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New Defence Review, higher or lower?

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New Defence Review, higher or lower?

Old 21st Sep 2022, 07:39
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New Defence Review, higher or lower?

Dear all,

You have all likely read in your Daily Paper today that the PM is going to order a Defence Review particularly driven by the current climate between the West and Russia/China. What do you reckon will be the likely outcome? A move toward expansion, by any small degree, and modernization? Or are you so used to the usual damp squib results of all the reviews since the early 90s you can't bring yourself to expect any different? Answers on a post on this thread!

FB
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 07:59
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It will be higher but then when the financial crunch comes in a year or so expect massive cancellations or delays
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 08:11
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
It will be higher but then when the financial crunch comes in a year or so expect massive cancellations or delays
Hmmm, I think you could be right young man, I'm impressed with your grasp of the political promise cycle and our nation's financial prospects, we've done it before. Apparently, also in the news this morning, Vlad the Mad has issued a nuclear strike warning which everyone appears to be taking quite seriously.

FB
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 11:14
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My prediction

I can only speak for my limited sphere and I know it’s not the party line (according to every VSO money is not the answer) but unless they increase the pay (or dramatically improve infrastructure and the overall package) there will be more aircraft than pilots.

BV
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 11:34
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy View Post
Dear all,

You have all likely read in your Daily Paper today that the PM is going to order a Defence Review particularly driven by the current climate between the West and Russia/China. What do you reckon will be the likely outcome? A move toward expansion, by any small degree, and modernization? Or are you so used to the usual damp squib results of all the reviews since the early 90s you can't bring yourself to expect any different? Answers on a post on this thread!

FB
They can pretty much include whatever they like, as by the the time the next review comes out in 2025ish nothing in this one will matter. Seriously, when was the last time a review actually came to fruition?
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 11:57
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It will be too little and too late. If push comes to shove we will have to go with what we have now, having suffered years of the Treasury taking the same "Peace Dividend" over and over again on the assumption there was never going to be another conflict.

I still smart from the time I was told to demilitarise my department as much as possible to save money without "any loss of output". When I challenged the order, I was told by my immediate superior, an Air Rank, there was never going to be another war and to get on with it. Six months later, in my next posting, I was required to submit names for personnel to be sent to Afghanistan, again "with no loss of output".
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 12:27
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A new defence review? Hmm, as Brenda from Bristol might put it, "Not another one?!"

I suspect it will be the loss of certain capabilities and equipment and a reduction in personnel, dressed up with a positive spin of realignment and rationalisation and other big words.
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 16:15
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Some bean counter of a politician will smugly spout spindrivel about “capability being maintained with a much lower budget, as there has been an ‘increase in natural wastage’ recently”. After all, many of our pre existing assets will have ‘gone east’ over the previous 6 months. There will be an increase in the D&I budget of course.

Sort of a ‘no-peace dividend’ then?



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Old 21st Sep 2022, 16:50
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Perhaps we saw virtually the whole of our armed forces on duty on Monday, padded out of course with Police and Scout contingents.
They did put on a fine, memorable show though.........
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 17:23
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If they have any sense they'll spend it all on properly supporting what they already have. More uniformed people, more pay for those people, more fuel and training hours for the aircraft, more weapons for the stockpiles, more aircraft to replace (not add to) the ones being flown way beyond assumed rates. In other words, make a decisive break with the fetishisation of 'best practices' around outsourcing and supply chain modernisation, both of which have had their weaknesses exposed in industry these past few years and were always of doubtful applicability to the armed forces.

Trouble is, none of that looks like an increase in capability for the money. There's no prizes for delivering sustainability. A couple of brand new, unsupported aircraft under a sham squadron numberplate it is, then ...
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 09:24
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They have to be big enough to paint a large Union flag on them tho'
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 14:16
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How about exchange tours for senior ranks with those in Ukraine? From the way they've handled things to date, they could teach our senior rankers a thing or two about getting things done.
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 14:37
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The UK has trained plenty of the Ukraine structure.

The difference there is 1. They're being invaded so they have an extreme and focussed purpose, 2. They get almost whatever they want for free (at point of sale) from NATO and other friends, 3. They had a bigger pile of (admittedly old and out of date stuff) to begin the fight with.

The downfall of the UK has been engineered over the past 35 years or so, it's not about to be turned around overnight.

I'd quite like to see a reasonable and believable energy security policy that puts generation on this island as the main priority, before taking a small part in the next cold war or pacific adventure.
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 15:12
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Well, if defence spending is set to rise over the next few years to 3% of GDP (which is the official position as of now, even if folk are sceptical as to whether it'll actually happen) then it makes sense to have a clear view on how best to spend it, without funding greater inefficiencies, and having regard to the current threat environment. Then again, many argue that the last ISDR's findings remain valid, Ukraine notwithstanding. Either way, any big windfall demands sound advice and careful thought, as opposed to a "spend spend Viv" response. So maybe a mix of a few immediate enhancements to address critical gaps, coupled with a longer term plan?
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 15:25
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Originally Posted by Frostchamber View Post
Well, if defence spending is set to rise over the next few years to 3% of GDP (which is the official position as of now, even if folk are sceptical as to whether it'll actually happen) then it makes sense to have a clear view on how best to spend it, without funding greater inefficiencies, and having regard to the current threat environment. Then again, many argue that the last ISDR's findings remain valid, Ukraine notwithstanding. Either way, any big windfall demands sound advice and careful thought, as opposed to a "spend spend Viv" response. So maybe a mix of a few immediate enhancements to address critical gaps, coupled with a longer term plan?
With GDP having fallen sharply since the Brexit vote and further still following Covid, and only now beginning to rise slightly ahead of projected stagnation in 2023 (PWC's prognosis, not mine), I wouldn't count on an increase in % of GDP spending actually resulting in more money to spend.
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 16:03
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Re-instatement of the two cancelled E-7s wouod be nice
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 16:24
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More boots on the ground/runway/deck would be nice. You can get a lot of well-equipped squaddies for the cost of an F35.
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 16:55
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Just changing the ethos of getting rid of the underspend on a budget in Feb/Mar because 'If we don't spend it, we won't get it next year' would be nice - plenty of money wasted doing just that across the board.
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 17:03
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Just changing the ethos of getting rid of the underspend on a budget in Feb/Mar because 'If we don't spend it, we won't get it next year' would be nice - plenty of money wasted doing just that across the board.
Been there, seen that. The LTC concept was sound in parts, but open to money just falling through the cracks. If you had a low hline item in the right Budget at year-end it was open season for waste!
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 21:14
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
With GDP having fallen sharply since the Brexit vote and further still following Covid, and only now beginning to rise slightly ahead of projected stagnation in 2023 (PWC's prognosis, not mine), I wouldn't count on an increase in % of GDP spending actually resulting in more money to spend.
I'm no mathematician so happy to be corrected, but I think GDP would need to collapse by something like 25% in order for 3% of GDP not to represent a real increase in defence spending over 2.2%. By comparison, the 2008 financial crisis resulted in a GDP reduction of a little over 6%. Of course any GDP reduction would trim the size of the spending increase, but if my rusty o-level maths is anywhere near correct we'd be approaching Mad Max territory before it wiped it out completely.
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