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The Cost of Doing Nothing - Policy Exchange

Going back not so long - I think up to Falklands conflict times - Parliament & government both contained a goodly proportion of people who had served. What an asset. It lent a maturity, judgement & sense of responsibility born of experience & a non-sentimental but more genuine regard for service people than is seen today. Tory or Labour, MacMillan or Healey, politicians knew & understood the human consequences of their decisions.

I think that with the end of large armed forces here, there has been an absence of understanding & sense of duty towards those who, after all, stand to lose life & limb.

It sticks in many peoples' throats that forces are used cynically & lives given to advance the careers & agendas of career politicians who've never even had a proper job, let alone put on their country's uniform. Politicians who are happy to coo & make the right noises, but can't be arsed to fund the forces or to give the decent support which is due to veterans.

Always enjoyed the writing of George MacDonald Fraser, who many on here will also have read. Here he is (in the intro to his very last Flashman book), comparing the 1867 Abyssinia Expedition - taking an army over 500 miles to rescue a handful of British hostages - to the "vanity wars" of modern politicians & their liberal interventions:


"It served no politician's vanity or interest. It went without messianic rhetoric. There were no false excuses, no deceits, no cover-ups or lies: just a decent resolve to do a government's first duty; to protect its people, whatever the cost... Those were, indeed, the days".

Apols for borderline rant.
 
apart from if we stop instability further away, we won't have to deal with it on our doorsteps.

If we'd sorted out Libya and Syria properly, they wouldn't be having their homes and livelihoods destroyed, and thus they wouldn't feel compelled to come to Europe to be safe.

If we sorted out the instability in central Africa (DRC in the main) our mobile phones would be cheaper as tantalum costs would fall.

If we intervened in Yemen, the excess costs in shipping gas and oil wouldn't be passed on to UK consumers.

In intervening in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we'd cut off at source terrorist havens, which would reduce (but not remove) the threat to UK PLC.

Believe in globalisation or not, it believes in you. Everything we do in the UK is connected to the wider world, and very often a cheaper and quicker response is to intervene far away using people who volunteer to do such a thing.

As DeltaDog pointed out, there was never a recruitment problem during the TELIC/HERRICK years - people want to do this kind of stuff.

But at what cost? Cheap mobile phones sound great. Getting bogged down in an unwinnable conflict in central Africa, not so much.

Or take your point on Afghanistan and Pakistan. You could argue that the current threat from Islamic terrorism was created by interventionism in the first place.
 
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But at what cost? Cheap mobile phones sound great. Getting bogged down in an unwinnable conflict in central Africa, not so much.

Or take your point on Afghanistan and Pakistan. You could argue that the current threat from Islamic terrorism was created by interventionism in the first place.

But, as the title of the report says, there is a cost of doing nothing.

I generally, and genuinely, believe that the cost of doing something is worthwhile.
 
I once did a five week Nimrod detachment in Oman doing "Anti pollution" patrols.

err..

 
Has our pacifist Leader of Her Majesty's Oppostion made a statement on this report yet?

I can just imagine Corbyn sitting with his advisors now trying to come up with a line he can be sure of.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
And the Armed Forces exist for what other reason? To let you get fat and pissed?

No, but neither do they exist to achieve f*ck all in big lumps, at huge cost in blood and treasure, because politicians have decided that something must be done but can't decide exactly what that something is and can't explain cogently what their pet plan will achieve, why and how.

I'll take political hand-wringing more seriously when the hapless collection of Creeping Jesus's who make up the "won't someone think of the children' brigade are prepared to lead by example, get their hands dirty and authorise and publicly defend robust rules of engagement that actually give our side at least some chance of winning, no matter how small.

It's high time that our comfortable, political angst-peddlars kicked their addiction to waging unwinnable wars in impractical ways.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
Oh, I don't know. If you join the RAF you can help in all sorts of situations around the world while also doubling as a five star hotel reviewer on Tripadvisor.

I once did a five week Nimrod detachment in Oman doing "Anti pollution" patrols. I for one am proud of my time spent confronting this serious issue and doing my bit for protecting the environment .. while also supporting the luxury hotel industry in Oman.

I would happily sacrifice my time to do it again too .. Because I care.

Whilst 4x Speys were turning and burning? :)
 
How about a novel idea - train to protect and defend this country. The current recruiting problem might be indicative that potential recruits aren't so keen to put their lives on the line for the third world and politicians who seem to regard the armed forces merely as a disposable resource and who are no longer bothered to even fund it adequately.

Alternatively a future when the British Army spends all of it's time sat around ex RAF airfields in the UK doing nothing for years on end might not appeal. We don't even have Germany any more.

And the fact is that if the Army does as much nothing as seems forecast it will get stale, whatever you might feel about the success of the deployments to Yugoslavia it provided the sort of useful employment and experience that you just can't get from exercises.

Ultimately though the reason we have a professional soldiery, the reason the British Army has almost always been volunteer is because like it or not volunteers are expendable. When we stop doing anything because a soldier might get hurt there's no point having them any longer.
 
But, as the title of the report says, there is a cost of doing nothing.

I generally, and genuinely, believe that the cost of doing something is worthwhile.

Well then **** off and fight for one of the many "freedom fighter" groups around the world. No need for anyone else to die so you can feel better about yourself.
 
What's the problem? He's simply using that flying heap of cr@p to burn off the pollution........
As you can see from the picture that aircraft is actually a major pollution producer, CO2 by the ton and lots of carbon particles in the typical black trail.
 
As you can see from the picture that aircraft is actually a major pollution producer, CO2 by the ton and lots of carbon particles in the typical black trail.

You've been wah'd!
 

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