Would a 20% Budget Cut be Such a Bad Thing After All

#1
This might go against the grain but I think it's a question worth asking.

You could make a very reasonable case for saying the MoD has been starved of funds for decades but is there an alternative view.

That alternative is that the MoD and services have plenty of money and chooses to indulge itself in wasteful activity at almost every turn.

Would a severe cut actually force the service chiefs to act in a sensible not tribal way, engender genuine innovation and force to a head the thorny question of much we have to pay for the strategic benefit of a semi subsidised defence industry?

Or, is it really the end of the world as we know it
 
#2
What about ringfencing certain areas

e.g. frontline troops budget doesnt get touched

functions and free travel - ditch it

---
the majority of people i can think of who works in the public sector think that they are crazy busy. but when you break their day down they waste at least 3-4 hours on total drivvle

-----

departments need to be semi-profit driven. if there is no incentive to save money then there is no incentive to efficient.
 
#3
Stop training people to ride horses for a start.
 
#5
I see your point - but its a shame that such a big stick is necessary to achieve the effect of forcing the abandonment of mindsets which have been a seemingly iradicable legacy from ever more distant times, if indeed the cuts do achieve that.

The risk is, of course that they won't. That's not to say that the MoD and our bloated and slow adapting defence sector ( in policy and procurement ) should have a blank cheque, but that it entails taking a great degree of risk in an area which is critical and slow to regrow once it has been reorientated to face the right direction.

As other posters will be quick to point out - defence is critical, no matter how poorly done. We've accepted the need to fund the bailout, continuing support and avoidance of systemic reform of a banking system which despite it's horrific faults is "too big to fail", and we would go further in the manner of Eire if we had to.

Is Defence "too important to fail" - if it isn't what will the consequences be? If it is, what degree of misdirected effort and waste are we prepared to bear?

I like your approach though, we need to look critically at our failings. In the haste to cut we haven't found the time, just as we didn't when we began to fail, and continued to fail, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Others, such as the US, have. So much for our "small but lean, and quick-learning Army".

To me, defence as a concept is too important to fail, but have our leaders - military and civilian - been worthy of that importance?

Amidst all the finger-pointing between politicans, generals and allies we haven't even agreed on short term scapegoats yet. Something tells me we'll find them when we pull out of Afghanistan, but we've only recently agreed to swallow the nature & degree of our shortcomings ( some in the US would be quick to say "defeat" ) and if we continue to lack the self-critical culture to admit them we'll continue to have a long way to go before we can recover institutionally regardless of our funding. Afghanistan is a done deal, we're practically gone. We need to look ahead, towards moving on. Until we emerge in spirit and in organisational vigour from the malaise we're in currently we won't deserve the large scale funding we're claiming now.

Until then, the traditional divide and rule game will run. I look forward to witnessing the post 2003 generation of commanders rise up the CoC. They won't have witnessed the glory days of 1 (BR) Corps, big carriers, fleets of fighters and an elaborate tribal system. We've spent enough time in conflict since 2003 for that generation not to remember, let alone hanker for, "proper soldiering" and the habits that came with it.

Ex WW2 generals such as Carver and the like were giants. Sadly it seems that NI, for all its difficulty and operational stimulus, wasn't sufficient to produce generals who saw the essentials of defence with such clarity and ruthlessness. I'm not saying the TELIC and HERRICK and generation will be the former, but hopefully their operational experience and understanding of a non-privileged military will make them a good cut better than the latter.

I would rather that that generation isn't called upon too soon - but that's Defence - too expensive to fund, but too important to fail.

Charlie
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Interesting proposition. The idea that, given a cut of 20% in the overall budget, the brass and suits will concentrate on retaining that which makes the most effective fighting force and binning the excess, malpractice and quaffery is of course quite laughable.

There's 65 generals in the Army, with 43 major-generals, 17 lieutenant-generals and five four-star generals. In addition there are 190 brigadiers . . . . for a standing army of 100,000 men and women. All of whom rather like their titles, rank, houses, pay and pensions, and who I suspect would much rather sacrifice some regiments and a whole bunch of lower ranks before they themselves get faced with the chop - all in the finest traditions of the army of course. The bad knews is, unlike all the other ranks, these guys have the authority to make it so.
 
#7
What about ringfencing certain areas

e.g. frontline troops budget doesnt get touched

functions and free travel - ditch it

---
the majority of people i can think of who works in the public sector think that they are crazy busy. but when you break their day down they waste at least 3-4 hours on total drivvle

-----

departments need to be semi-profit driven. if there is no incentive to save money then there is no incentive to efficient.
I tell you what take all quality of life/fun stuff away after all we are over recruited (for at least 5 mins) and we can afford to shed a few anyway. F*ck off anything of an adventure/sporting/social nature that may make them bond with each other and increase their operational effectiveness.

Indeed why the f*ck are we paying a soldier 24/7 get them down to daily 9 to 5 wage and just pay them extra when they work extra (we can introduce a clock card). Surely the time and a half wage bill for Ops won’t be that much (after all we are on our way out of Afghan and into a new non deployable era). Let’s face it they only work 3 day weeks (with late starts, early knock offs and sport). Never mind getting spammed to do sh*t at the drop of a hat, never happens. What’s that? Exercises, courses, guards and GD’s, well they f*cking volunteered didn’t they, if they don’t like it they can leave.

