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Reality v 'Contingency'

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Reality v 'Contingency'

Old 27th Apr 2014, 11:00
  #1 (permalink)  
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Reality v 'Contingency'

So, post-HERRICK, lots of discussions about planning for contingency. Lots of complicated issues around whether to reconfigure as a 'specialist' COIN/rapid deployment/light force or a smaller, but still full-spectrum 'conventional' force.
With activity like this about, I know what I'd do. Personally, despite the genuine and necessary focus on the economic priorities (growth, employment, housing etc) I think we need to 'up arm' toute suite.

Australia, Philippines scrambling to boost air forces- Nikkei Asian Review

US Reassures Europe Of Nato's 'Ironclad' Support

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Old 27th Apr 2014, 13:36
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No money.

Therefore all we can afford is beer money kit, but we have a Defence Sector that demand Petrus level investment and VSOs that like to wave their metaphorical parts around in self-aggrandisement.

This thrust for the "exquisite" has hollowed out or removed balanced capability, but these high end assets allow Politicos, VSOs and Industry to blah on about "Full Spectrum", "4th largest budget" and "second to none" like delegates at the N Korean Communist party AGM.

Until we have an honest policy led SDSR we will forever be caught between these two stools. I won't hold my breath.....
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Old 27th Apr 2014, 13:41
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beer money kit, but we have a Defence Sector that demand Petrus level investment
Or what my dear Mother would have called:

"Champagne tastes and four-ale* money!"

*A noted cheap libation of her time, costing 4d a pint. (that's 1.66p)
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Old 27th Apr 2014, 15:37
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Until the British public and politicians actually see Sky News/CNN/The Sun reporting rounds landing on British soil, or foreign invaders on our shores or skies above, then they aren't interested one bit.

It appears that the British public see HM Forces as a National Defence Force with extra/surplus manpower for flood defences, driving fire engines, tubes or whatever 'crisis' situation pops up (that is their definition of contingency I believe).

It is painful to watch history repeat itself and the ultimate overall 'cost' at some point in the future will far outweigh the financial costs of defence discussed today.

All of us here can easily discuss and debate what should happen, and what we really need, but without one bit of political intent or public understanding it would be hot air.

That IMHO is reality.
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Old 27th Apr 2014, 16:21
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I posted this elsewhere on PPRuNe a short while ago, and whilst I don't want to become a bore on the issue, it does apply to so many of the threads currently running on here that are discussing UK armed forces:

I don't want to turn this into another "Scottish Independence" thread (although I can see that happening.... ), neither is this supposed to be a comment about whether Scotland should/could become an independent country. Rather it supposed to be a comment about the effect on the rest of the UKs military forces if the result is "yes". I don't think many people on PPRuNe have fully realized the implications for a "yes" vote to the remainder of the UKs armed forces.

Quite simply, if the result is a "yes" it will drive a coach and horses through all pre-planned defence expenditure for the next 5-10 years as a minimum. MOD will have to absorb the costs of moving a variety of assets around, just a few examples of which include finding a new home for the SSBN fleet, indeed all the submarine fleet, perhaps beefing up Leeming as a northern QRA airfield, closing or reducing bases, moving manpower, etc. Given that the UK governments income will shrink by about 9% then the defence budget may face a 9% cut. Will all Scots currently serving be offered the chance for a "free" transfer to the Scottish defence forces, will there be compulsory redundancies as the MODs manpower requirement shrinks due to a loss of assets, etc, etc...... The mess that will require untangling just goes on and on.

West Germany funded the costs of reunification with East Germany, but the whole of the UK will fund much of the costs of the creation of an independent Scotland, if only because many of the costs will have to be met before the official independence day when Scotland goes solo.

And how likely is this scenario, well the latest polls show the two sides almost neck and neck, and the vote is only a few months away. It stands a pretty good chance of becoming reality. It is the elephant in the room, or people simply don't appreciate the impact it will have.

Discussions on buying an MPA/MMA, keeping Sentinel, how many F-35s we buy, post Afghanistan reductions, SDSR 15/16, all pale into insignificance in comparison to the result of the referendum in just 5 months time. If the answer is "yes" it will probably have the biggest impact on UK, across the whole spectrum of affairs (a UK parliamentary election in 2015 where 60 odd MPs will disappear just a year later in 2016, with a possible change/fall of government as a result being just one example), since world war 2.

As I said in the above text, I don't think many people south of the border have appreciated the impact a "yes" vote will have across the whole of the UK, and that certainly includes the UK military.
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 00:25
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The Romans had it right 2,000 years ago:

"Si vis pacem, para bellum" (If you want peace, prepare for war).

Still right, always will be.
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 02:18
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Don't forget to take Russian at school..
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 12:44
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from Tom lehrer

Gather round while I sing you of wernher von braun,
A man whose allegiance
Is ruled by expedience.
Call him a nazi, he won't even frown.
"ha, nazi schmazi," says wernher von braun.

Don't say that he's hypocritical,
Say rather that he's apolitical.
"once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says wernher von braun.

Some have harsh words for this man of renown,
But some think our attitude
Should be one of gratitude,
Like the widows and cripples in old london town
Who owe their large pensions to wernher von braun.

