UK Contribution - why so big?



My understanding is that the US only requested 'light' UK forces for GW2, specifically SAS, A2A refuelling and a couple of TLAM subs, plus maybe some light infantry. This would fit in with my own personal experience of dealing with the US forces (basically, they really don't rate the UK forces - or indeed any of their allies- that highly, except for SF), correspondence I have with an RNR officer who works with NAVCENT and reports in the media, especially the comments about UK forces being known as 'The Borrowers' by the US forces, due to their paucity of equipment and resulting propensity to beg/borrow/steal US kit.

In the circumstances, surely 3Cdo Bde and a few frigates would have more than sufficed to wave the Union Jack around rather than creating unneccessary C2, logisitics and basing difficulties for CENTCOM for little actual addition to combat power. So why such a large UK contingent? Is this just stroking El Tone's ego and enabling him to strut around the world stage like Chirac's alter ego?  Or is there some other reason?
Maybe our Beloved Leader has seen some of Eagle's "Regime Change Here" posts and thinks it better to get as many disaffected troops out of the country as possible.  That way he only has to worry about his back benchers, and they don't tend to use heavy armour etc.


Call me an old cynic....but maybe, just maybe it has got something to do with the Chiefs of Staff wanting to ensure that there's a bit of action for everybody at the party.  Of course they will have dressed it up in intellectual sounding arguments but you are pretty clued up Dougal on the package the Yanks were after.  Look at what is being taken...armour, paras, commandos, carriers....almost all of which is a bit of a fifth wheel for the Yanks in military terms.  But the savvy senior officers have made sure that their pet units have got a look in.  They will be sighing a huge sigh of relief being able to anticipate the next SDR and be in a position to say "Paras/Marines/Carriers...blah - all recently combat proven, so please don't chop.": If you want a a roll call of those bits of the forces that haven't got influential supporters just look at who isn't going :  Light infantry that don't have the same beret colour as CGS ? - forget it guys, you're history and suited to nothing more than sweeping up the glass on the Falls Rd and stagging on in Cyprus forever more.  MLRS - I'd be worried !  (See the thread on the Arty board about GBAD - COMPLETELY pointless them going to the Gulf, but someone at Land made sure they didn't get left off the orbat). There must be others......


War Hero
well cynical you may be right. The deployment isn't going to plan and it looks logistically like its a cluster. Not totally the RLC's fault but it has certainly blown the concept of cadreisation and holding minimum stocks with enabling contracts out of the water. Not to mention all the contracting out of things like catering now have we a pool of deployable cooks outside the TA?
The argument over the teeth and wether there is any role for anything outside the marines/paras could rage on. But the support infrastructure for anything bigger than a brigade for longer periods than a few weeks needs serious looking at. Front line first and lean look have decimated the support arms and with out them the teeth are next to useless.
The invasion of Iraq will go to plan it'll be tea and medals all round. Ten the treasury will want its pound of flesh for screwing up its forecasts so there'll be more cuts. Remember once a capibility is gone thats it it can't be replaced overnight so things like MLRS, SHORAD, light role/ Mech Infantry may not be going but in the next war we may need them. Remember GW1 didn't need the paras (hmmm wonder why they went this time)except their band.
In the post tellic wash up commanders who were there will push to say their specialiality is so important it should get the lions share of resources and everyone  else should take the cuts. The CGS may wear a maroon beret but he needs to look at the army as a whole and what it needs to be a balanced ,efective and sustanable force and not at petty tribal one up manship. At the minite the army is unbalanced and the cracks are starting to show at long last. Now is the time to argue for more resources and sustained growth in the defence budget. Bob stewart appears to be doing that in some of the newspapers.


War Hero
BTW cynical what role has ark royal gone to the gulf in?
she isn't carrying sea harriers or GR7's. she is effectivley a second LPH like ocean something the RM and RN have been dreaming of since ocean comissioned. So alot of your argument does hold water.


Ark Royal, LPH, yup....though of course she was always just going on an exercise anyway  ;).  Good point Nurse about the G4 side.........wouldn't be that we're cutting a few corners there so it lets us LOOK capable on the front page of the Currant Bun...but it's all a bit hollow and can't really drive further than just the other side of the border withou having to get all the rats Fed-Exed in..would it ?   ;)


I'll be honest, the bit about post GW2 defence cuts hadn't occurred to me but now you mention it, it certainly makes sense.

I just wonder if all this posturing really impresses the Septics (which is, after all, why the UK is there at all) or whether they just think it's a big pain in the arrse, what with the logistics, C2, basing and deconfliction problems it will cause at CENTCOM.

TUW , sorry, I didn't put in more information about your censored comment, leading to Nurse having a pop. My apologies. The information you posted, is not public knowledge.

If it was an attempt at humour, then out in a blimmin smiley next time or summat... :)



War Hero
the unholy wars. OPSEC what the **** are you on about go and read the MOD site for **** sake.
The possibility of cuts is immense when has this govt ever fully financed a military deployment. Everything thats has been mentioned is in public domain so report to your QM in am and draw a life.

The OPSEC was inserted by me, after T_U_W made a post, that was inappropriate, and certainly not general public knowledge at this time.

Unholy, if it was a joke, you need to make it clearer.

The current state of the supply of troops in the Gulf, will no doubt be the subject of a lot of press coverage. Except in the BBC of course .......


War Hero
np part time pongo.
i know the logistic chain are desperatley trying to avoid a repeat of the afganistan field hospital debacle. so are being very careful about sources of supplies.

see you's in X months
:-[SORRY!! I will attempt at making my jokes clearer next time!! :-[
If Bush wasn't alive all this could of been avoided and then we could get on with our jobs and our lives!!
But thats just my opinion, whether it is valued or not is another matter!!
May I ask why Bush is so power mad??LOL!! ;)
I made a JOKE and didnt stste clearly enough that it was one!!
Hey so everyone f***s up at some point in thier lives!!
Yep, that was about the size of it....... :)

Don't forget to add the smilies to emphasise the joke.

For example.....

British Forces are so underequipped , we're borrowing kit from the yanks... :)

I know that's a joke, because Geoff Hoon said it wasn't true.
It's just that the way things are going.....

...Let's just say, "many a true word spoken in jest" :)

The Snob

Well folks. I'm working for a unit out here in the obvious, and...wait for it...the Americans are borrowing kit from us!!

Don't tell Geoff Hoon - I don't want my position being compromised by BBC news teams!!

Mr Happy

Well folks. I'm working for a unit out here in the obvious, and...wait for it...the Americans are borrowing kit from us!!

What are you lending them?  Radios that work?  All your spare GPS's?  Your logistics train?  Or is it the SA80 A2?

WAKE UP!!!!  That's not yanks borrowing kit, it's the Iraqi's in DISGUISE!


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