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Thread: UK military procurement and why a soldiers (sailors or airmans)lot is sometimes not a happy one

  1. #21
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    I apologize for an error in my post. I meant, "...to eat...," not "...to east...." As an aside, I am startled, having been in the army myself, there is such as thing as a "military expert." That is just satire, no real harm meant.

  2. #22
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    So now I find myself responding to the alleged ramblings of a retried drunken alleged Sergeant (I wonder what he was tried for in the first place) yes, yes I know a typo!

    The British military has been underfunded by British governments for decades, never more so than during the Labour administration starting in 1997. Afterall Gordon Brown had to find the billions to create hundreds of thousands of public sector non-jobs while Tony Blair schemed with fellow war monger George Bush on the best way to try and start WW3. This illegal Iraq war remains a stain on the reputations of both Britain and the US. That Blair, following his lies to Parliament in justification of this war, sanctioned the sending of poorly and under equipped British soldiers into Iraq is, in my view, a criminal offence for which he should be serving a prison sentence, not gavorting around Westminster trying to subvert the will of the British people over Brexit.

    In any event both I and Deppity Dawg have covered the issue of poorly equipped British soldiers with far greater knowledge and experience than our new member earlier in this thread.

    Reverting back to Dazed's post, in which he repeats the suggestion that our drunken, retired alleged Sergeant held the view that (all) British Officers are fools and shits. I do really have to challenge this inaccurate assertion. First of all lets acknowledge some areas of truth. All army officers in every army in the world are at some point considered fools and shits by disgruntled and often inebriated rankers, although rarely by senior NCOs, this only rarely means that they are! Secondly going back a century to WW1 many British senior officers were indeed incompetent. Thirdly every organisation has its few bad eggs and that includes the British Army, whether it be a private soldier, senior NCO or commissioned officer. They are invariably and ignominiously rooted out. Indeed it is not beyond the wit of a thirsty and crafty squaddy to promote himself both in rank and as an individual in order to elicit numerous free drinks while filling the naive buyers ears with stories he thinks the said buyer might wish to hear.

    With specific reference to British officers (and here I must declare an interest; I held a short service commission in the 70s and my son is currently a serving Lieutenant in an elite armoured reconnaissance regiment) British army officer selection is as rigorous as any in the world and more rigorous than the vast majority, covering every aspect of an applicant's personna including physical, mental, intellectual, character and personality. Only the best of the best are selected for officer training at the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst. Sandhurst has a worldwide reputation for the excellence of its military officer training with standards which find others with far larger armies wanting. Other nations pay hundreds of thousands of pounds to be able to send nominated cadets to Sandhurst including cadets from the Peoples Republic of China, Germany, Sweden, Nepal, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, India, Nigeria, New Zealand. They do not do this to have their top potential officers turned into fools and shits. The very few bad eggs which manage to get through the microscopic screening to get into Sandhurst are invariably quickly exposed on the immensely onerous course and expelled.

    Indeed some might question the wisdom of training another country's top army officers in view of the rapidly changing alliances of some of those nations which benefit from officer training at RMAS!

    I am not the 'military expert' that Cromwell refers to (I only served four years) but I would welcome comments from DD on the subject.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazed View Post
    As an aside, I am startled, having been in the army myself, there is such as thing as a "military expert."
    Well there is this https://rusi.org founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, Sir Arthur Wellesley. (It does have within it some rather strange people, but then experts often are.)

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Sinic View Post

    The British military has been underfunded by British governments for decades, never more so than during the Labour administration starting in 1997. Afterall Gordon Brown had to find the billions to create hundreds of thousands of public sector non-jobs while Tony Blair schemed with fellow war monger George Bush on the best way to try and start WW3. This illegal Iraq war remains a stain on the reputations of both Britain and the US.
    So at the risk of indulging in the hypothetical, do you believe then that if the Conservatives had been in government in those years from 1997, they would have refused to participate in the second Iraq War? An interesting question since my own thought would be that they would have been even more enthusiastic about it, given that they voted heavily in favour of it and they have been pretty keen on various military actions in the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by Major Sinic View Post
    Thirdly every organisation has its few bad eggs and that includes the British Army, whether it be a private soldier, senior NCO or commissioned officer.
    This I agree with, but it's a pity that many don't see the EU for example in the same way - perhaps the EU is also a generally good organisation with a few bad eggs.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javert View Post
    So at the risk of indulging in the hypothetical, do you believe then that if the Conservatives had been in government in those years from 1997, they would have refused to participate in the second Iraq War? An interesting question since my own thought would be that they would have been even more enthusiastic about it, given that they voted heavily in favour of it and they have been pretty keen on various military actions in the past.
    Historical 'what iffery' is a meaningless exercise in word games. The Conservatives may or may not have taken us to war. The fact remains that Blair, as the Labour Prime Minister at the time, has been shown to have lied to Parliament and it is on those lies that a majority of Parliament voted to go to war in Iraq.



