Troops may soon be not fit for purpose Ministers told..

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Hat20, Nov 5, 2007.

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  1. Will they take any notice? if it was a report on how we should do more for certain 'minority groups' then maybe but the Armed Forces......
    Web Page Name
  2. Interesting to hear of the Demos report this morning on R4.

    I'm not too sure where the current is taking public opinion on this one. I think that the days of the AFs being on the front page have passed - in retrospect it really was just a stick for the media to beat Blair with over Iraq.

    The Guardian's editorial "Poppy Politics" basically takes the line "We'll be out of Iraq soon, Dannatt made some good ground, surely you've got what you want, catch you later".

    A year on, Sir Richard can tick off some important gains. Most British soldiers will be home from Basra for Christmas. Privately, the army says it has never been so well equipped, personally or in terms of transport. One of the British Legion's biggest grouses, the limit on injury compensation, has been eased. Housing is to get an £11bn capital injection. It looks certain that there will soon be an in-service deaths complaints commission to meet the criticism of obstructionism in the name of official secrecy... But there are still complaints [snip]

    They have a lot to do with wider politics, and they are an acknowledgment of how combat has changed in the generation since the Falklands, of the need for new approaches to maintaining volunteer armed services drawn from a population with a diminishing fund of military experience, repeatedly facing life-threatening situations. Sir Richard did a good job highlighting it. Morale is said to be buoyant. Time, then, for the general to return to barracks,,2204618,00.html

  3. You can find the whole 97 Page Report here but these are the recommendations:

    Recommendation 1: There needs to be a wider debate and much greater public understanding about the type of complex missions that our armed forces fight, the contribution of British armed forces to our security and the risks they face on our behalf. Society’s support for the armed forces cannot be taken for granted, and service men and women need to feel valued and respected.

    Recommendation 2: National security priorities have changed considerably in recent years. But national defence and security policies have yet to catch up. We welcome the publication of a National Security Strategy but this must be supported by a National Security Secretariat based in the Cabinet Office to integrate and coordinate all levels of UK security policy. In light of the present and future security environment the UK government should instigate a review of the role of the armed forces and the organisation of the Ministry of Defence in protecting national security.

    Recommendation 3: The Military Covenant – the contract between the nation and service personnel and their families who make personal sacrifices in return for fair treatment and commensurate terms and conditions of service – has been damaged almost beyond repair. A new civil–military compact is necessary – first, to restore the Military Covenant between the Army and the nation; and second, the Military Covenant must be a tri-service (rather than Army) pledge between the government (on behalf of its citizens), the military as an employer and individual service personnel.

    Recommendation 4: Current UK defence policy is based around a doctrine of expeditionary operations. These have proven more organisationally demanding than originally assumed and their contribution to UK security is contestable. There needs to be wider public debate about the costs and benefits of these missions to our security.

    Recommendation 5: In our view the armed forces’ domestic roles need to be incorporated more explicitly into Defence Planning Assumptions. Priority should be attached to the maintenance of a ‘general capacity for emergency action’ on which the civil authorities can reliably depend, including a counter-terrorism role. Training for national disasters, counter-terrorism and the protection of the UK must be a priority for our armed forces.

    Recommendation 6: Defence planners have been preoccupied with the acquisition of expensive, high-tech military equipment, which has diverted resources away from where they are really needed in the defence structure – specifically in areas such as pay and terms and conditions of service, recruitment and training, and the welfare support (including housing) of the armed forces. Without service men and women who are well trained, highly motivated and willing to serve, there is no future for our armed forces. We believe that while high-tech equipment is important more attention and resources should be channelled to the human dimension of armed forces.

    Recommendation 7: Land forces (both regular and Territorial Army) dominate in current deployments, and increasingly the role of the Royal Navy and RAF is to support Army operations. This needs to be recognised in defence planning, the resource allocation process and command structures. Initiatives such as the Joint Helicopter Command point the way forward in this regard. The armed forces cannot be expected to ‘do everything’, and the government should not shy away from reducing capacity in those areas – such as antisubmarine warfare or high-level interceptors – that are of marginal relevance to the current security environment.

