Telegraph article - "Cuts have left Army '20 years out of date' and Forces 'not fit for purpose' "

Here is another view on the matter, citing small UK forces since the 1700's, which expanded when required.
He doesn't claim it to be an ideal solution but the way things have always been done.
Capitalists@Work: UK armed forces. How big is big enough?
Worth looking at various comments below the article in which there are some interesting observations and suggestions.
The author gives away his view constantly, not a very balanced standpoint at all.
 
The author gives away his view constantly, not a very balanced standpoint at all.
Yes he does. He asks the question and his 'evidence' shows a hint of confirmation bias.
However, these are arguments that can be made and countered.

Posts in the comments section included suggestions to retain or expand numbers but to deploy where there are gaps in other areas such as shore patrol, policing, home defence and get better value that way.
 
The author gives away his view constantly, not a very balanced standpoint at all.

Capitalists@Work: UK armed forces. How big is big enough?
"The UK has NEVER, ever been fully prepared for a conflict. From the starving long-bowmen at Agincourt. To the unarmoured Snatch Landrover police vehicles in Kandahar, the UK has always come from behind to catch up once war breaks out."

Just because the UK has suffered horrendous and avoidable casualties at the start of every conflict does not mean we should continue in this vein.
 
"The UK has NEVER, ever been fully prepared for a conflict. From the starving long-bowmen at Agincourt. To the unarmoured Snatch Landrover police vehicles in Kandahar, the UK has always come from behind to catch up once war breaks out."

Just because the UK has suffered horrendous and avoidable casualties at the start of every conflict does not mean we should continue in this vein.

Brilliant. Its the same as saying 'no plan survives contact with the enemy, so lets just wing it.'
It's how politicians and bean counters think. His readers generally aren't buying his argument though.
 
It's how politicians and bean counters think. His readers generally aren't buying his argument though.
Well we've fought a few conflicts off the back of a SDR so why would today be any different?!
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Yes he does. He asks the question and his 'evidence' shows a hint of confirmation bias.
However, these are arguments that can be made and countered.

Posts in the comments section included suggestions to retain or expand numbers but to deploy where there are gaps in other areas such as shore patrol, policing, home defence and get better value that way.
The comments are hilarious. If only there was a market for ideas that we've already had and implemented.

Why not have a 2 tiered military force? A Home Defence Force used purely for the safety of this country, patrolling the shores to stop illegal immigrants by sea and working alongside the RNLI; working with the Border Force and Police Forces to deal with internal terrorism; and operating aircraft and troops in local humanitarian and training purposes. Then there would be the Regular military organisations which could operate abroad. There would be different salary scales to take account of the slightly different roles and a 2 way transfer system from one to the other.

Brilliant. Let's call one, like you say, the "Regulars", pay them a bit more. Not sure what to call the other, but let's pay them a bit less, use them less, but encourage each to work with the other for experience. That's the 2010 SDSR sorted!

Why not make service personnel a more generic function - during times of war give them an army uniform and they go fight and shoot guns. During peace times they are trained as police officers/firemen/ambulance drivers/border force or other service personal supplementing the usual work force. Our emergency services get more people with minimal extra costs.

Hmm, interesting. So you're saying the military should assist the civilian manpower in the emergency services when they aren't deployed. Now what should we call it...

This shows how much the author understands about anything:

My two cents in the RAF gets way too much. In terms of foreign policy damage, randomly bombing weddings across the world is right up there.

"Boss! The plumbing is broken again!" "Right, I've had enough of this. Call the same plumbers back in, but tell them I'm banning all wrenches, spanners and O-rings. That should sort it out."
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
^ whoever wrote the crap you are quoting 9and quite rightly ridiculing) knows nothing about the subject.
 
There is overwhelming support for the men and women of the Armed Forces: there is mixed evidence about support for the missions and equipment of the Armed Forces.
It depends which missions you refer to:
  • Watching the Red Arrows and BBMF? Tick
  • Watching the Changing of the Guard? Tick
  • Watching and listening to military bands? Tick
  • Watching King's Troop? Tick
  • Watching the White Helmets? Tick (OK, too late)
  • Those yellow Search and Rescue helicopters are cool too! (Oops!)
However:
  • Those noisy helicopters flying low over my house? Growl...
  • Those really noisy aeroplanes? Go away.
Do the armed forces do anything else?
 
