Mail: "Fox takes his spending axe to Forces 'Ferrero Rocher Club'"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by soleil, Jan 16, 2011.

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  1. Makes sense to me
  2. Like any economy measure I would hope (perhaps forelornly) that this is driven by a proper cost/benefit analysis.

    I'm all for cost cutting but this seems too simplistic - Would this not destroy the 'Like for like' in such billets overseas and thus devalue our already diminishing influence and credibility?

    No good us having a mere 'Naval/Military Spokesperson' when their opposite numbers in adjacent embassies would be outranking them by several stripes/pips. Mind you, I'm sure that a few S/Rs or WOs would relish the enviable task of minesweeping at the F-R CPs in the Democratic Republics of BongoBongoLand :mrgreen:
  3. Excellent, so the term "defence diplomacy" means nothing to this report. Attaches, of every service are quite often the only contact a country will have with the UK's Armed Forces, with the resultant ability for us to influence them, and in turn for them to pass on information and contacts to us. Like it or not, people respect rank - a Cdre or Capt RN will get into places and meetings a Lt RN will never ever hear about, let alone speak at.

    I hope this report isn't true, but I fear it will be.....
  4. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Fatuous (leave alone the populist reporting). Breather's finger is right on it. In such and such a country we field a Major and everyone else puts up a Brigadier - who gets listened to? Quite apart from ensuring that the officers we send have sufficient experience and education (eg Staff course etc) to do the job. Does Fox expect these lucky junior officers to pay for official entertaining out of their own pocket? Are their children to go to a local school run in a language they don't speak?
  5. Yet another manifestation of today's "price of everything, value of nothing" lobby. When we priced our foreign training out of the market, it did untold damage to our defence equipment sales, relationships with other countries' forces and our knowledge of the kit, training, tactics and other capabilities of our allies and potential enemies. Similar knowledge is gleaned by our defence attachés serving abroad and any dilution of their influence will be another own goal as far as 'defence diplomacy' is concerned. No senior foreign officer is likely to divulge any confidences, discuss his country's defence & foreign policy intentions or seek advice about possible equipment purchases with a lower-ranking British officer in an informal setting. Our national interests will suffer as a result.
  6. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Bang on NG. A big part of the attache's job is to keep his eyes and ears open but the more senior and experienced he is, the more he will understand of what he sees and hears (though our NA in BA in early 82 didn't do too well accordin g to Nick Barker). We're going to get what we pay for.
  7. I must say I am surprised that so many think there is nothing wrong with having highly paid senior officers loafing around in foreign embassies running up huge wage and expense bills while wringing your hands in despair at the cuts being made to useful troops much lower down the pecking order.Does the notion that they may pick up a nugget of information now and again justify their need when balanced against what the money could be usefully spent on lower down the food chain.The UK worldwide ambitions are clearly(to me anyway) much less now than even a few years ago I say cut your cloth to suit your pocket.
  8. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Why should senior officers get senior officers' jobs?

    If there is any truth in this 'initiative' it'll get bounced.....surely. For the reasons above and scores more the capability gap will be directly proportional to the credibility gap.

    Slim wrote
    Does it still make sense?

    If there is any truth in this 'initiative' it'll get bounced very hard by the FCO. For the reasons above and scores more the capability gap will be directly proportional to the credibility gap.

    The don't. They operate out of UK Embassies and High Commissions. Knowing what attaches do and where they do it is half way to understanding why they are necessary at the level (seniority) they are. Or are you going to make a case for the posts being withing the capability of a Lieutenant / Lieutenant Commander or even a PO why not a Leading Hand fluent in Japanese to represent the RN in Tokyo...for example? He'd need to be on first name terms with the Naval Base Commanders and their first names are not 'Sir'.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  9. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    I recall an RNR PO back during TELIC who did immense good in a certain middle eastern country, and who got a CINCFLEET commendation for his work. The only way he was able to be so effective with the host nation was by making said PO a local acting and unpaid Commander, as that was the level the locals would do business with.

    A lot of the time, the rank is essential if you want to be taken seriously by the nation - in ISAF SO1 is seen as entry level for many posts, regardless of whether its an SO1 or SO3 role...
  10. Why would he have to be on first name terms ? Addressing someone by their rank is sufficient. I'm with Fishhead on this one.
    Limited resouces....cut your world a word 'CHANGE'....accept it, it's the 21st century..... days of the Raj are over.
  11. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    He wouldn't. What I meant was (and I hoped was understood) is that co-equal status with those with whom attaches conduct day to day business contribute to getting things done. It may be that they already know each other; they may have been on a ACSC / HCSC together. Networking plays its part. Old boys? Hell yes. Put young boys in post they'll be comparing nipple piercings.

