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UK Strategic Defence Review 2020 - get your bids in now ladies & gents

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UK Strategic Defence Review 2020 - get your bids in now ladies & gents

Old 26th Aug 2021, 08:26
  #761 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC;11099241
[color=#333333
The frustration at the top of the British government with the White House is arguably unlike anything that has been seen since the Falklands War in 1982. [/color]
Slightly strange comment as I recall relations between US and UK were pretty good, albeit behind the scenes initially. The State Dept was less keen, but the Pentagon and WH were supportive.
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Old 11th Sep 2021, 05:24
  #762 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/m...anks-78smlf5ht

Military hunt for head of the armed forces breaks ranks

Boris Johnson has requested that the defence secretary put forward lower-ranked candidates than normal for the job as head of the armed forces, The Times has learnt.

Senior government sources said the prime minister wanted a “broader pool” of candidates to select from for General Sir Nick Carter’s replacement, even if it meant them skipping a rank.

It is understood Ben Wallace invited three three-star ranks to apply for the role: Vice-Admiral Sir Ben Key, who led the evacuation effort in Afghanistan; Lieutenant General Sir James Hockenhull, chief of defence intelligence; and Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew.

The last two declined but Key, chief of joint operations, has applied for the chief of the defence staff position and is said to have a “good relationship” with Wallace, having impressed him with his work in Afghanistan and on the carrier strike group deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.

If Key were handed the job it would make him the first three-star to get the top job.

Four four-star generals have also been interviewed by Wallace to replace Carter, although it is expected to be a “two-horse race”, sources said.

Several insiders said that General Sir Patrick Sanders, head of strategic command, and Admiral Sir Antony Radakin, the first sea lord, were the most likely choices for the role when Carter steps down at the end of November.

A senior government source said that Radakin was the overall favourite, given Johnson’s focus on the Royal Navy and shipbuilding, and although Sanders could be offered the job of head of the army, there were concerns he might quit if he did not get the top post.

The source said Johnson wanted “honest, clear thinking” and a clearing out of obsolete kit, a changing of working patterns and modernising all the forces “properly” to save money.

Wallace has interviewed the candidates and had dinner with most of them in informal settings, giving them a chance to share their ideas for defence.
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Old 11th Sep 2021, 06:32
  #763 (permalink)  
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Old 11th Sep 2021, 12:13
  #764 (permalink)  
 
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The source said Johnson wanted “honest, clear thinking” and a clearing out of obsolete kit, a changing of working patterns and modernising all the forces “properly” to save money.
The second half of the sentence seems at odds with his desire for ‘honest, clear thinking’. To modernize the armed forces having cleared out ‘obsolete kit’ would imply replacing it with new (expensive) kit or does ‘modernize’ mean fewer regulars and tiny numbers of advanced equipment?
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Old 11th Sep 2021, 14:01
  #765 (permalink)  
 
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If he means obsolescent, then there are even wider implications.
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Old 11th Sep 2021, 17:54
  #766 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post
Slightly strange comment as I recall relations between US and UK were pretty good, albeit behind the scenes initially. The State Dept was less keen, but the Pentagon and WH were supportive.
Mrs Thatcher thought that the US ought to have come out in overt support of the UK rather sooner than it did; Al Haig was on the receiving end of at least one handbagging about it, as was the President. Although the full record is now released thanks to the UK version being declassified, the Reagan library uploaded a transcript of a telephone call between POTUS and the PM, redacting Mrs T's contribution to the conversation. Most of the document was redacted, with occasional interjections along the lines of, 'Yes, Margaret, but...' and 'But, Margaret...' (ellipses signify the point at which President Reagan ceased to get a word in edgeways...).

There were a few MPs who muttered in the direction of the ambassador that the Americans couldn't be relied upon, which left the poor chap feeling a bit bruised (given that he knew Cap Weinberger had adopted a 'I don't give a damn what State thinks' approach and was sending eye-wateringly large amounts of material support to Ascension.
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Old 12th Sep 2021, 09:18
  #767 (permalink)  
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Problem was that there were several different constituencies in the USA - none of whom thought the FI were important at all.

Some of State were determined to build a non-communist Latin America, some were "Atlanticists", the president didn't know and didn't care, the electorate & the media likewise

It was clear they never got their heads around the importance Argentina and the UK ascribed to the conflict.

Most of the US military sort of backed the UK - they hadn't anywhere near the same interests, history or contacts invested in Argentina
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Old 12th Sep 2021, 15:17
  #768 (permalink)  
 
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In fairness just before the first reassertion of British sovereignty the US did forcibly remove all the (soon to be) resident Argentinians from the Falklands and destroyed their property and arms. Maybe the US were a little concerned by our lack of attentiveness when we managed to lose it again nearly 150 years later.
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Old 12th Sep 2021, 15:24
  #769 (permalink)  
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"The source said Johnson wanted “honest, clear thinking” and a clearing out of obsolete kit, a changing of working patterns and modernising all the forces “properly” to save money."

I suspect it's the last bit of the statement that is the most important in Whitehall
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Old 14th Sep 2021, 09:13
  #770 (permalink)  
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https://bfpg.co.uk/2021/09/uk-china-relations-2021/



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Old 14th Sep 2021, 20:46
  #771 (permalink)  
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Now we get the pitch from the second man angling for the top job (post #762)…

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/m...guns-92qq9cx7d

Military ‘needs to focus more on gadgets and coding than guns’

The military needs more “Qs”, the gadget specialist portrayed in the James Bond films, than “007s”, according to the general in charge of cyber and special forces.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, head of strategic command, said that the future of warfare needed to focus much less on conventional capabilities and more on the digital age. Speaking at the opening of the DSEI arms fair, he said: “I have more need of Q than I do 007 or M.”

M is the fictional head of the Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, as played by Dame Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes in the recent films.

Sanders, who is in the running to replace General Sir Nick Carter as head of the armed forces, said that “equal value and equal status” should be afforded to computer scientists, data engineers and cyberoperators as it is to the “traditional warrior elite”.

He wanted coding and data literacy to be seen as a core skill in the same way as weapon handling. He said the security outlook was “more perilous” than it was two years ago, with the UK facing a twin spectre of “emboldened jihadi terrorists” and a “growing authoritarian zeitgeist” not seen since the 1930s.

China’s military operations have shifted from the concentration of forces to information systems, including the creation of autonomous swarms, Sanders said. If the UK military does not adapt to compete with such technological innovations, then “we will at best become exquisite but irrelevant, and at worst we will die”.

He acknowledged that in order to adapt, soldiers would need to be educated and trained to have the skills required to compete with adversaries such as Russia and China.

“We will have to address the skills gap through attracting far more diverse talent, by inward investment so that coding and data literacy are seen as being as much a core skill as weapon handling.”……

Last edited by ORAC; 14th Sep 2021 at 21:02.
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Old 14th Sep 2021, 20:50
  #772 (permalink)  
 
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So "the pen is mightier than the sword" becomes "a line of code is mightier than (insert weapon of choice)" ? Hmm...
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Old 15th Sep 2021, 07:19
  #773 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post

He wanted coding and data literacy to be seen as a core skill in the same way as weapon handling.
That's me proper fecked then.
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