Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by AndyPipkin, Mar 6, 2007.
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I remain unconvinced that we can even continue as we are doing!
Good to see the Boss telling it as it is, but I doubt that Mr Blair is listening. I have the feeling that the PM-elect, Gordon, will just cut, cut and then cut some more. And I'm not talking about our commitments either!
This will get worse before it gets better, IMHO.
Blair would have taken away that we have more to give from the phrase "not a lot left in the locker"
It does mean we will have to sit out Operation Persian Freedom.
At least he is telling them how it is, with no obvious spin..............
Did they ask him specifically what was needed in terms of equipment in the short term ?
Hell, No! There's at least a couple of platoons still non-tasked in UK, so we can easily "punch above our weight", and handle Southern Iran all on our lonesome. The RAF have got a window in the Red Arrows flying programme for next thursday afternoon, so that's air support covered. The Iranistanians won't know what's hit 'em (mainly due to the red white and blue smoke screen).
any chance of a cut n paste chaps? Cannot access BBC here
British forces 'very stretched'
British forces could withdraw from some areas in Iraq
Britain's armed forces are "very stretched" by operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the chief of the defence staff has told MPs.
Air chief marshall Sir Jock Stirrup told the defence committee there was "not much more left in the locker".
Commitments had been greater and gone on longer than planned, he told MPs.
"We are able to sustain what we are doing at the moment but in the not too distant future we need something to change," he added.
Sir Jock said he had been encouraged by recent announcements on troop withdrawals in Iraq.
But even if withdrawals continued as expected, Britain would not be able to fight another war for "some years" because of the impact operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on training.
We do have other capacity for certain emergencies but it's pretty limited
Sir Jock Stirrup
Where troops are deployed
"If we are able to reduce the operational tempo, as we hope and intend to, over the next 18 months - and we achieved the first very slight loosening of the screw just recently - then we should be in a position to reinstate some of this training.
"But quite clearly we are not going to be in the business of engaging in large-scale, high-end war fighting operations for some years to come.
"Because not only do we need to conclude what we are currently doing, or at least bring the levels down, we will need to train a new generation of people."
All three armed forces were short of manpower, said Sir Jock, and personnel were being kept away from their home bases for longer, without leave, than recommended.
If operations continued at the current level for longer than expected, there would have to be a major rethink, he added.
"We will either at some stage, in the not too distant future, need to reduce the overall level of commitment, or are we going to think about the overall force structure."
The armed forces could cope with redeployment to Afghanistan, but there was "not much more left in the locker," he told MPs.
"We do have other capacity for certain emergencies but it's pretty limited," he added.
He also suggested Britain would have to increase defence spending.
Britain was likely to face high demands on its armed forces in the years ahead because of continuing global instability and that was going to "need the right level of investment," said Sir Jock.
Asked if he believed Britain would have to spend a greater share of its national income on defence, a smiling Sir Jock said: "You might very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment."
He said the government would decide in the next 12 months on future military spending priorities, and it would become clear then whether there was a need for a more wide-ranging defence review.
In January, Prime Minster Tony Blair said Britain had to decide what sort of defence role it wanted to play after he had stepped down.
"My choice is for armed forces that are prepared to engage in this difficult, tough, challenging campaign, to be war fighters as well as peacekeepers," he told an audience of servicemen in Plymouth.
But he said there had to be a national debate on increasing defence spending.
I dont actually think that 'the boss' is REALLY telling it how it is, his language seems very 'reserved' IMHO:
Which we all were, but then (shockingly) Aghan increases were announced, which isn't mentioned in the article.
I actually feel a bit disappointed that Sir Jock didnt say more.
All governments have used they forces in some degree or other as cheap labour with cheap kit. Now that they are being found out it's too late as it's about to bite them on their aarse's. If you want to keep the best then stump up the money, you hold the purse strings, but what ever you do don't blame other people for your own short sightedness!!!
I doubt for one minute that Bliar or any of his discredited oiks in government will pay any attention to CDS. They have more important things to consider than the well-being of our Armed Forces - their reputations, legacies and possibly their freedom.
Agreed. Anybody with the integrity to speak out is instantly 'smeared' by the Number 10 spin machine.
"In January, Prime Minster Tony Blair said Britain had to decide what sort of defence role it wanted to play after he had stepped down."
Because he's to fecking spineless to make that sort of decision after nearly ten years in office.
Unlikely it will ever happen. And even in this case it would be wise for the UK not to take part in such an unprofitable adventure.
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