    This I agree with, but it's a pity that many don't see the EU for example in the same way - perhaps the EU is also a generally good organisation with a few bad eggs.
    Not remotely on topic as you well know. The economic, political and fiscal failings of the EU structure provide the root causes for my objections to our membership more than a few bad eggs. The difference is a bad egg in the army tends to be far more readily visible and far more rigorously rooted out than undemocratic ambition and corruption.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Sinic View Post
    The difference is a bad egg in the army tends to be far more readily visible .
    And often (allegedly,) die from "friendly fire."

  7. #27
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    How can a nation, say Great Britain, adequately fund the military and still provide a good social safety net? I am asking a question consisting of an assumption, (that nations cannot afford both if the wealthy and business is not adequately taxed and regulated to minimize tax evasion), though I not adequately informed of the British tax system and its yield from different social groups, (i.e., business, retirees, unemployed, workers, middle class professional and managerial and the wealthy; and what safeguards have been put into place to stop tax evasion like for example offshore shenanigans.) Although I despise the current American administration, the President appears to be generally correct that the NATO countries have not contributed adequately to fund their own defense. Now that said, I am guessing that a certain portion of that expense, how much I have not researched and even if I did there would be a lot of unknown stuff, constitutes a back-door gift to various military contractors for supplies, equipment, "advice," transport and other opportunities for waste, fraud, abuse, procurement stupidity and to make nice with companies which may employ retired top brass. Even taking that into account, isn't at least one of the several major roots of the problem the fact that the oligarchs with enormous amounts of money refuse to allow the governments they own to tax them robustly enough to satisfy both adequate military funding and societal benefits? Another major root may be, and I am guessing again, that many policy-makers believe the potential enemies of Britain to monitor and respond to more actively are primarily groups which aid and engage in terrorism, and to a certain degree their own citizens who must be kept docile as opposed to governments of historically hostile or currently demonstrably hostile nations. I am thinking that Russia for example, has been waging warfare against the West for a very long time, yet Russia is constantly being allowed to continue without any significant retaliation, (at least not reported.) I realize a reason given for the hostility is paranoia about its own protection, but I no longer buy that. Governments attack each other in various ways because the oligarchs tell them to for financial reasons. It could be minerals, fuel, trade deals, tariffs, revenge, or I suppose a host of other reasons. Germany I understand is making a deal with the devil about fuel. Deals are made constantly with evil-doers who are demonstrably more threatening than the usual mis-behavior one must endure from the leaders of allies and generally non-threatening nations. I am also referring to non-military threats and warfare like economic, deliberately encouraging emigration, business surveillance, communication and public services disruptions, strikes, etc... The militaries in the various countries which do not choose to confront Russia, (not to mention other threatening nations and groups), must be particularly distressed when their politicians not only under-fund them but wave away obvious assaults (e.g. computer hacking or murder.) Sure, a lot of it is bluff, but at what point are the collective alarms adequate to incent a significant counter-attack? It has been going on for so long it psychologically saps the strength of the nations being assaulted but also causes the leadership to accept the assaults are routine and are simply endured.
    Last edited by dazed; 23-09-2018 at 02:27 PM. Reason: mis-spelled and omitted wording

  8. #28
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    Dazed can you use paragraphs with a space between them please.

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  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Sinic View Post
    ........... The British military has been underfunded by British governments for decades, never more so than during the Labour administration starting in 1997.
    You totally ignore the amount of money lent and given by the US after WWII that was largely spent by the UK on its military and resurrecting Empire and the vast amounts spent on defence ever since.

    Restructuring British industry and the country came way down the list when the country tendered for Marshall Aid dollars. Britain's politicians then used its dollars to support its military in the belief that Britain could once again have a future on the world stage at the centre of its Empire.

    West Germany chose to direct its Marshall aid dollars into rebuilding its industry. France and Italy worked on modernising their infrastructures. Britain believed it's military might was more important and the same attitude prevailed as it squandered North Sea Oil income in much the same way...
    The poster reserves the right to amend or completely change any opinions he has posted at any time...

  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by lankou View Post
    Dazed can you use paragraphs with a space between them please.
    I suspect he is using an IOS device. I noticed the same if I tried to post using an Ipad or suchlike - it merges all the paragraphs together. If not, I agree it is not very readable to have one huge paragraph.

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