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Mail: "Head Of Navy In Astonishing Attack On Libya Campaign"

It emerged today that First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope has been given a dressing down by Prime Minister David Cameron for telling reporters ‘challenging decisions’ will have to be made about naval priorities if the Libya campaign continues until after the summer.

Mr Cameron told MPs that he had spoken to Admiral Stanhope.

A Whitehall source was quoted as saying: ‘I think you can assume that there was no coffee or biscuits.’



Sad end for the carrier that is no longer Invincible - East Hampshire - The News

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tell it like it is (Retired) Dismissed as an 'armchair admiral'.

Tell it like it is (Serving) Denied coffee and biscuits.

Some say "Why not resign, that'll show 'em." But that has been tried before and nothing was changed.

Mightily depressing, isn't it?
 

tomm90

Lantern Swinger
What if it takes 10 years to dispose of Gadaffi as it took the US as long to bump of Bin laden? Cameron will have egg all over his face.
 

broadside

War Hero
What if it takes 10 years to dispose of Gadaffi as it took the US as long to bump of Bin laden? Cameron will have egg all over his face.

And so will General Richards as the remaining bits of the UK Defence Machine grind to a halt because, despite what he might think, and no matter how often he says it, expensive bits of technical kit (ships, aircraft etc) do not just run on and on and on and on ....
 
It emerged today that First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope has been given a dressing down by Prime Minister David Cameron for telling reporters ‘challenging decisions’ will have to be made about naval priorities if the Libya campaign continues until after the summer.

Mr Cameron told MPs that he had spoken to Admiral Stanhope.

A Whitehall source was quoted as saying: ‘I think you can assume that there was no coffee or biscuits.’

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tell it like it is (Retired) Dismissed as an 'armchair admiral'.

Tell it like it is (Serving) Denied coffee and biscuits.

Some say "Why not resign, that'll show 'em." But that has been tried before and nothing was changed.

Mightily depressing, isn't it?

1SL epitomises a fine naval tradition: 'Engage the enemy more closely'.

How often have we heard that the Silent Service's 'can do, make do' attitude has been our downfall with respect to Defence cuts and the acceptance of inferior kit, lean manning, inadequate training, lower standards, poor conditions of service, etc? With all the cutbacks in platforms, individual and unit training resources and exercise opportunities, it's no wonder the 'accident rate' is going up. I forecasted a resulting increase in incidents some years ago. Fortunately, none of them have been cataclysmic to date and the RN has simply suffered 'embarrassments' but you know what I'm talking about.

25 of the RN's 51 warships in service (i.e. 50%) are at sea across the globe, including three ships off Libya. The remainder are in UK waters either pre or post-deployment, waiting to be decommissioned or undergoing a refit (link). I think the Government mistakenly believes that RN vessels and Naval Service personnel have an operational deployment pattern similar to the Army's 'one in five' or the RAF's 'one in four' and can absorb anything extra thrown at them. When we had a large enough Fleet we could but we can't nowadays.
 
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I've had some time to think about this and I consider the Prime Minister's public humiliation (slapping down) of the professional head of the Royal Navy for having to voice his genuine but unheeded concerns completely unacceptable.

After David Cameron's praise for the Royal Navy and hollow reassurances on board HMS Ark Royal (remember her?) in Canada last June (link), I had high hopes that this Government would begin to restore our defences to a fit state. Instead, it has dismantled them even further and we have now been caught wanting during what should have been a relatively short and snappy maritime and air campaign against a minor coastal state.

Owing to its close proximity to the Libyan coast, a single French aircraft carrier has provided over a quarter of all NATO air strikes to date. However, it and its air group have been conducting flying operations almost continuously since October last year when it was deployed to provide close air support for ground forces (mainly British troops) in Afghanistan. It cannot 'soldier' on forever but we no longer have a carrier with Harrier GR9s to relieve it on station. All we can offer is our only operational LPH and even this and its helicopters should be poised off Yemen right now, ready for any prospective non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO).

Does anyone else despair as much for the future security of our national interests as I do? The omens are not good.
 
After David Cameron's praise for the Royal Navy and hollow reassurances on board HMS Ark Royal (remember her?) in Canada last June (link), I had high hopes that this Government would begin to restore our defences to a fit state. Instead, it has dismantled them even further and we have now been caught wanting during what should have been a relatively short and snappy maritime and air campaign against a minor coastal state.