PAYD has been such a success, let’s take it a step further, don’t charge them accommodation and let them choose where to live, we can then rent out the surplus accommodation at the market rate and f*ck issuing clothing (other than PPE) why the f*ck should the public pay for niceties such as uniform, after all no one forces them to be in the army. And we can get rid of the free gym facilities and sports pitches, f*cking spoilt b*stards

As for married quarters and education allowances, f*ck em. No one forced them to get married or infest the world with sprogs. The f*ckers should pay the market rate, after all everyone else has too. They can buy their own f*cking houses or live separated (f*cking special cases) who the f*ck do they think they are. How dare they put their kids in boarding schools, there are plenty of schools in every Garrison area that their kids can go to

So what if they uproot themselves every 2-5 years and move wherever they are told. What’s so special about that my mates brothers friend has moved 3 times in the last 20 years (by choice for a promotion/pay rise/better job) and no one subsidised him. They wanted to be f*cking soldiers now they whinge about having a quality of life, ungrateful f*ckers

Free removals and disturbance allowance, get you home pay. Now they are just taking the p*ss. What do these f*ckers want, what makes them so f*cking special they really make my blood boil.

Yep f*ck em. I don’t care if they spend months/years separated from their families in order to serve their country and are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice without question over and over again. Who go away, live in sh*t, get their nerves shredded, put their family through the mill over and over again, year after year without complaint (always whinge, but never complain) without the ability to strike. The only thing they ask is that the public support them and ensure they get a good deal for their efforts.

I don’t know whose worse, ignorant civvies who have no idea or comprehension what it is like to be a soldier and constantly compare it to civilian vocations or know it all ex soldiers who choose to only remember (and reminisce) about the good stuff and constantly remind people how much harder it was in their day.
 
#8
Interesting proposition. The idea that, given a cut of 20% in the overall budget, the brass and suits will concentrate on retaining that which makes the most effective fighting force and binning the excess, malpractice and quaffery is of course quite laughable.

There's 65 generals in the Army, with 43 major-generals, 17 lieutenant-generals and five four-star generals. In addition there are 190 brigadiers . . . . for a standing army of 100,000 men and women. All of whom rather like their titles, rank, houses, pay and pensions, and who I suspect would much rather sacrifice some regiments and a whole bunch of lower ranks before they themselves get faced with the chop - all in the finest traditions of the army of course. The bad knews is, unlike all the other ranks, these guys have the authority to make it so.
You forgot about the Battalions worth of full Colonels ^^
 
#9
........
There's 65 generals in the Army, with 43 major-generals, 17 lieutenant-generals and five four-star generals. In addition there are 190 brigadiers . . . . for a standing army of 100,000 men and women. All of whom rather like their titles, rank, houses, pay and pensions, and who I suspect would much rather sacrifice some regiments and a whole bunch of lower ranks before they themselves get faced with the chop - all in the finest traditions of the army of course. The bad knews is, unlike all the other ranks, these guys have the authority to make it so.
Bear in mind that multi-national organisations such as NATO encourage "rank" inflation.

Country A delegates a Brigadier to represent it, so country B sends a Maj Gen so country A sends a Lt Gen and so on across the board as each member tries to "outrank" others until you have each country represented by their most senior military ranks.

Same happens in civilian international organisations.
 
#10


I don’t know whose worse, ignorant civvies who have no idea or comprehension what it is like to be a soldier and constantly compare it to civilian vocations or know it all ex soldiers who choose to only remember (and reminisce) about the good stuff and constantly remind people how much harder it was in their day.


Spot on. There really are some clueless c*nts that post on this site without the wit or intelligence to fully assess the postive and negative aspects of Army life and just jump on the latest soap box. Good effort CAARPS.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
You forgot about the Battalions worth of full Colonels ^^
Hmmm, yes, just how many does our much-shrivelled Army actually need?
 
#12
20% of uotc's
20% of cadet budget
you choose ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 
#13
What about ringfencing certain areas

e.g. frontline troops budget doesnt get touched

functions and free travel - ditch it

---
the majority of people i can think of who works in the public sector think that they are crazy busy. but when you break their day down they waste at least 3-4 hours on total drivvle

-----

departments need to be semi-profit driven. if there is no incentive to save money then there is no incentive to efficient.
You sound a bit like Jim30, that condescending twat thinks that civil servants replacing soldiers is the answer, only when you look at it carefully it isnt, just like scrapping what some people see as perks.
 
#14
the question was not about what to cut but if a drastic cut would force effective change, a cut of 10% say, just applies equal misery but something big means that isn't an option and things have to change

It is often said that resource constraint is actually a stimulus to innovations and effective change just wondered if it would shock the grown ups to start acting like grown ups
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
the question was not about what to cut but if a drastic cut would force effective change, a cut of 10% say, just applies equal misery but something big means that isn't an option and things have to change

It is often said that resource constraint is actually a stimulus to innovations and effective change just wondered if it would shock the grown ups to start acting like grown ups
I suspect if the grown-up really got a grip then the USEFUL areas of the forces (the deployable, war-fighting bits) could actually be expanded some what even with a 20% reduction in budget based off the reported wastage figures TBH. Odds of it actually happening? I'd expect to see Satan driving a snow plough to work for a week before hand.
 
