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Gordon Brown fails Forces, say experts

Daily Telegraph link here.

The Armed Forces are in a state of "chronic disrepair" because of a failure by Gordon Brown to provide adequate funding, leading military and diplomatic figures warn... A report from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) expresses particular concern over the plight of the Royal Navy, with ministers accused of "sea blindness" amid warnings the size of the fleet will rapidly "shrink in size"...

As evidenced by the explosion of quangos, consultants hired at inordinate cost and the contracting-out to commercial organisations of training, logistics and maintenance, this government appears to believe that the necessary equipment, infrastructure and expertise can always be 'bought in' if and when the need arises. It fails to appreciate that this does not work for our Armed Forces. High capital cost items like warships and submarines (and the fighting capability of the people who man them) can not be produced or regenerated overnight. We will only remain an effective fighting force if we have sufficient properly-equpped vessels and train continuously against the latest threats. Our new ships may be more capable but so are those of any potential enemy. As things stand, critical mass has been lost in far too many areas already.

The reduction from 54 to 29 frigates and destroyers over the past 20 years is bad enough but worse is yet to come. The current government has grudgingly ordered six destroyers and no frigates during its entire tenure. As things stand, these six Type 45s (instead of the 12 mandated by the 1998 Strategic Defence Review) will enter service by 2017 but the Royal Navy will have lost all eight of its remaining Type 42 air defence destroyers. Any of the four remaining Type 22 frigates still in service will be at least 29 years old and any of the 13 remaining Type 23 frigates will be at least 16 years old.

The Royal Navy, with its trained and experienced personnel, is part of our national insurance policy. We should not skimp on the premiums.
I'm afraid it's the consequence of voting a bunch of ex CND student communists into power. This Government could fcuk anything up, just imagine what would have happened if they inherited a country with a stable economy and healthy gold reserves...........

Brown has always despised the armed forces, I'm sure he has a hangover about the fact that they are pretty damn good at what they do but in general have conservative leanings.
I am grateful to Silver Fox for drawing our attention to this article in The Economist on a similar theme. It, too, provides an embarrassingly gloomy forecast of our future as a maritime nation, dependent on the sea for 95% of our imports and exports by volume. Who is going to protect them if we can't?


War Hero
Naval_Gazer said:
I am grateful to Silver Fox for drawing our attention to this article in The Economist on a similar theme.

There have been quite a few articles in the Economist on a similar theme for some time now, they're appearing every two to three weeks, although with different emphases.

Our ability to influence in Afghanistan in the long term, due to our own lack of sustainability and resilience, is a main theme.
The reality is that for much of the last 60 odd years almost every government has underfunded the services. Yes there was a period under Maggie when spending was better, but that was wholly down to firstly the Argies catching Maggie with her knickers down, and secondly to Ronnie Raygun realising that he could break the USSR financially if he upped the arms race (and he did it very well) and persuading Maggie to sign up to it. If these two things had not happened it is likely that there would have been very litte RN for Blair/Brown to screw up any way.
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