    Recommendation 8: The capacity of the British military to control the ‘defence space’ is shrinking and increasingly penetrated by legal
    interventions and individual and societal demands. This has weakened the authority of senior commanders and the armed forces are less amenable to traditional forms of organisation, hierarchy and regulation. Appropriate adaptation is possible but it will require a more open-minded and flexible approach from senior military commanders. Service chiefs need to work out what is fundamental to the operation of the services and what is simply custom and practice, and use this knowledge as a progressive tool to shape change. The Future Army Structure is one such example but it is
    only the beginning of a wider set of reforms that are needed.
  4. "......though not all service personnel have lost faith in
    traditional forms of raising issues and seeking resolution of them, a sufficient number have been willing to take alternative forms of
    action outside the chain of command.

    The internet revolution has had a major impact on the ability of individuals to raise issues, and to campaign for action collectively. The anonymity provides a safe and risk-free means of raising issues rapidly. For example the British Army Rumour Service and Royal Navy and Royal Air Force equivalents are now well-established social and campaigning

    See Page 71 of Demos report
  5. So there you have it, from the voice of liberalism in Britain. Morale is bouyant, troops have never had it so good and most will be home for Christmas. So get back in your box General and be prepared for some serious cuts!!

    The whole gist of the subject report seems to be preparing the way for yet another big re-think. There may be some argument for this but when the whole organisation is at overstretch and suffering from change fatigue, I suspect any fundamental reform would only prove to be a smokescreen for the Treasury to implement more savage cuts

    Anyone who has any doubt about where the GLib Dems will stand on defence issues should read the whole article in the Guardian.

    For once I seem to be agreeing with Sven, we should read the Guardian to get the proper picture of how things really are in UK politics
  6. The Lib Dem manefesto was recently linked to on the forum. YOU WILL GET A MUCH BETTER PICTURE OF THEIR DEFENCE POLICY FROM THAT.

  7. Of course you won't. It was written by politicians, and Lib Dem incompetent ones at that. None of it can be trusted, and their concept of defence is of an unnecessary drain on funds for whale saving.

    I'd sooner hit my head with a hammer - repeatedly - than attempt to decipher a Lib dem tract on anything more complex than tying shoelaces...
  8. The Limp Dims have a Defence policy.....yeah right.
  9. I've said elsewhere but it appears more relevant on this thread : There is a mad scramble at the MOD to balance its books - the final bills from BAE systems to pay for the Eurofighter need paying! at the last count the cost of these are 80million a piece and rising (to convert them to ground attack where they might be some use...) and thats after all the money wasted on pointless weapons like Storm Shadow and pointless anti submarine helicopters and frigates....all it needs is a really strong politician to tell BAE systems to sell their not very good equipment elsewhere and for the MOD to start buying off the shelf, and to put all the Air marshals and admirals in there place by denying them pointless equipment. Parts of the army aren't blameless either - the Artillery would be better boff with less AS90's, the RAC could do with less Challengers (and we don't need all those Armoured recce regts either) Its commonsense to me (been a civvy for 20 years) that what the army needs are more of its best assett - INFANTRYMEN - and dec ent battlefield support helicopters - The Air force should provide close air support under army command with Harriers (or its replcement) The navy should stick to transporting everyone and using their Tomohawks now and again - better than Storm shadow...I COULD GO ON..
  10. Don't bother you've been out 20 year and we now have colour televisions!!!!!!!Easy being an arm chair warrior
  11. onYeah right 32 gb -padful - an ex armoured farmer like you must have been out a while too!! but us arm chair warriors like to do what we can...and at least I'm a civvy that gives a F**k!
  12. I actually think we need Eurofighter and more Infantrymen.

    It would all have been a lot easier if the Chiefs of Staff had not agreed to fight a war on 2 fronts. The PM should never have asked, but hey, since when did any politician actually care about his servicemen.

    As for problems with accomodation, this is in many ways down to poor Army leadership. It is all a question of priority, there is some leeway on what the Defence Budget is spent on, successive Army Chiefs of Staff have done little or nothing to encourage retention. They only have themselves to blame.

    The current crisis has demanded a Governmental response but there are no quick fixes. I agree with Patrick Mercer, the same mistakes are being repeated in Afghanistan. And people are responding in the age old way,
    with their feet.

    Learning curve? With the exception of Gen Dannatt, not much evidence.
  13. My Bolding.

    I completely dissagree. IMO, just about all the problems the millitary is facing are due to political decisions by the government. Probably made after ignoring input from millitary chiefs.

    EDIT to add: The bit I "completely dissagree" with is the bit I bolded and not the rest of the post. Just to be clear.