The spectre of our hollow forces

Either idiots or people with an agenda to leave the nation exposed would argue for the reduction of trained manpower and focus only on lifestyle. This was the situation in late Rome.

What shocked me at the Mail was only 137 comments when the senior soldier spoke and yet other topics garner upwards of 3000 comments at times. We are being very, very foolish as a nation and the current immigration debate even calls into question if we have a nation any more.

# Well, how about cutting down the MOD staff from 37 MOD staff serving 17 soldiers, to 5 MOD staff to 17 soldiers, plus cull 75 % of desk bound generals and other surplus ranks ?. Or would this upset someone ?

# You can have all the technology in the world but with no-one trained to operate it, it is useless. Our Armed Forces should become our Defence Force, equipped to deal with natural and man made disaster, war and famine, plague and blight and not just war. A total revamp as tow hat we need and hat we have needs doing and far more emphasis on HUMANITARIAN aid applied. All too often the military is the front line of any relief operation, equip us for that as well as conflict and use our greatest resource, the Human Being

# A minister speaking today indicated that man power shortages are easily made up. Boy, will he be in for a shock when and if that need occurs! During my 23 year career the cutting of training (coupled with poor schooling) produced illiterate and innumerate people who became increasingly difficult to train. I am talking of Cat 1 & 2 personnel as cannon fodder went out with the last arc! The answer was always to dumb down and eventually do away with the need. (This was by transferring the load to private contractors ) Practically all of the technical experts which existed both in the services and in the civil service (scientific service etc) no longer exist. As an expert my training involved continuous updating (at degree level very often) for a total of 11 years. This was in a system in which the syllabus for a first degree was expected to be covered in one year!

This last comment says all we need to know.  Mercenaries are what I suspect the government has in mind – Blackwaters, supplied by Halliburton or such like.  Nowhere do we see evidence of govt interest in maintaining a robust defence.

Now, someone is advising this govt, someone has its ear and it is not General Sir Nick Houghton, Chief of the Defence Staff. That article was a year ago, here is one more up-to-date:

New data from the Ministry of Defence show that the UK’s armed forces are in a long-term decline. Despite Britain being one of only four NATO member countries that spend more than 2% of GDP on defence, that figure has been creeping downwards over recent years.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies’ annual report of international defence claim that the UK has cut defence spending by 8% in real terms (spending adjusted for inflation) during the current parliament, causing an estimated 20-30% reduction in military combat capabilities.

In America, they are struggling with Obama’s attitude to defence of the realm but the reason is easy to see there – he detests America and it’s come out in many statements.  Over here, only Straw and Labour have admitted they detest England but still – Cameron is acting in a way which suggests he feels the same.

In fact, the constant u-turning on an in-out EU referendum is a dead giveaway … but we knew that.  Run through that article and the direness of the situation is jawdropping.  For a country the size of the UK and with its hoped for say in world affairs?  Give me a break.

Meanwhile, in Russia:

As a follow-up to my previous article “What to Expect from Russia’s Pacific Fleet in 2014,” I would like to take a closer look at Russia’s new backbone of its maritime nuclear deterrence  – the Borei-class (aka Dolgorukiy-class), Project 955, fourth generation SSBN (Ship, Submersible, Ballistic, Nuclear) submarine. RT (somewhat predictably) called this new SSBN class, “the planet’s most advanced nuclear deterrent tool.”

Designed by Rubin Marine Equipment Design Bureau and built by Northern Machine Building Enterprise (Sevmash shipyard), the Borei-class (“North Wind”) is intended to replace the Project 941 Typhoon-class and Project 667 BDRMDelta IV-class vessels. This constitutes the first time that Russia has added new SSBNs to its navy since the end of the Cold War. “In a way, the Borei represents a literal rebirth of the Soviet submarine fleet; several boats in the class are being constructed partially from the hulls of scrapped or unfinished Akulas and Akula IIIs,” a U.S. naval officer writing for the U.S. Naval Institute notes.

The new Borei-class SSBN is 580 feet (170 meters) long, has a hull diameter of 42 feet (13 meters), and a crew of 107, including 55 officers. It can dive to a maximum depth of about 1,500 feet (450 meters) and yields a submerged speed of roughly 30 knots. The sub has a compact, hydro-dynamically efficient hull for reduced broadband noise and uses pump-jet propulsion. Pump-jet propulsion reduces noise and provides the submarine with a higher tactical ‘silent speed’ and  increased maneuverability. This makes the submarine more difficult to detect.

So, one must ask the question – is this govt for Britain or are they quislings in disguise? Or are they simply insane and incompetent?

6 comments for “The spectre of our hollow forces

  1. March 5, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    “Or are they simply insane and incompetent?” I favour this option because, otherwise as the mother of a serving soldier I would be up at downing street calling for state sanctioned public executions of all involved.

  2. Flyinthesky
    March 5, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    And here I go again on one of my anti eu rants. The driving force of this phenomenon, to my mind, is the eu, it doesn’t want any nation to have autonomous capacity in defence or indeed for that matter any other area. It wants nation states to only have the components of a defence force not a complete capability it wants to combine and direct, European action force, these combinations itself. Yet another instance of it empowering itself with everyone else’s money.
    I listened to an address in the eu parliament by Guy Verhofstadt broadly stating if the UK wanted to save money it could be done by a reduction in defence spending and relying on the European force. Someone must have taken it to heart.

    • Flyinthesky
      March 5, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      The edit function tends to leave things out! This fits on line 8
      What nation, logically, would build an aircraft carrier without the finance in place to purchase aircraft to put on them. They’re building themselves a battle set comprising of components they can direct without having to purchase anything, you couldn’t make it up, but they have.

    • Old Geezer
      March 5, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      You are probably right. I seam to remember that Blair promised that the UK would provide a Corps of 60,000 troops for the EU army. We are heading towards a 60,000 army. Naval experts have said that an efficient navy needs a minimum of 3 aircraft carriers. We will have two, the French one. This will be the core of the EU navy. It is funny how the government changed at the lase election, but the defence policy didn’t.

  3. Penseivat
    March 6, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Cameron has shown time and time again, just how much disdain he holds the British military in. He rewards Service personnel for putting their lives on the line so he can show his Statesmanship to the world by giving them their P45’s, in some cases letting them know when they are still serving in Iraq! The mind boggles at his lack of sensitivity. Despite being proud of my 25 years service in the British Army, I would hesitate to recommend it as a career today. Mind you, the other lot are just as bad. No matter which Party wins the General Election in May, I would suggest that at least one of my three forecasts will occur – The Falklands will be handed over to Argentina, following pressure from the EU; Gibraltar will be handed over to the Spanish, following pressure from the EU; and the British defence capability will consist of a recorded telephone message saying, “We surrender.” in several languages including Arabic.

  4. Lord T
    March 6, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Why do you insist or OR’s. They are clearly both every time.

    Quislings and incompetent.

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