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FCO advice: Rewarding terrorism

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FCO advice: Rewarding terrorism

Old 11th Jul 2015, 08:27
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FCO advice: Rewarding terrorism

The system of FCO "advice" to travel, or not, to specific destinations places a powerful lever in the hands of every murderous terror organisation. A relatively simple, low-cost operation in Tunisia has been rewarded by granting their wishes in entirety and deprived their enemies, the Tunisian govt of most of their income. Job done! The issue is, this "advice" in not advice at all; for a holiday company it is a legal imperative. While I can't blame any civil servant for being risk-averse, we must examine this system. It provides a warped incentive to murder British citizens and will increase our risk while abroad.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 09:35
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I take it that you've had a holiday cancelled and now you've got the hump?

Where do you see the responsibility of the UKFO sitting? Is it with the Tunisian government or is it perhaps looking at the potential safety of UK citizens abroad? I have no particular issue with how it works and I can't see an alternative that would not likely increase risk for UK citizens.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 09:52
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One man on a beach has held a Country to ransom, he has more or less single handedly destroyed their main industry and has resulted in a knee jerk reaction that has seen several Countries pulling their people out of the said Country, ONE MAN!

There is risk aversion and there is risk aversion, but there is nothing to stop a similar attack being carried out at any other holiday destination abroad, infact the same thing could be said about the UK. Indeed with the increased security in place in Tunisia one does wonder if a softer target elsewhere would then become their aim.

When terrorists hijacked the first ever aircraft even they didn't believe it would work, but the UK capitulated and released several prisoners proving to the terrorist that hijacking was a viable weapon and opening the floodgates to such actions, one does wonder if we have just repeated history.

..

Last edited by NutLoose; 11th Jul 2015 at 11:05.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 09:56
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Interesting view ShotOne. Are you going to take your family on holiday to Tunisia in solidarity with its people, and in defiance of FO advice? I can but admire such a selfless moral stance.

I, in contrast, am motivated by the most base desires of self preservation and of the safety of my loved ones, and give thanks that at long last HM Government Policy seems to place the safety of its citizens above its wish not to offend other countries. You know, like most other western governments do...
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 10:00
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Perhaps if the Tunisian government put in enough security to prevent a major terrorist attack in the first place, they wouldn't now be having a significant proportion of their GDP pulled.

Middle East would be the last place any sensible person should be going on holiday with the state of the place, especially as the only vulnerable point we seem to have is to this sort of thing.

Nut loose, naive to assume this is just as likely in other places.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 10:03
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NL/Shot One -difficult, I am with you, in principle. I guess the risk of an attack in UK is broadly similar, but I am not putting of my UK trip. This one guy, with maybe a handful of accomplices, has brought Tunisia's principal industry to a standstill. As you say "job done" - but "the west" has pulled its nationals out so has an implicit responsibility to help Tunisia whilst issues are resolved. I have less sympathy for the mainly economic migrants trying to get to Europe and ultimately the UK, some of whom I have no doubt have a hidden terrorist agenda. However, in the short term, I suspect the Government had no alternative but to issue the advice it did.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 10:07
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One man on a beach has held a Country to ransom
Only one man? Gosh, you've got better intelligence than SIA and FCO combined.

58 tourists have been killed in Tunisia since March this year. Fact.

Tunisia is a post-revolutionary state with indefensible borders and a security apparatus that is trying hard, but by almost any measure you care to choose, is incapable of controlling the situation.

I can assure you that changes to travel advice issued by the FCO are not taken lightly. It is a cross-departmental decision; I have been fortunate to witness the decision-making process fairly recently.

In a theoretical example, the impact of adverse travel advice on the local economy is considered (along with the wider and longer-term security implications). The reputation of UK plc is regarded; DIME responses are gamed.

However, the bottom line is, that apart from a handful of persons entitled to UK protection who live there, overwhelmingly British interest in Tunisia is discretionary - ie, a cheap all-inclusive holiday in the sun. Should more UK subjects be exposed to danger - including the Consular Response Teams, and,potentially, service personnel, so that old slappers can have a fling with a Tunisian barman and overweight middle-aged men can top up their melanomas?

It's not as if Whitehall has decided to surrender a piece of UK territory to marauding gangs of IŞID-inspired gunmen.

Latest just in. Skegness OOB?

Fears as family of 14 travels to Butlins

Last edited by Whenurhappy; 11th Jul 2015 at 10:28.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 10:16
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Love it! Brilliant
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 11:57
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And the relevance for this in the Military Aircrew forum is.....?