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Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Do the armed forces do anything else?
They have arms. I saw it on Our Girl. All of them had arms.

Perhaps they could use their arms for something. Ooh, ooh, I know! Why don't the armed forces carry people's shopping for them when they aren't fighting a war! Like old people and fats. They could get tips and that could help pay for the Army!

Ever feel like the level of political debate and the comments sections on blogs are too close for comfort?
 
It depends which missions you refer to:
  • Those yellow Search and Rescue helicopters are cool too! (Oops!)
Yep, we've now deprived ourselves of an excellent way to maintain wartime skills in a peacetime environment.
 
79D520AC-BAFE-4ADF-940A-A39FCA0DC730.jpeg
Yep, we've now deprived ourselves of an excellent way to maintain wartime skills in a peacetime environment.
Dont worry, both the RAF and RN/RM still have the skill set for JPR.

The pic ahows the pre deployment training for Op Shader, Royal Scots.
 
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View attachment 305781

Dont worry, both the RAF and RN/RM still have the skill set for JPR.

The pic ahows the pre deployment training for Op Shader, Royal Scots.
That actually looks like a really good Ex and I'm all for exploiting every training opportunity. My main issue with getting rid of the SAR squadrons is that reality is always the best teacher.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
No, I'm saying that most of the noise and fuss about cuts, on record, from ex-officers, has deliberately not been directed at Sedwill. It's only today I've started to see deliberate "anti-Sedwill" criticism, coming from closed, supposedly current MoD 'sources'.
His performance in the Defence Committee earlier today was alarming.

Parliamentlive.tv

Julian Lewis has been rather cutting for many months about the prospect of forcing him to appear, he made no secret that it was against his wishes, it certainly wasn't worth the wait.

Despite the questioning being almost diabolically friendly, presumably to encourage future appearances, he came across as a Tony Blair tribute band by a low grade timeshare salesman. The epitome of a model of a modern civil servant? Seems all you need is hand gestures and a complete lack of substance.

Anyone who can make a cross party selection of MPs look reasonable, intelligent, honest and knowledgeable is a national asset. May should get him to do a presser or two if her popularity plummets, we'd stop blaming the government for it's ills and instead she'd ride a wave of sympathy for having to deal with such cretins.

And he's tipped to be the next head of the CS! Could someone posit which qualities the civil service prides as being worthy of promotion? Or Knighthoods?

Mark Sedwill is undoubtably the right person for this task, and thus the reason why the sS chiefs and their retired cheerleaders are busy character assassinating him.
One can only wonder at the quality on display from the rest of the senior civil service.. Admittedly one or two are themselves dragged in front of Select Committees to be universally unimpressive.

One can only presume that Antony Jay's satire was too kind, a form of benign propaganda. We assume that Sir Humphrey is competent, that there is a strategy at work even a counter intuitive one.

Well it was on display today and the only thing more worrying than his performance is the glowing recommendations from many earlier in this thread.

Do you people think Baldrick is an impressive man? Mr Bean? The chuckle brothers? I mean really?

Depressingly hilarious that you measure yourselves short in comparison. I wish to express my pitiable contempt. :D
 
Actually Sedwill is good - very Army Officer in his style and approach in real life.
 
His performance in the Defence Committee earlier today was alarming.

Parliamentlive.tv

Julian Lewis has been rather cutting for many months about the prospect of forcing him to appear, he made no secret that it was against his wishes, it certainly wasn't worth the wait.

Despite the questioning being almost diabolically friendly, presumably to encourage future appearances, he came across as a Tony Blair tribute band by a low grade timeshare salesman. The epitome of a model of a modern civil servant? Seems all you need is hand gestures and a complete lack of substance.

Anyone who can make a cross party selection of MPs look reasonable, intelligent, honest and knowledgeable is a national asset. May should get him to do a presser or two if her popularity plummets, we'd stop blaming the government for it's ills and instead she'd ride a wave of sympathy for having to deal with such cretins.