#16
Interesting proposition. The idea that, given a cut of 20% in the overall budget, the brass and suits will concentrate on retaining that which makes the most effective fighting force and binning the excess, malpractice and quaffery is of course quite laughable.

There's 65 generals in the Army, with 43 major-generals, 17 lieutenant-generals and five four-star generals. In addition there are 190 brigadiers . . . . for a standing army of 100,000 men and women. All of whom rather like their titles, rank, houses, pay and pensions, and who I suspect would much rather sacrifice some regiments and a whole bunch of lower ranks before they themselves get faced with the chop - all in the finest traditions of the army of course. The bad knews is, unlike all the other ranks, these guys have the authority to make it so.
I agree 100%. Unless the defence review tackles these points the army will lose so much credibility and capability. Fat, bloated, centralised and underperforming headquarters in peacetime lead to exactly the same thing in war. The sound doctrine of mission command will continue to be ignored unless we have a night of the long knives at the end of October. Seeing field army units disbanded without heavily cutting staff officers will really make me quite despondent.
 
#17
It is often said that resource constraint is actually a stimulus to innovations and effective change just wondered if it would shock the grown ups to start acting like grown ups
Here is something new and innovative:

Don’t let any Corps Director come from the specific A&SD he is commanding. Promote the top officers into the top Jobs on Merit and not just because they are the best in that Cap Badge. They can then look at the business of that A&SD objectively and see what parts add value and what parts are just ‘Cap Badge senior officer creation schemes’ without Cap Badge bias to the organisation they command
And another one

Bin all the separate TDU’s and have a single All Arms TDU in a single location. Retain the all arms SME’s, however bin they individual ‘Staffs’ and HQ’s that run each one. You could argue that a vehicle or piece of kit going through a single TDU with lots of viewpoints being represented will be far more capable. And all vehicles will get exactly the same quality of trial.

There you go, the main flaw with both them suggestions, potential loss of senior officer posts = Fail ^^
 
#18
the question was not about what to cut but if a drastic cut would force effective change, a cut of 10% say, just applies equal misery but something big means that isn't an option and things have to change

It is often said that resource constraint is actually a stimulus to innovations and effective change just wondered if it would shock the grown ups to start acting like grown ups
I think you give the headshed a bit to much credit. A MoD cut of 10% will lead to yet more infighting between the services. HMG and Whitehall have a vested interested in keeping us devided and at each other throats. That way any drastic cuts are suggested by the services, so they can do what they like to one service and the other two will jump for joy. If 2 thirds of the military say a cut is a good thing then that is an expert opinion.

It would be nice if they could trim down waste, tighten up operations and get moe bang for our buck and thus aviod the worst of the cuts, but I doubt it will happen.

The MoD is going to become the Thunderdome, 2 in, 1 out untill we have a winner service that gets the cash.
 
#19
Hey Meridian... Surely history shows us that the only way the British Army grows up and seriously reforms is when it loses a war.


.... oh.




Oh well. On a seperate note I'm sure that Stonker will be along shortly, questioning whether there's any potential for innovation above Coy level in the British Army anyway. Especially with all those bloody Old Etonians everywhere. Too busy charging off down the Kings' Road to bray loudly about their inheritance before returning rowdily to duff up grammar school boys who've been swotting up on long German military conceptual nouns, Von Clausevitz and organisational theory for their staff college exam. Which they'll pass but face similar bullying by Household Div hearties who will become Brigadiers because they got the recce platoon 8 years ago, and house colours for rugby 4 years before that... you just wait you bastards, one day...

( wink )

Not sure where all this ranting about CEA, pay, civil servants etc came from by the way - there might be a few threads about that. I could throw in the issue of the TA too so we can have a proper ARRSE hobby-horse gymkhana...

Charlie
 
#20
meridian said:
This might go against the grain but I think it's a question worth asking.

You could make a very reasonable case for saying the MoD has been starved of funds for decades but is there an alternative view.

That alternative is that the MoD and services have plenty of money and chooses to indulge itself in wasteful activity at almost every turn.

Would a severe cut actually force the service chiefs to act in a sensible not tribal way, engender genuine innovation and force to a head the thorny question of much we have to pay for the strategic benefit of a semi subsidised defence industry?

Or, is it really the end of the world as we know it
No. The percentage of wasted cash of the total budget will rise.

The greatest waste in the defence budget is in procurement. You will notice that the vast majority of cuts being trailed/trialed in the media are to existing inventories and capabilities - in order to free up cash to keep future procurement alive. This creates a double-whammy in regards to waste.

First, platforms built and costed over X years, being retired early, will thus represented a further waste of original procurement funding not to mention a waste of useful life - for the sake of saving annual running costs!

Second, given that new procurement is being protected, the percentage of the total budget on procurement increase - as does the percentage of waste.
 

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