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 Post subject: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:28 am 
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Inward groans have to be suppressed as we read more ill-informed opinion, dressed up as analysis – this later helping from William Rees-Mogg in today's Times. Thus does he reach down to us lesser mortals to deliver ex cathedra pronouncements on the Gray report, offering nothing but the most profound ignorance.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:48 am 
Why the bloody hell are people never mentioning the government's plan to privatise military training to the tune of 12 BILLION POUNDS - that is how much the damn thing will cost! If they are to save money anywhere it is canceling this ridiculous thing which no one wants except the defence companies.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:59 am 
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13th Spitfire wrote:
Why the bloody hell are people never mentioning the government's plan to privatise military training to the tune of 12 BILLION POUNDS - that is how much the damn thing will cost! If they are to save money anywhere it is canceling this ridiculous thing which no one wants except the defence companies.


Totally under the radar, that one ... I've never been able to make up my mind whether it is good or bad ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009 ... ject-delay

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/About ... cises/DTR/

The headline figure of £12 billion is somewhat misleading ... the contract duration is 30 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:06 am 
Lets not imagine this is a new problem. My father was a production controller for Vickers Supermarine. He used to say that his major problem was the Min of Supply & Air Ministry people infesting his production line. If they had their way every aircraft would have been different causing huge problems for the RN & RAF when they came to operate them.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:16 am 
Yes but the time of the contract is not of such great importance. Of course if you spread out 12 billion pounds over twelve years it amounts to very little. However the results is what is of importance. Effectively we will be left with armed forces that are trained by private defence companies. Companies who supply their own doctrine for the training soldiers solely for profiteering. What is more since we are so entangled in protectionist procurement at the expense of the troops do we really want to follow suit with training of military personnel? That is to say; defence companies run the show at the moment that is why the MoD is what it is, not fit for purpose.

What I find slightly more sinister however is that there seems to be a drive to privatise every single department of the MoD ...

DERA
Defence Support Services Division (DSSD)
.
.
.

Are we to draw the line when we hire entire armies to fight our wars?


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:37 am 
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Are we to draw the line when we hire entire armies to fight our wars?


Am I not right in suggesting that that is exactly what we used to do...and with some success?
If there was fighting to be done, although we were not averse to getting stuck in ourselves we drew heavily on, what was then, Empire manpower...without which we could not have prevailed. Even Rome couldn't have survived if its legions consisted only of Italians.
We still 'hire' Gurkhas do we not?
Let us not get too finicky or moralistic about whom we employ to get a job done properly.
If one could safely hire a few divisions from some cash-strapped country, then all well & good.

As for privatisation, I think it is generally agreed that the private sector is more efficient than the public...it works for a profit (like any sensible entity) & doesn't reward the waste, inefficiency & profligacy of the public sector which has inexhaustable resources (i.e.your pocket) & is answerable to no-one and, probably the most important & disastrous factor, it has no competition.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:38 am 
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Vulcan99 wrote:
Lets not imagine this is a new problem. My father was a production controller for Vickers Supermarine. He used to say that his major problem was the Min of Supply & Air Ministry people infesting his production line. If they had their way every aircraft would have been different causing huge problems for the RN & RAF when they came to operate them.


Procurement snafus go back to the Crimea and before ... in fact, I bet King Arthur had difficulties with main gate definition on his round table - it was probably late and over-budget, with a specification that originally required it to be square.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:40 pm 
"Procurement snafus go back to the Crimea and before"

Indeed, if one reads the novels of O'Brien & Cornwell, the attitude of the MoD and its predecessors hasn't changed much either. I think it is always to be born in mind that the MoD is run by the civil service not the military. And my experience was that neither lot cared much for the other.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:57 pm 
permanentexpat wrote:
Quote:
Are we to draw the line when we hire entire armies to fight our wars?


Am I not right in suggesting that that is exactly what we used to do...and with some success?
If there was fighting to be done, although we were not averse to getting stuck in ourselves we drew heavily on, what was then, Empire manpower...without which we could not have prevailed. Even Rome couldn't have survived if its legions consisted only of Italians.
We still 'hire' Gurkhas do we not?
Let us not get too finicky or moralistic about whom we employ to get a job done properly.
If one could safely hire a few divisions from some cash-strapped country, then all well & good.

