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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 18th Dec 2019, 15:54
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BVRAAM View Post
In which case, it's for the Secretary of State for Defence and his Ministers to lead any such review.
If memory serves, all Ministers in the MOD have a military background, including Mr. Wallace, himself. They will therefore have a more realistic idea of the needs of the Services to prevent wastage. The Department has wasted billions in cancelled projects and delay, it can't continue but it must be looked at by those who know what they're doing.

Cummings was good for BREXIT (I may be biased) but he is not a smart choice for something so critical to our way of life.
Iím afraid I disagree completely with your thoughts on the military backgrounds of MOD ministers. There are very few individuals in the military with the breadth of knowledge that would be useful to a minister and most of them are very senior officers of the sort who donít tend to reappear as politicians. Having been a major or a lieutenant 10 or 15 years ago is damn near irrelevant and perhaps even risks bringing out-of-date preconceived ideas into an environment of perpetual inter-service rivalry. To be fair, most ex-military ministers are keenly aware of this and play down their service.

As to Cummings, well, I tend to agree that he wonít get very far with an acquisition review. But thatís not where I think the problem lies. The problem is in how the National Security apparatus (which includes the MOD, Cabinet Office, security services, FCO and No10) strategises, plans and prioritises. What is Britainís place in the world? What do we need our forces to be able to do? What can we afford them to do, at what readiness and from what industrial base? Those are more political than military questions and Cummings, a disciple of Bismarck, understands that implicitly. The last couple of Defence reviews have not grappled properly with them, being more about electioneering (eg Army of 82,000), balancing the books (2010) and balancing single-service interests (2015).

Sir Mark Sedwill tried to crack this nut with his National Security Capabilities Review but Theresa May was too weak to prevent Gavin Williamson from splitting Defence off into its own completely inconsequential mini-review last year. The difference now is that Cummings has carte blanche to come in and call the Emperor (or Admiral or industry CEO...) naked, while having been thought likely to go to Washington as Ambassador, Sedwill is now staying put and reportedly on the same page as Cummings. Having those two working together puts paid to any notion of institutional resistance by MOD. And there are military people in the Department who positively welcome the opportunity for a long-overdue rinse through of exactly what we need and what we get from the billions we spend on Defence. Bring it on, I say.
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 08:39
  #102 (permalink)  
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"Times" trailing another £1 Bn overspend at the MoD - I'm beginning to see a pattern here - someone at the paper is clearly being fed all sorts of views and news to "set the scene" for the SDR

Shirley not Mr Cummings?
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 10:52
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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HM The Queen has just announced an integrated foreign policy, defence and security review in her speech at the state opening of Parliament. So, just a little bit bigger than DE&S process...
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 11:53
  #104 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
HM The Queen has just announced an integrated foreign policy, defence and security review in her speech at the state opening of Parliament. So, just a little bit bigger than DE&S process...
........ and that in itself could be very interesting as, often, the decisions taken in other areas result in changes which then DE&S and the Services (and Industry) have to rapidly gather up and stuff into a programme and make work - somehow. Again, individuals at the production level want to make things work and deliver (and sometimes stumble over) but, often, the curve-balls in from one or other wing means that the carefully planned shot at the goal needs to be hastily replanned. So the well-rehearsed, "low-risk", sure-footed strike into the net becomes a major but rather unseemly "high risk" scramble, sliding about in the mud and having to use the wrong foot to beat the goalie ahead of the Refs whistle which is about to be blown as the match has just been cut short by 10 minutes. The problems are really at both the macro and micro levels - always have been. The answer? Nah, Bank Account still empty - H 'n' H has still not found the answer!
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 16:12
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BVRAAM View Post
Cummings was good for BREXIT (I may be biased) but he is not a smart choice for something so critical to our way of life.
Our economy is not critical but defense is? Good luck with that viewpoint.

Cumming is part of the deal we voted for, like it or lump it, its too late to get picky.

https://dominiccummings.com/an-index...ticles-papers/

Last edited by peter we; 19th Dec 2019 at 16:57.
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 18:19
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by peter we View Post
Our economy is not critical but defense is? Good luck with that viewpoint.

Cumming is part of the deal we voted for, like it or lump it, its too late to get picky.
Is that the Royal WE, Peter?

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Old 19th Dec 2019, 20:13
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
HM The Queen has just announced an integrated foreign policy, defence and security review in her speech at the state opening of Parliament. So, just a little bit bigger than DE&S process...
Foreign policy as well? Interesting.

Iran's about to buy a bunch of WMDs then..........allegedly.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 07:25
  #108 (permalink)  
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I hope any review starts with the idea that the UK can't go and fight the Iranians, or the Chinese. These are manifestations of believing the UK still has an Empire.

What will be needed is a lot of Fisheries Protection vessels to keep Spanish fisherman at bay and illegal migrants coming from a France that will be less motivated to help
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 12:15
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Direct quote from Ben Wallace outside the House of Commons just now'

"The military will have to cut it's cloth to meet it's ambitions."