Unless the terrorists are going to offer BBQ tips then this thread should be in JB.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 12:25
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You tell 'em, wm. I'm sure they'll make you a mod if you ask nicely.

I'm aware this advice isn't given lightly. Had I been at their desk with the rules as they stand I'd probably have done the same. The issue is, it's not "advice" at all. For a holiday company it is an imperative legal directive. The terrorists now know this and they can achieve a specific political objective as a direct result of murdering Britons. That's a hefty lever to place in their hands
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 12:40
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No interest in being a mod thanks very much.

Thread still has cock all to do with military aviation. A rant about FCO policy and how it can be used against them - irrelevant to this board and unlikely to garner a broad spectrum of responses or discussion tucked away here.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 12:48
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Wrathmonk,

Or you could just view this forum as a virtual crew room. In all the crewrooms I've ever been in the conversation covered a fairly broad spectrum of topics, and certainly not limited to flying or aircraft to the exclusion of all else. That would make for a pretty dull crew room if you couldn't talk about world affairs, how Bloggs got blown out by the pretty young SAC in the pub the night before and Smith's new penis extension of a sports car. You know, general chat about the world and the daily ebb and flow of life that characterizes adult and not so adult conversation. That's how I prefer to view this forum.

But if you insist on making the linkage between this thread and mil avn: we're currently flying ops against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. We've already been to Libya once before and now there are reports in the press that the gunman might have been trained in Libya. It doesn't take a great leap of imagination that might suggest that as the SoS is already trying to make the case for increasing air ops in Syria, that in time, we might well find ourselves back in North Africa conducting counter ISIL ops in our own backyard and in theory this could be the start of that chain of events.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 13:02
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Even the most basic of threat assessments based on the disposition of likely threats (think Libya, proximity and porous borders) and "friendly" forces would have you travelling to Tunisia in nothing less than a Battle Group formation.

This is a classic example of "reverse Nanny State", where suddenly the Government is responsible for your personal life choices. The day I start getting intelligence updates from Thomas Cook is the day I start booking package holidays through the Foreign Office.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 13:11
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I may be missing something here; we are advising all tourists to leave Tunisia because the security threat in that country is assessed as SEVERE (ie a terrorist attack is highly likely). They are coming home to the UK - where the security threat is also assessed as SEVERE.

Maybe we should be evacuating the UK as well now!
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 13:17
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Or you could just view this forum as a virtual crew room.
Awesome. Anything goes then if some of the conversations I've had (or witnessed) in crew rooms over the years are anything to go by!

Be better than Jet Blast where 'hotel lobby' rules apply.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 13:40
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May be it was a good call

2nd Tunisia terror attack foiled as 5 ISIS extremists shot dead | Daily Mail Online
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 15:07
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And the relevance for this in the Military Aircrew forum is.....?
C-17s and the RAF Regiment are on standby to assist with a NEO. I think that's relevant.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 16:16
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The day I start getting intelligence updates from Thomas Cook is the day I start booking package holidays through the Foreign Office.
I think I have had experience of both those over the years
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 16:58
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but there is nothing to stop a similar attack being carried out at any other holiday destination abroad, infact the same thing could be said about the UK
This is simply not true...in fact it is not even close to being true.

Tunisia has porous borders with a continuous supply religious nut jobs able to come and go as they wish. Many holiday destinations, home and abroad, are demonstrably more secure.

Many nations, including ours, have effective control of automatic weapons. There is no huge cache of Kalashinkovs lying around for any tom, dick of harry to go on a shooting spree.

Many countries, ours included have multi layered security regimes in place, to deter, detect and interrupt terrorists as they go about their business.

I could go on but I hope my point is made. If you are saying there is an ever present terrorist threat to all of us, I totally agree. If you are saying that threat is a constant in all locations, I totally disagree.

The Foreign Office response is a no brainer - they have a job to do and that is protect us. I don't totally agree this is long term win for the nutters out there. That's now down to the Tunisian security forces (as it should be). Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war I'd suggest. Few of the other security forces in the region might want to pitch in as well. Time for some unrestrained violence I think; let the nutters reap what they have sown.

Personally, given this is a military forum and this is war as we do it these days, I really cannot see how this is irrelevant here.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 17:31
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TOFO - couldn't agree more. What's more disturbing is the naivety of the holiday-makers:
'Lovely people here, I feel really safe in my hotel'
'It's more dangerous in England'
'Tunisia is a beautiful country, and they are lovely people there and the hospitality is exceptional.
'We were saying to each other that there is probably more of a chance of a terror attack at Manchester airport than here now.
'There are Army trucks and police everywhere in Sousse. We have felt completely safe.'
Of course you were, dear.
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