As for privatisation, I think it is generally agreed that the private sector is more efficient than the public...it works for a profit (like any sensible entity) & doesn't reward the waste, inefficiency & profligacy of the public sector which has inexhaustable resources (i.e.your pocket) & is answerable to no-one and, probably the most important & disastrous factor, it has no competition.


With some success? You are talking about mercenaries. You are suggesting that we are to disband the entire British Army which has stood it grounds for centuries in favour of mercenaries? Well, let me draw your attention to Blackwater of America when they, out of many incidents, gunned down 17 Iraqis without as much as a slap on the hand. Why? Because there are no legal structures for dealing with private armies. If a real army, say the British, had followed suit then they would be in hot water indeed.

If you want a private army you have a massive problem in that the soldiers on bear allegiance to one thing; money.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:38 pm 
Well, we had such units for many years. Why not resurrect the Assyrian Rifles, East African Rifles and so on? Mind you, it didn't do the Roman Empire much good in the very long run.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:12 pm 
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13thSpitfire writes:
Quote:
You are suggesting that we are to disband the entire British Army which has stood it grounds for centuries in favour of mercenaries?

As you should be well aware I suggested no such thing.
Vulcan99 writes:
Quote:
Mind you, it didn't do the Roman Empire much good in the very long run.

Suffering catfish...how long a run do you want? They did a tad better than us...but we both left a helluva lot for posterity.

Mercenaries only have allegiance to money PDT_Armataz_01_23 (I am shocked!)
UK citizens who work for foreign companies are altruists?

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: mercenary
Top Home > Library > Miscellaneous > Britannica Concise Encyclopedia

Hired professional soldier who fights for any state or nation without regard to political principles. From the earliest days of organized warfare, governments supplemented their military forces with mercenaries. After the Hundred Years' War (1337 – 1453), Swiss soldiers were hired out all over Europe by their own cantonal governments and won a high reputation. Rulers of the German state of Hesse also hired out their soldiers, and Hessian troops fought for the British in the American Revolution. Since the late 18th century, most mercenaries have been individual soldiers of fortune.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:32 pm 
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We could do worse ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandline_International

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:56 pm 
In the Gurkhas we combined being a mercenary with loyalty to the Crown. Must be other regiments we could raise. I only mentioned the Roman Empire because they also recruited outside Italy.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:36 pm 
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Vulcan99 wrote:
In the Gurkhas we combined being a mercenary with loyalty to the Crown. Must be other regiments we could raise. I only mentioned the Roman Empire because they also recruited outside Italy.


My view is that we should be considering this for Afghanistan. What we should be doing is using the Ghurka (or Indian Army) model - raising our own Afghan regiments, fully integrated into the British Army, so that we can train, equip and control them.

We start with British officers and NCOs and then we can either use the regiments to trickle-feed ANA regiments or, when they are ready and have their own officers and NCOs in place, hand them over to the Afghani government as fully-fledged fighting formations. If they are formed on the basis that they will be handed over to an agreed timetable, there should not be any sovereignty issues. And, for each fully-formed, effective formation we commission into the ANA, we can reduce our own troop levels by an agreed number. Do the same for the Air Force and that is our exit strategy.

There is a relatively recent precedent for this with the police as well, using the Hong Kong Police model ... again originally officered by the British, with locals promoted through the ranks to take over. This is certainly the model for the ANP.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking from ignorance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:51 pm 
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Quote:
by Vulcan99 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:56 pm

In the Gurkhas we combined being a mercenary with loyalty to the Crown. Must be other regiments we could raise. I only mentioned the Roman Empire because they also recruited outside Italy.


Youn are correct about the Gurkhas...they are, if only by tradition, a very special case.

In the American Revolutionary War, a number of Hessian mercenaries, mostly deserters, appended their names or marks to the following document.
It is abundantly clear, within the first few lines, that the Hessians had sworn allegiance to GeorgeIII

Quote:
“We the subscribers do swear (or affirm) that I renounce and refuse all allegiance to George the third, King of Great Britain, his heirs and successors, and that I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to the commonwealth of Pensylvania as a free and Independent State, and that I will not at any time do or cause to be done any matter or thing that will be prejudicial or injurious to the freedom and Independence thereof, as declared by Congress; and, also, that I will discover and make known to some one Justice of the Peace of this state, all treasons or traitorous conspiracies which I now know or hereafter shall know, to be formed against this or any of the United States of America.

It was obviouly not unusual that paid mercenaries should also swear an oath of allegiance.

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