There you have it, another Tory Options for change, Front Line First, Defence Costs Study capability cutting review is on the way and they've only just got back to the house!

With the fifth largest economy on the planet and one of the largest defence budgets in the world we still cannot maintain the hugely reduced capabilities we have. The MoD budget must be one of the most scandalous examples of waste of taxpayers money ever. Dominic Cummings will have his work cut out.

So all you Tory voters, how many capability(s) do you think you will lose first and what will they be.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 12:47
  #110 (permalink)  
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"The military will have to cut it's cloth to meet it's ambitions."

and there was me thinking it was the Politicians who keep banging on about freedom of movement in the S China Sea and taking on the Chinese and opening bases in the Gulf again............... and it was clearly the Top Brass all the time...........
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 13:59
  #111 (permalink)  

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"The military will have to cut it's cloth to meet it's ambitions."
Is it just me who thinks that statement doesn't make sense? Surely one cuts one's cloth, or ambitions, to meet one's purse.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 14:36
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Direct quote from Ben Wallace outside the House of Commons just now'

"The military will have to cut it's cloth to meet it's ambitions."

There you have it, another Tory Options for change, Front Line First, Defence Costs Study capability cutting review is on the way and they've only just got back to the house!

With the fifth largest economy on the planet and one of the largest defence budgets in the world we still cannot maintain the hugely reduced capabilities we have. The MoD budget must be one of the most scandalous examples of waste of taxpayers money ever. Dominic Cummings will have his work cut out.

So all you Tory voters, how many capability(s) do you think you will lose first and what will they be.

Well, you lefties weaponised the NHS, forcing the Conservatives to enshrine a whopping £34Bn in law - an utterly ridiculous sum that wasn't needed, which could have partly gone on defence. But here we are.....

The point is that we have a finite budget and political pressure should not be the single decider on how money is spent, if we want to avoid damaging cuts to vital services such as Defence.

Last edited by BVRAAM; 20th Dec 2019 at 16:35.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 14:45
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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I'd settle for working heating after the second winter without any at work.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 15:48
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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Asturias56 and Herod - agreed. SofSís statement (as quoted) was nonsensical, which rather confirms my earlier point about a military background not being a reliable indicator of ministerial competence. It doesn't bode well for coherence of the supposed integrated review; the level of ambition should be certainly be dictated to MOD by Government and the HM Treasury-supplied cloth is cut into service-sized chunks by MOD, not the services themselves. If SofS thinks the services are guilty of pursuing their own narrow interests, he is more than capable of constraining them should he wish to do so.

On the other hand, perhaps SofS is just playing cynical politics, setting the services up to be seen as cutting themselves so that the Government doesn't have to take the blame. I can easily imagine Cummings spinning a line such as 'the Army actively wanted to reduce its headcount to 60,000 due to recent advances in training methods and equipment automation' and ruthlessly discrediting any retired general who dared to disagree...

Last edited by Easy Street; 20th Dec 2019 at 16:45.
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Old 20th Dec 2019, 16:38
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
Asturias56 and Herod - agreed. SofSís statement (as quoted) was nonsensical, which rather confirms my earlier point about a military background not being a reliable indicator of ministerial competence. It doesn't bode well for coherence of the supposed integrated review; the level of ambition should be certainly be dictated to MOD by Government and the HM Treasury-supplied cloth is cut into service-sized chunks by MOD, not the services themselves. If SofS thinks the services are guilty of pursuing their own narrow interests, he is more than capable of constraining them should he wish to do so.

On the other hand, perhaps SofS is just playing cynical politics, setting the services up to been seen as cutting themselves so that the Government doesn't have to take the blame. I can easily imagine Cummings spinning a line such as 'the Army actively wanted to reduce its headcount to 60,000 due to recent advances in training methods and equipment automation' and ruthlessly discrediting any retired general who dared to disagree...
I hadn't thought of that.

Makes sense - they've done it before......
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Old 21st Dec 2019, 01:24
  #116 (permalink)  
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I'm sure the Govt promised the £ 38 Bn for the NHS as it was the minimum they thought they could get away with in the election campaign.

Sadly it is clear that the SDR is going to be another round of cuts - perhaps not in cash terms (probably +3%) but in roles & capabilities. I don't see that there is any sign of an open mind here or the glimmerings of the idea that maybe, just maybe, the Great British Public would support paying more for defence if it was properly explained to them.
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Old 21st Dec 2019, 09:10
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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Asturia,

You're depressingly quite right, yet again, not a mention anywhere, not in any paper or journal of National Security and Defence. Just snippets about counter-Terrorism and Police powers I think got a mention. Nothing at all about actual Defence concerns, Foreign policy, the future blend of manned weapons and automation etc. Whether there is likely to be additional personnel recruited, additional units? Hah! But if something dramatic does transpire, it'll be the hot topic and how the Tories are worse at defence than Labour really! The Tories are too scared to compare defence requirements with the NHS, DHSS, climate change, education etc, even when a landslide comes their way because they fear they've been elected to deliver something closer to a socialist manifesto.

