spanish is president, simply a difference in expression.

Juan Carlos is still alive and kicking last seen supporting Spain in a couple of games in the European Finals and jumping about when they scored. Good bloke and got the populist touch.
Each minister is formally presented to the King where they swear to uphold the post/laws/constitution etc. (most of them lying between their clenched teeth). It was a first when the Defence Minister bulging with unborn sprog swore to defend the country, the King was very soliticous as he always has an eye for the ladies.
 
#18
but she does have steel in her
If my reading of your post, Dwarf is right - she does indeed as she's betrayed her roots somewhat and made some ballsy decisions there - good on the lass. It'll be nice to see how it all turns out though as it sounds like an up-hill battle to me

And yes, I would as well.
 
#19
Jorrocks said:
Let´s not get too enthusiastic in our eulogy of Ms Chacón´s comments. A little bit of conext is called for. The present Spanish government was elected against the polls for one reason only - its promise to pull out of Iraq immediately. There is a very strong anti military lobby in Spain, and as a result, Spanish participation in all coalition/UN type mission is largely a flag waving exercise, with the use of force restricted to the launch of well cooked tortillas only after ten written warnings. Furthermore, Spanish participation in overseas missions is capped by law at 3000 TOTAL, IN ALL MISSIONS. Considering that thay are deployed in Herat (Afghanistan), Lebanon (UN), Kosovo, Chad (EUFOR) means that they have no real balance in any of their deployments, and will never meet any operational objectives while faced with this artificial barrier to force generation. However much you may feel let down by the present civilian leadership, I think we are far better served than our Spanish counterparts. And to cap it all, she´s just fired her CDS, and the three service chiefs, against the advice of her predessesor and her Prime Minister. So PMT has obviously kicked in again. Do you really want her here?
You know what, I think I need to take you into a corner and explain a few reproductive technicalities to you...................and then to remove your gonads with a spoon for being an unutterably unoriginal and dull f*cking mysoginist.

And, please, spare me the brain-numbing predictable jibes about menstruation, it's just so damn boring.
 
#20
I feel that this portrayal of the 2003 election in Spain has a few shortcomings:

The atrocity at Atocha railway station occurred only a short time before the election. This was followed by the then President being caught trying to off load blame onto ETA.

Always an arrogant man, being caught trying to mislead the public only days before a national election could only lead to some votes moving away from Jose Maria Aznár and his Partido Popular.

Of course, there was widespread protests against the invasion and both major national papers regularly ran anti-war articles - much like in UK. Moreover, contrary to being against the polls, the PSOE was actually leading the PP by 7 points in the run up to the election; ending up with 34.7% of votes cast to the PP's 33.9%.

As an aside Juan Carlos 1 also attends the graduation ceremony of each Command and Staff Course and makes a real effort to mix with the students and their families - some people may not be monaquistas but a lot are Juancarlistas.

Regards,
 

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