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Lord Portsoken.....The Nemesis of our Soldiers for 20 years

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Outlining what he said was a "radical new approach to the management of defence", Dr Fox said he had accepted the recommendations of a report by Lord Levene - the chairman of Lloyd's of London - into how to make the MoD more efficient, cut red tape and reduce inter-service rivalry.

'Constructive critique'
As part of the shake-up, the heads of the three services are set to lose their places on the MoD's most senior decision-making body - the defence board - but will be jointly represented by the chief of the defence staff, General Sir David Richards.

Dr Fox said this would end a situation in the which the chiefs spent most of their time "trying to influence policy and haggle over funding in London" and, instead, would be "empowered" to determine their own operational priorities once budgets were determined.

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We are top heavy and that must end

Dr Liam Fox
Defence Secretary
As part of a general reduction in senior officers, the rank of Commander-in-Chief across the armed forces is set to be phased out while all non-frontline posts, including reservists and contractors, are to be reviewed - starting with the most senior ranks.

"We are top heavy and that must end," Dr Fox told MPs.

He said the overhaul - in which a new joint force command will be created to oversee and integrate areas such as cyber warfare and military intelligence - would seek to tackle some of the managerial and budgetary problems which had plagued defence for many years.

"The report describes a department bedevilled by weak decision-making and poor accountability where there is insufficient focus on affordability and proper financial management," he said.

"I am confident that when people within defence review the recommendations they will recognise this work not as a criticism but a constructive critique of a department in need of reform and they will relish, as I do, the challenges it represents."

The MoD is to shed 25,000 civilian staff over the next four years as part of spending cuts announced last year while the armed forces will also shrink in size with 5,000 posts due to go in both the Army and Navy and 7,000 in the RAF.

Monday's announcement comes at a time of tension between senior ministers and military commanders about the likely duration and cost of the UK's involvement in the international mission in Libya and its impact on other military commitments.

But Dr Fox warned those top brass to be "very careful... in discussing the sustainability of our mission".

ring their time in office, but said the bigger issue was the need to rethink last year's strategic defence review as a result of the series of uprisings in the Arab world.

"In general there are some sensible proposals but it does not affect the biggest problem affecting the MoD which is the government going too far and cutting military capability too quickly," said shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy.

"While the deficit is temporary, the cuts they are making are permanent... Once you have sacked RAF pilots, you cannot reorder new ones. They have gone and they have gone for good. I think we will rue the day they made some of these cuts."

And one expert on the RAF suggested eliminating bureaucracy would not address the wider dilemma facing the armed forces.

It cannot get any worse when a greasy politician and a bureaucrat...Lord Bubble and Squeak Levene, who single-handedly destroyed the Military Procurement sector, with his business model from Auschwitz: (Work assets to the Death of those who need to use them) and is now recommending the disposal of complete tiers of military management in order, no doubt to ensure that the lower tier, like equipment, are worked to death. Lord Portsoken is a bloody murderer.H-ai-l