The upside of Iraq and Afghanistan for the British Army

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Bugsy, Sep 21, 2009.

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  1. When I joined the British Army in February 1966, a lot of the SNCOs and Ruperts had served in WWII. The quite unique education they gave us informed our opinion of what war was all about and what we were expected to do. There’s really nothing at all like learning from those who've “done it and earned the T-shirt (and the medals)”. When you’re standing before an RSM displaying an MM (with bar) and two MiDs, you tend to find that extra spring.

    Whatever political, tactical (or in the case of those despicable creeps Bush and Blair, solely personal) advantage might or might not have been gained in the countries in question, the fact is that the British Army now has a deep and experienced cadre of troops, both non-commissioned and commissioned, who know at first hand what war is all about and how to go about things.

    My hope is that these entirely admirable folks will rise through the ranks and provide coming generations of squaddies with their insight and invaluable experience and prevent some of the awful cock-ups that lead to the avoidable losses of life. In time, I also hope that some of them (Ruperts mainly) will rise to a position in which they can exert some influence on the deployment of troops in the light of the wishes of some wimp of a pry minister, who wants to prove to the world that he’s a “real man”, in spite of being a total, limp-wristed cunt, whereby, funnily enough, Phoney Tony comes immediately to mind.

    So how much of this, in realistic terms, is going to translate into a foreign policy conducive to transforming the world into a place we can all inhabit without fearing for our lives?

    • Bullshit Bullshit x 1
    • Show again braincell Show again braincell x 1
  2. Admirable thought and great logic Bugsy. Let's hope that the prospect of a 50 year war in Afghanistan doesn't demotivate 95% of those who have served out there to jack it in after one or two tours.

    The sort of strategic effect you are hoping for re foregin policy may take 10+ years to bear fruit.

  3. I like your thinking Bugsy, but the flaw as I see it is that you assume PM / Defence Sec / other politico turds give a flying f**k for the opinions of any of the military (up to & including CDS). One of the DS on my Shrivenham course put it thus; "If Tony Blair was prepared to let one of his best friends (Robin Cook) resign over the Iraq War, what hope did the opinions of the British Public ever have?"

    I think we can all answer that question, pretty bloody rapidly.

    Even if the CDS / Single Service Chiefs do advise the politicos ref "the art of the possible", be under no delusions that if politicos want something to happen then we will just be told to get on with it.
  4. This government has made much of criticising the Army Officer pool for being too limited, may I remind you of the following comment made by the "Real Prime Minister" in 2000 ....

    Four years ago Mr Mandelson sought to ingratiate himself with listeners to Irish radio by mocking the Brigade of Guards as 'a lot of chinless wonders marching round Horseguards Parade doing incomprehensible things with flags'.[/url]

    At least I think it was aimed at Officers. I suggest that this infantile jibe is more aptly aimed at our MPs now ....... and that is the key issue.

    The bottom line for me is that nothing will change until our political class is drawn from a deeper and wider pool of people, rather that the default small time lawyers, ex researchers and professional politicians that haunt Westminster.
  5. I'd say that Britain's foreign policy is already pretty irrelevant to how the world goes about its business. 10 years will only serve to increase the effect, regardless of how well or badly our army functions.
  6. yes the Iraq/Afganistan "adventures" is of invaluable experience much as N Ireland honed street fighting combat skills.However I wonder if they will be our last overseas sorties. Much as the Falklands were our last major "independant" do.
  7. Until our political leaders,once reaching a decision to send in HM forces,allow our military leaders to plan the operation from top to bottom,& run it without interference of any sort,then the experience is far too expensive in terms of casualties.They don't give a monkeys about the Military,unless the press manage to embarass them in public.Ulster was a joke,'policemen' with guns,unloaded-not able to load until you had read your yellow booklet to somebody who wanted to kill you.Shame we couldn't send Brown,Blair,Mandelson etc into a live one with 1 arm tied behind their back-sorry,rant over.Some Ruperts think active service vg training as well,as long as they don't have to go! :(
  8. From what I read and hear TOM is not complaining about doing his Duty, death, blood, limbs and mental health.
    He is quite rightly angry when he feels that he is not getting the Maximum Support from HM Government.
    Tony committed UK to 5 wars yet his Chancellor the present PM has consistently refused to pay the full cost of these commitments.
    A National Disgrace.
  9. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    I think it's not what it wil bring but perhaps what it saved the Army from

    I have no doubt that with the end of Bosnia and Op Banner the Goverment would have cut the Armed Forces to the quick

    They'd still be kicking about in old Landrovers with SA 80 A1's
    There would have been absolutely no investment in the forces at all
  10. can anyone confirm that the MOD (i presume Army) are no longer recruiting commonwealth soldiers as the army is now fully manned.Well if true what a turn around at a time when we are taking increasing casulaties. Is it because of the recession or are younguns signing on for the adventure of combat.
  11. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    I think your are bang on the money here. The Army now has a generation of people - NCOs and officers that have been proven in combat, and will be selected and promoted on their performace and ability to work, plan or command under extreme and sustained pressure. This will (hopefully) get rid of the self important gits that get on because they can knock out a decent lesson plan, or the intellectual snobs that think that because they once scanned the dust jacket of a military history book that means they can treat everyone else as an idiot.

    And in terms of people rising to positions of influence, we now have a new generation of brigade commanders that were majors on the early TELICs and HERRICKs. So the cream is already rising.
  12. Chimera, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about the new Brigadiers, but I fear your optimism about the intellectual snobs is misplaced. This week I have heard reports about COs convinced that non-graduate officers should be advised that their careers should be limited; that one of the key newly appointed 3*s believes that staff ability is far more important than command ability and that the Army Staff, whilst assisting with all the cuts in the past 15 years have in proportion to the Field Army, remained larger than necessary and further more are more inclined to cut an infantry battalion than a staff branch. The new reorg at the top of the tree looks like fancy footwork made to make the Army look more forward leaning and campaign-footed, but has not changed the overall reality that change from the bottom up is drowned at birth by SO2s and SO1s who really can't be bothered to enact other peoples' ideas and that senior commanders are still looking over their shoulder for that K and advancement.