Plus there is every reason to suspect that the conservative party today hold defence in as low a regard as the left do. They're just concerned with avoiding spending money and privatizing what they can get away with.

FB

PS

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...can-ask-money/

Last edited by Finningley Boy; 21st Dec 2019 at 09:25.
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Old 21st Dec 2019, 09:29
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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So Dominic Cummings will be having a major say in the defence restructuring.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/brexi...e1i?li=BBoPWjQ

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Old 21st Dec 2019, 13:27
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Originally Posted by Onceapilot View Post
Is that the Royal WE, Peter?

OAP
Nope, we is in the country. I voted against the nut job.
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Old 21st Dec 2019, 15:15
  #120 (permalink)  
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Here's the report from the Torygraph - thanks Nut (it's really not a nice read...)
____________________________________________________________ ________________________________

The Armed Forces Chiefs have each been given one priority to fix before the MoD can ask the Treasury for more money, the Defence secretary has said. The availability of ships, army recruitment and the length of time to train fighter jet pilots were singled out as areas requiring the biggest improvements across Britain’s military forces. Ben Wallace said his department had to “cut our cloth to match our ambition” and told the three service heads “your appetite has to match your stomach”.

Speaking on the Political Thinking podcast with Nick Robinson, the Defence Secretary said he had given each of the service chiefs a very clear priority. The First Sea Lord has been told “get what you’ve got, working,” a reference to the engine problems suffered by the Royal Navy’s Type-45 Destroyers. The Defence Secretary said he would be “laughed out of the building” by the Treasury if he sought extra money for more ships without fixing the existing problems in the fleet. An MoD spokesman said HMS Dauntless will be the first vessel through a “propulsion improvement programme” which is due to start in early 2020.

The head of the army, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, has been told to improve recruitment, after recent figures showed only around 74,000 soldiers were “fully trade trained” from a requirement of 82,000. “What’s the point of new infantry armoured vehicles,” the Defence Secretary asked, “if there’s no-one to go in the back of them?”.

Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, the head of the Royal Air Force, has been told to fix the system for training new fighter pilots. Referring to a “glut of about 250 trainee pilots” Ben Wallace said it is currently taking around seven years to train new pilots, instead of the expected three years. “By that time half of them say ‘I’m off to fly for Ryanair’,” he said. An MoD spokesman said: "We have sufficient numbers of aircrew to meet our current front line operational commitments. The Military Flying Training System is the biggest transformation of UK military aircrew training in a generation. Although we acknowledge there have been some challenges, the transition to the new system is now well underway and a steady improvement in aircrew throughput is being seen in all areas."

The Defence Secretary said it was “accepted across the board” that the last Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in 2015 had not been funded correctly, leaving a “shortfall of money” in Defence. His department had to show it had “sorted out our house” if it wanted to secure more money in future spending rounds, he said. Responding to reports Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s adviser, is considering leading a reform of the MoD having described the military procurement process as a “farce” Mr Wallace said: “Dom is full of amazing ideas where he has spotted loads of improvements in things like infrastructure improvement and technology procurement. I’m incredibly supportive of what he’s been talking about. “He’s keen to explore some of the challenges.”

Defence experts say the anticipated review in 2020 could be “a true reflection of an SDSR rather than the series of updates that we’ve had of late. The 2010 and 2015 reviews were seen to have been driven by the “financial envelope” they were forced to fit into, according to former Rear Admiral Simon Williams. However, R Adm Williams worries a review led by the MoD would be dismissed as outdated thinking, and that the Prime Minister’s advisers think “we can be much smarter than they are. The problem is that everybody is an armchair expert in the business of defence,” he said.

R Adm Williams suggested a review of, for example, the health service would be conducted by people with “knowledge” and “experience” of the subject, rather than an unelected official. Dominic Cummings is a “shot across the bows” of the MoD, according to security experts. Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute, said: “The strategic significance of the Cummings intervention is a signal to the MoD: ‘we don’t think you’re very efficient, so if you ask for more money you’ll have to find more savings yourself’. Historically one of the strongest weapons No. 10 and the Cabinet Office have with the MoD in budgetary discussions is to say ‘you guys don’t really have your [stuff] together so you’re not going to get any more money until you do get it together. Once they accept the MoD is running things as well as they can, then they address the capability requirements and the threat. On that terrain No. 10 and the Treasury are on weaker ground politically, but not the inefficiency ground. It puts the MoD on the defensive and does play into the spending round dialogue.”

The Defence Secretary's comments come as a House of Commons paper released this week said a decision will be needed next year about replacing the nuclear warhead used in Britain's Trident missiles. The current warhead is expected to retire in the late 2030s, but a decision to start planning for a replacement needs to be made in the next few months.
A 2006 White Paper suggested the warhead replacement programme would cost around £2-3 billion (in 2006 prices). A decision on the warhead programme was delayed in the 2010 Defence review.
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