    The FCO await your cost benefit analysis with interest.
  12. For Slim, Fishead and Flagdeck

    Indeed, but we now have to change to work much harder earning our living as UK Plc:

    <<The defence industry earns £5bn in export sales each year and creates £227m in value for every £100m invested, a report by Oxford Economics states.>> at Trade Minister Lord Green refuses to back UK arms industry - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Finance

    Dated only a week ago that article also states:

    <<Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, the Trade Minister, has refused to take on the role of promoting the £35bn British arms industry.

    Civil servants are working on a compromise ahead of the former HSBC (LSE: HSBA.L - news) chairman, who is an ordained Anglican priest, formally taking up his post next week.

    Lord Green’s decision, taken for what are thought to be “ethical” concerns, is likely to spark anger within the defence industry, which employs 300,000 people.

    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had promised more ministerial support to drive exports to try to offset domestic defence spending cuts.>>

    Sooo - It doesn't need an economics degree to see that the unwritten 'Salesmanship' TORs of our Military Diplomatic Staff will become much more significant in closing defence sales deals now that this new 'Trade Minister' has pulled his pram out of that earning arena.

    Alternatively, perhaps you can identify all of the in zone 'Arfur Daley' two and a halves for these appointments instead?
    That might just work...... :Roll of bloodshot Eyes:
  13. Probably stems from press enquiries attempting to ascertain how Military Attaches are appointed and by whom. The "Gash Hand" principle raised its head. A Group Captain Air Attache for Tanzania that has no Air Force followed by an Air Commodore?
    A Submarine Captain as Naval Attache to a land-locked country? He was the only sailor appointed. A Brigadier followed.
    Inevitability surely? The goose has laid one of its last golden eggs.
  14. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    canteenfart wrote
    Really? Perhaps Tanzania's fledgling Air Force could benefit from a mentor with one big bar code on each broad shoulder. Somewhere down the line when they've learned to fly without scaring the bejezus out of tourists they'll need some more planes and may look favourably on the country who sent a Group Captain rather than an army sergeant with a PPL as the Air Attache to supply them.

    I don't know to which land locked country you refer (but you may not be any better at geography than you are at laymans' grand strategic/military strategic or photography. If you think that land locked countires don't covet access and influence to and on the sea (not to mention control of their inland waterways and lakes) you are norman/normong and I claim my £10
  15. Seadog, you're a forelock tugging, class indocrinated, yes sir, no sir wimp..... and I don't need to claim anything.... I'm self sufficient !
  16. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Or perhaps my view of the world (Defence Diplomacy, Soft Power, Foreign Policy) has been developed through different experiences and education within the Service from yours.

    What next, why do we need Surgeon Commanders on >£100 000 when a LNN could learn the job? Killicks as DS at Staff College. I mean, how hard can it be? Chartered engineers? What's that all about? CDS? Does he have to be a 4*? Any pongo with 40 years in can do that. There is this fossil in the sports store.......

    Change is good when it's for the better. Change in support of 'Class War' is for losers.
  17. Whilst I'm not amongst the first to believe the "journalistic" scribblings of that rag the article did specifically mention non majorly importantly countries.

    I highly doubt Barbados has senior military attaches from other nations, a quick perusal doesn't show even the US having a major military presence - a LtCdr showing up for some charity shindig being the best I could find.

    Although it would be nice to see the FCO sharing in such budgetary constraints, a career in coat holding being rewarded with Governing the Turks and Caicos is surely higher up on the tabloid outrage list...
  18. HM DIPLOMATIC SERVICE OVERSEAS REFERENCE LIST published in 2005 (the most recent I can find that lists British Embassy and High Commission staff) shows the only British Defence Advisor accredited to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) as Col Alistair 'Jock' Inkster whose primary role was sole British Defence Advisor resident in Nairobi (Kenya). Incidentally, the Defence Attaché at the Tanzania High Commission in London is also a full colonel (Col Pellegreen Jacob Mrope). It would be 'undiplomatic' if our reciprocal attaché didn't have parity.

    Which "land-locked country" are you referring to?
  19. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    The Barbados DA covers the whole of the west idnies and a few other nations too - its an area where we have a lot of interests, both military and commerical and the cost of an RN DA more than pays for itself there.

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