Referring to Mr Brownâ€™s speech at the International Institute of Strategic Studies the officer said that following Gen McChrystalâ€™s speech â€œcan I say how much more confidence I now have in my chain of command than I had after Prime Minister Gordon Brown was here a couple of weeks ago.â€
Devil's advocate 1, her question; she asked if she could make a statement.
Devils advocate 2, she's referring to a period in time, not how Broon spread his wisdom around when he visited the IISS.
That there is surprise/outrage that in a forum such as the IISS, officers critique the Grand and Military Strategic level of warfare (that's what is being suggested) demonstrates a bone-headedness at a hitherto unreached level.
She didn't say, unless there is more, that Broon is ill equipped to lead a country whether at war or not. She was talking to the general, not the media. Its wider currency is no different from the a newshound recording the rants against Broon and co that go on in the Ship Anson. AB Bloggs tells 3D mess that since talking to the CO, he's more confident in the chain of command than he was when SoS visited last week. That the media scurried away rat like to sensationalise the exchange is worthy of the outrage bus being warmed up, not what she said.
seenofteefccuk, did you watch the Q&A and make up your mind or did you just latch on to the spin the press put on the officer's comments. The media removed context and a line of questioning before the general's reply.
Yes she did speak up.
she gave her opinion. this is more than most officers do.
just because she didnt say it directly to the press does not mean she didnt speak up.
There are a number of fora where serving personnel can voice their opinions, publicaly and privately. IISS is one with a fairly healthy track record of allowing it.
One can quite reasonably disagree with the actions that our political masters wish us to carry out, to the extent of refusing to carry out an order that is clearly illegal. Of course there are going to be issues around interpretation there, what is illegal and what is not.
If one objects strongly enough to a legal order then one may subsequently resign, although the order should be carried out.
The questions asked is perfectly reasonable, and in terms of IISS debate fairly mild.
IMO the problem with serving officers gobbing off in public is that their actions could well undermine moral within the ranks.
Personally I have more respect for those that I work with than to assume that they can't recognise that officers participating in debate about our strategic direction are not seeking to undermine morale. Perhaps that's a reflection of the type of people we have in the service. Thinking for oneself is positively encouraged.