And he's tipped to be the next head of the CS! Could someone posit which qualities the civil service prides as being worthy of promotion? Or Knighthoods?



One can only wonder at the quality on display from the rest of the senior civil service.. Admittedly one or two are themselves dragged in front of Select Committees to be universally unimpressive.

One can only presume that Antony Jay's satire was too kind, a form of benign propaganda. We assume that Sir Humphrey is competent, that there is a strategy at work even a counter intuitive one.

Well it was on display today and the only thing more worrying than his performance is the glowing recommendations from many earlier in this thread.

Do you people think Baldrick is an impressive man? Mr Bean? The chuckle brothers? I mean really?

Depressingly hilarious that you measure yourselves short in comparison. I wish to express my pitiable contempt. :D
what, precisely, did you want and/or expect from him?
 
Dont worry, both the RAF and RN/RM still have the skill set for JPR.
I don't know why you keep banging on about this , but it's crap. What we do have the 'skillset' for is getting on a helicopter, getting off again, sticking a pistol up someone's nose and asking 'what colour was your first car?' (other random Qs from the ISOPREP are available). That does not equate to a JPR capability.

I assume you were on the self-help (unendorsed and hence unresourced and unfunded) experiment on 28 and therefore have an emotional attachment to the issue?
 
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You mean he cuffs all his briefs, cracks phys in the middle of the working day and equates complexity of PowerPoint slides with value added?
Well at least he won't wear white socks or a polyester tie.
 
You mean he cuffs all his briefs, cracks phys in the middle of the working day and equates complexity of PowerPoint slides with value added?
Did I work for you once? You sound strangely familiar...
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Actually Sedwill is good - very Army Officer in his style and approach in real life.
I do not think that word means what you think it mean...

His performance in the Defence Committee earlier today was alarming.

Julian Lewis has been rather cutting for many months about the prospect of forcing him to appear, he made no secret that it was against his wishes, it certainly wasn't worth the wait.

Despite the questioning being almost diabolically friendly, presumably to encourage future appearances, he came across as a Tony Blair tribute band by a low grade timeshare salesman. The epitome of a model of a modern civil servant? Seems all you need is hand gestures and a complete lack of substance.
I've listened to 45 minutes in the background so far, but assuming he doesn't break down and wibble for the rest of it, like @alfred_the_great I'm not sure what you were expecting.

If you put the NSA in front of a public committee which is live streamed on the internet, do you really think he's going to go into forensic detail about all of our most pressing problems and fuckups? Do you think it's desirable that he does? Also, and this is a common problem to Parliamentary / Senate / Congress type committees, if the questioning is "diabolically friendly" then of course the answers are going to be correspondingly bland. Madeleine Moon stumbles through a question which was basically, "aren't our soldiers great and shouldn't we talk about them being great", without being able to shoot at the open goal of, "so why are they all leaving?". Julian Lewis seems to confuse Op ENTIREITY with the current "a war" vs "the war" problem. This is hardly forcing anyone in front of the committee to bring their A game. You can see the same missed opportunities if you watch the US Senate vs Zuckerberg non-event.

For these things to be any use, they need informed and aggressive questioners who - in cases like Defence, intelligence and NS - can hold proceedings in private. Then there will be a reasonable chance that the questionees can both be pressed to answer and actually answer honestly. It rarely happens (except in some courtrooms).

To me, Sedwill in this answers the questions as blandly as they are asked. He also explicitly refuses to take responsibility for stuff that happened before his tenure (while he was at the Home Office), or is not his department, which is fair: he's not a politician representing a contiguous government. It's not his fault that lots of the questions were about stuff that happened before his time, nor that a lot of the decisions made before his time were stupid. If I started a job and somebody started questioning me about dumb decisions made before I got there, my answer would also be: well, that's what someone else did, here's what we're doing to fix it.

Either you accept all the various people here who've heard or talked to him in private saying that he is sharp and gets it, or you don't. I'm not sure what else you expected from a public committee hearing.
 

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