The cost of war

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jul 4, 2009.

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  1. From The Times
    July 4, 2009

    The cost of war

    Money is scarce but there is no excuse for conducting a battle with inadequate equipment. The nobility of the troops demands more than this
    The British Army has always shown that the virtue of nobility is not confined to the officer class. Lieutenant-Colonel Rupert Thorneloe and Trooper Joshua Hammond died the death of heroes, in the service of their country. It would be naive to suppose that any conflict, especially one with such a tenacious enemy as the Taleban, could be conducted without casualties. The sacrifices made by these two young men, and by their many colleagues before them, are the tragic concomitant of a military commitment that, in the view of this newspaper, is in a just cause.

    That said, these deaths cannot simply be ascribed to doomed heroism. It is now clear that the Taleban are directly exploiting the weakness of the Viking, the Army’s favoured personnel carrier. Huge roadside bombs, sometimes two placed together, can rip through the weak underbelly of the Viking. When the carrier was first sent to Afghanistan in 2006, its versatility and manoeuvrability made it a great addition to the armoury of the troops. But the increased strength of Taleban bombing exposed a hitherto concealed weakness. The Viking cannot bear sufficient armour to protect its occupants
    More on the link

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article6633132.ece
     
  2. Article makes some good points - thanks for posting it skynet. As to what difference it will make, we can only hope.
     
  3. hopefully the when the torys get into power the money will be found to improve the armour on these vehicles
     
  4. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Nope - not a chance. Basic problem is the type of vehicles these are are inadequate against the type of attack (ied) that is the main killer. Trouble is the problem has been known for years.

    Once upon a time, I watched a certain Col Alec Bain have a good go at the powers that be, asking them when we would have more vehicles with correctly designed blast protection and enough height to make it work.

    The response was along the lines of ..we have heard your complaints before, what we have is good enough now sit down and shut up.... Well, that attitude has been proved wrong, hasn't it?

    That attitude then seems to be pretty much as it is now. Make do with what you have and patch when required.

    FYI, Col Bain was the man that had selected the Mastiff veh and knew his stuff. It annoyed me to see someone with the degree of knowledge he had (and passion for getting the right protection for troops on the ground) cut off at the knees in public the way he was that day.

    As to funding, FP is where any money there is in the budget appears to be going. Trouble is what is really needed is more vehicles actually designed against IED to be rolled out and getting the Treasury to agree to that will be near to impossible.

    A step in the right direction would be to complete the MASTIFF order. Don't think we have managed that yet, have we?
     
  5. When we lose the first mastiff to an EFP, where do we go? Eventually we are going to have to accept that we cannot protect our troops from these types of attacks and get the right tactics in place to complement the hardware.
     
  6. I ask this question in all honesty as a complete amatuer. Why cannot we deny the roads to the Taliban?
     
  7. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Because it ties up men you have to guard them 24/7

    It's the same problem with Afghanistan in general we take the ground and win the batles but haven't the men or resources to stay there
     
  8. Many more lives will be lost untill such investment programmes such as the MASTIFF order is complete as well as other vital projects that will assist the protection for our troops, as well as air support which we all know is desperately needed including vast input of more troops, but as the Treasury keeps saying no where will it end?

    The Tories know full well that the defence budget is very much in the spotlight as well as other Depts.

    Mr Bliar: Dr Fox said: "Tony Blair promised that our commanders would have any equipment they needed when they needed it. Obviously this has not been the case.

    Full story & link:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/5742752/Troops-lives-at-risk-through-vehicle-delays.html

    All very good in saying nice things about the HMF but back it up with tools to do the job, well eventually maybe?
     
  9. Did you read this bit Beemer

    So, according to the MoD, troop carrying mastiffs are on time, the delay is with the ambulance and FFR variants.

    Additionally, I can't find where Dr Fox says that the defence budget is to be protected from the 10% cuts the Tories have promised. Since he didn't what are the chances of commanders not getting what they ask for next year?
     
  10. No firm decission has yet to be made:
    EP: Mr Fox insisted no decision had been made and a full review of defence capabilities would be carried out if the party wins at the next election.
    Full story & link:
    http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/government/MP-Liam-Fox-defence-cuts-row/article-954632-detail/article.html
    LES:
    The shadow chancellor told The Times that, as part of £3 billion of cost savings, he is considering dropping both the new Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft refuelling fleet and spending on the new A400M military carrier.
    Link
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23681949-details/Osborne+puts+his+foot+in+it+again+over+defence+cuts/article.do
     
  11. "Additionally, I can't find where Dr Fox says that the defence budget is to be protected from the 10% cuts the Tories have promised. Since he didn't what are the chances of commanders not getting what they ask for next year? "

    As the UOR estimate has yet to be agreed, there is no way anyone can predict what will be available next year. I would imagine that the situation will remain the same as it is at present - HM Treasury will provide as much in year as MOD requests, on the proviso that over a certain amount, MOD will repay the amount required in X years time.
     
  12. I heard Tom Harris say on 'The Westminster Hour' that, while there might have been supply problems early on, the army now had everything they needed. And if you can't trust a journalist turned MP, who can you trust..?

    'it is actually a complete falsehood to claim that they don't have the right equipment, I have spoken to many of the commanders and many of the soldiers on the ground there, and the equipment problems they had at the start of the conflict, just, are no longer present...'

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/westminster_hour (22 minutes in)
     
  13. 'it is actually a complete falsehood to claim that they don't have the right equipment, I have spoken to many of the commanders and many of the soldiers on the ground there, and the equipment problems they had at the start of the conflict, just, are no longer present..

    Do the troops also say they have enough equipment to train with prior to deployment? Do they say they have enough helicopters for even senior commanders to get quickly around the area of operations? Do they say we have a good and capable air bridge which gets us home in a timely manner on the much needed R&R? Do they say we have such a good and capable logistics system that we get our mail and those much looked forward to goody parcels in days or is it in weeks and months? Do they say we have good and comfortable barracks to return to after a gruelling tour so they may enjoy the good things of life prior to getting on the treadmill to go again? Do they say that my wife and family live in a well appointed married quarter and whilst I am away they receive quick and efficient support in looking after the house when they need it? Do I need to go on?

    The equipment may have improved after starting from such a low point however the most important piece of equipment, service personnel, are clearly not and with the economic squeeze this looks set to deteriorate. If we couldn't get it right over 25 years of plenty I dread to think what will happen in the future?
     
  14. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    His comments do not prelude us not having enough equipment of the correct type to equip all adequately. Smart arse is playing with words...............
     
  15. I doubt that argument will be any use in Court.