I was on her last year during that speech and we never felt so betrayed when the news actually broke of her decommissioning. That document pledging closer integration with the French was supposed to have been signed onboard her, but I imagine the strength of feeling was still extremely strong and I'd imagine that it would have been the first time a Prime Minister faced a lynching from the RN. We'd have probably had Sarkozy at the same time. So it ended going to be signed at some non-entity place.


I have to admit, I was surprised with 1SL coming out with the comments that he did, but it did serve to remind the country that we do actually have a Navy and, more importantly it protected UK Coastal waters as well as going to Libya. I think we're still operating off Somalia occasionally too? Correct me if I'm wrong.

I do sometimes think that the other two services kind of humour us, in that we can occasionally be useful to have but not much use besides. Maybe this speech was actually a way of reminding them that we actually do more than they think, or even realise?
 
G

guestm

Guest
Would anyone like to explain exactly how having 6 semi serviceable harriers flying off a battered past it's sell by date relic would have brought this Libyan stand off to a swift and successful conclusion?

The piece of shit had to go and so did the harriers.
 
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The worm appears to be turning. They say that talk is cheap. However, it's not cheap when it's done at the expense of listening, especially with the lives of brave men and women at stake:

London Evening Standard 21 Jun 2011 said:
Stick to fighting and I'll do the talking, David Cameron tells top brass

David Cameron today told defence chiefs, "you do the fighting and I'll do the talking" as he laid bare his frustration with warnings over the impact of spending cuts. In a briefing paper for MPs, the RAF's second-in-command Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant said the RAF's ability to respond to future emergencies was likely to be "eroded" if the mission in Libya continues beyond the summer...

Last week, the head of the Royal Navy, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, warned the Government would face "challenging decisions" if the Libya mission lasted more than six months.

Mr Cameron told a Downing Street press conference: "There are moments when I wake up, read the newspapers and think: 'Well look, you do the fighting and I'll do the talking'. Time is on our side and we will keep going with this; and the pressure is turning up all the time."

But he faced calls from MPs to re-open the strategic defence and security review or at least boost the Ministry of Defence budget...
 

finknottle

Banned
The Leader of the opposition got it right at PMQ's today when he said that Cameron's response to concerns raised by two very senior military officers of 'You do the fighting and I'll do the talking' was crass and high-handed, I would go further and say that it was arrogant and offensive but I expect little else from the chinless wonder.
 
Another case of déjà vu?
The Sun 11 Mar 2010 said:
FURY erupted in the Commons yesterday as Labour MPs attacked military heroes for criticising the PM. Angry David Cameron demanded an apology following claims that top brass spoke out on war budgets "because they are Tories". Banging his papers on the dispatch box, the Tory chief thundered: "Oh, it's because they are Tories, is it?

"That is what this tribalist, divisive Government thinks of people who serve our country. It is a disgraceful slur." He told Gordon Brown: "You should disassociate yourself completely from what your colleagues have said." But the PM refused, saying: "We do not send our troops into battle without the commanders assuring us that they are properly equipped."

The clash follows criticism from Lords Guthrie and Boyce - a former general and admiral - over Mr Brown's "disingenuous" evidence on spending at the Iraq Inquiry last week. Meanwhile, Mr Cameron listed military figures and civil servants who had also attacked the PM for defence spending shortages. He said: "Why do you think all these people, dedicated to defence of this country, are wrong?"...
Daily Mail 11 Mar 2010 said:
Gordon Brown today hit back at former military chiefs who have criticised his funding of defence, insisting they are 'wrong'. The Prime Minister was forced to defend his record on defence funding yet again after new documents revealed he totally miscalculated the cost of the war in Afghanistan. Papers released under freedom of information laws showed he only put aside 'hundreds of millions' to pay for the war which has already cost £9.4billion.

Mr Brown made a flying visit to Afghanistan after telling the official inquiry into the Iraq war last Friday he had never turned down a military request for equipment. But he was accused of being 'disingenuous' by former Chiefs of Defence Staff General Lord Guthrie and Admiral Lord Boyce who insist the defence budget was too small...

A spectacular war of words erupted after David Cameron quizzed Mr Brown at Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons. He quoted the views of Lord Guthrie and Lord Boyce, both former heads of the Armed Forces, who last week described Mr Brown's evidence to the Iraq Inquiry as 'disingenuous'...
 
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