You too may be a big hero,
Once you've learned to count backwards to zero.
"in german oder english I know how to count down,
Und I'm learning chinese," says wernher von braun.

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Old 28th Apr 2014, 13:28
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Gather round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun
One recalls the von Braun BioPic of the early 1960s, starring Kurt Jurgens, called "I Aim at the Stars".......

The posters in the London Underground were usually defaced with the addition "... but sometimes I hit London"
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 13:29
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Well I'm presently living in Scotland - and I WILL move south if they try to go independent. Taxes in Scotland will skyrocket and services will be downgraded. The defence implications for UK are enormous. But there's worse. Scotland will effectively become a one-party state since neither Labour nor Conservatives can win government there. And that one party? The SNP - is pure Marxist. Salmond is a Marxist. A one-party Marxist state - does that ring any bells? There is another complication, there is a Scottish election due a year later. Should by some miracle, Labour manage to claw its way to power it would almost certainly halt the independence immediately and remain in the union - otherwise there may never be another Labour government in UK. So it is all going to be very interesting.
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 14:54
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Well I'm presently living in Scotland - and I WILL move south if they try to go independent.
Also known as playing the Andrew Lloyd Webber card BBC NEWS | VOTE2001 | Are you still here?
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Old 1st May 2014, 20:42
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The F.35 is an obscenely expensive pile of ess-aich-one-tee (lots of good stuff on YouTube about this Turkey) Withdrawing from this cash-drain would be an
excellent first step on the road to a sane Defence Policy (possible replacement
could be the Gripen in which BAe have an interest).
Of course it won't happen as long as these congenital idiots are running/ruining what's left of the UK...
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Old 2nd May 2014, 06:12
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What I did stumble upon which might be relevant to this thread is the link below on the HCDSC's attempt to look ahead and advise on the next (S)DSR. The majority is common sense stuff that you just wonder why it takes a Select Committee to enlighten the political decision makers. However, some of the independent (?) think tanks and academics consulted put forward some bold suggestions.

Initially I baulked at one of the recommendations formally recorded for the Army to take over all Rotary Wing, less the Dark Blue and Amphibious stuff, but when I saw the overwhelming evidence suggesting that F-35 was a very expensive white elephant in comparison to Super Hornets, Hawk Eyes etc etc I realised that the next SDSR may see some bold political decisions.

I most certainly am not going anywhere near the whole Carrier, F-35, should we, shouldn't we debate. What I am saying is that maybe the 'Arab Spring' and Ukraine may re-align the politicians decades of blinkers and manipulation to finally recognise that the world is MORE unstable, with asymmetric, cyber and terrorist warfare not the only threat to this country in the coming years. Also, when Mr & Mrs Joe Bloggs either have their gas (from Russia) turned off or having to pay through the roof prices for either energy, food or both, then the British public might just recognise the value of a true cross spectrum Defence capability.

Handing over all our Rotary Wing to the Pongoes (even more than the current JHC/Army HQ arrangement) fills me with dread, BUT if the next SDSR is truly strategically led, with a long term view (10 years +) then I welcome the open transparent discussions, without emotion, or patronage, or nostalgia. Whether that is the Fisheads losing their beloved F-35 or us losing our Rotary Wing, if it is genuinely in the interests of the country, then I am willing to listen (rather than throw my teddies out of the cot and vote with my feet).


Last edited by MaroonMan4; 2nd May 2014 at 08:46. Reason: Deleted original first paragraph as it was irrelevant to this thread
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Old 2nd May 2014, 07:19
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"Well I'm presently living in Scotland - and I WILL move south if they try to go independent".

Not if UKIP hold the balance of power - immigration will no doubt be stopped and you will not be allowed in!!
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Old 2nd May 2014, 07:49
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Don't be daft man!!!

You use all that military cunning, and move south in the time window between the Scottish vote in September and the UK national election in May - simples!!
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Old 2nd May 2014, 07:59
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Actually, much will depend upon the timing of "independence". If Scotland becomes independent before they have joined the EU, then in theory, will the Scots be allowed to migrate without controls? Less right to enter England than the Romanians and Bulgarians perhaps?

No doubt, all this is to be "sorted out after the vote" like the vast majority of the detail denied to voters by the Scottish Assembly?

Just a thought.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 08:47
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HH - have you seen the newish book on OP PAPERCLIP, the collecting of German scientists, including WvB, to the US after the war
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Old 2nd May 2014, 10:35
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no - but I'll take a look
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Old 2nd May 2014, 10:43
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What an intresting link that is, thanks for posting..
Can't wait to see the comments flow in, but there is a lot of truth in there. Hope and trust it's taken onboard in the next SDSR
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Old 2nd May 2014, 12:27
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MM4 - I wouldn't say the 'fisheads' see the F35 as 'beloved' at all. I have no doubt my dark blue comrades would be delighted to go for a handful of Navy owned and operated Super Hornets. The F35 issue in this context is more about the rather incredible cost of the Cats'n'traps conversion for the QE Class.

The U-turn back to STOVL after the last SDSR came about because of those costs (I know, I was there). At the time, mitigating those costs with a switch to Super Hornets was not allowed to be mentioned. I'd love to believe someone would be brave enough to take the bold decisions we all recognise are needed in the next SDSR, but I won't be holding my breath.
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