Substitution in SDSR

Just saw this little gem from Defence economist Prof Keith Hartley on BBC website. I loved the last paragraph!! Full Article

BBC News - Viewpoints: Future of the British army

"There are possibilities for substitution between each of the armed forces. Air forces can undertake some of the tasks performed by armies and navies; armies can undertake some tasks usually performed by air forces (e.g. attack helicopters undertaking close air support); and the navy's nuclear forces can replace large-scale conventional forces.

Within the Army, reservists can replace regulars, women can replace men, private contractors can undertake tasks usually performed by military units, and costly equipment can replace personnel.

The substitution principle suggests that the defence debate needs to recognise that RAF and navy forces can substitute for Army forces. Hence, it is misleading to focus on some traditional number of personnel for the size of the Army."
Doesn't that describe things such as modern warfare?
I'm quite certain deployed locations are occupied by all the services, each performing the roles they are capable of

And don't the defence reviews use the word 'defence'' and not 'army'?

Looks like a non story there

The basis of the navy is ships, they need people aboard those ships and people in support of them. They also have aircraft and ground vehicles. They also have a little army called the Royal Marines

The basis of the RAF is aircraft, they need people to fly in them and to support them. The also have ground vehicles, boats and even a little army called the RAF Regiment

The basis of the army is ground forces. They have a lot of people, obviously a lot of infantry but also have equipment that needs to be manned. Again there are aircraft and boats

Army redundancies become a nice media sound bite in every round, as if its a surprise that more soldiers get their letters. Then the story has a small note that more will be made redundant as each phase goes through
A lot of soldiers are going because we have a lot of soldiers, regiments can be disbanded, merged etc and the remaing people moved around
The navy find it difficult to merge two battleships into one or two aircraft carriers into one. If they actually had any then they could mothball one and move the people
The RAF either need a number of aircraft or don't. The number of jet pilots are relatively low

They do make the RAF and RN redundant, the difference between existing and future in numbers of people is at a different level to the army which has men on the ground

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