Our armed forces are no longer world class - discuss

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by thingy, Apr 27, 2008.

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  1. My initial reaction [to the title of the topic] was, this will be a short debate as we know that we are not a shadow of our former selves. However, now that I have read the article I can see that he is correct in his thoughts.

    He clearly makes the point that the quality of personnel within the Armed Forces remains high, but he also points out that we are massively undermanned, underequipped and underfinanced.

    A good article that will be ignored by the masses I fear.
  2. Total agreement with fatblokewithglasses. I have been at the sharp end of his points on the young lads that actually manage to get thru the gates. A lot of these young men find it very difficult to adjust to military discipline and life due to the fact that society has changed so much in recent years. When you get one of these kids march into your office wanting to opt-out as they don't think that they can live with the military ideal - you can't help but ask "What the ferk were you expecting??"
    AFCOs get a lot of the blame for some of the low quality youths that turn up, but you have to work on the idea that if you throw enough shit at the blanket some will stick. Recruit retention is a major issue, not helped by the fact that it's not such a desirable job anymore and it's inherently dangerous. After some shincter-clenching experiences on recent tours, I would have concerns if any of my boys wanted to join. Can't blame the parents for wanting to dissuade their kids.
  3. Good article.

    Hastings is right to say that it is a societal problem. Look at most of the teenagers you see loafing around any city centre in the country - can you imagine even trying to get them to iron a shirt? The problem is that our response to this has been to drop our standards but, in my view, that just exacerbates the problem.

    We need to instill a sense of national pride in young people.

    The fact that Universities, Teachers' Unions and schools are jumping on the band wagon and dissuading visits from recruiters is all the more disgraceful.
  4. IMO its a combination of 2 things, firstly the standard of the people coming through the AFCO's isnt as good as it was in the past and secondly the equipment/training that was available isnt as good as it used to be.
  5. I reckon the only force that is world class is Al-Qaeda. Seem to run rings around everyone else.

    Oh, and don't iron their shirts much either.
  6. I read through the article myself (probably none of my business) and will admit that things are the same on this side of the pond.
  7. If only that were possible, we are IMO too far down the slippery slope for that to happen, unless of course we get a hard line no nonsense government but there is little chance of that with 'Hug a Hoodie' being the only alternative. So to summarise, I think it would be fair to say 'We are all doomed'.

    As for Hasting's comments, he is not wrong about Blair's wars and the pompous buffoon still thinks he was right to commit our troops into Iraq.
  8. Very well said mate! Hidden in plain view. :rambo:
  9. Youngsters brought up to be couch potatoes, fitness lower than ever, no proper equipment, undermanned, understaffed and undervalued.

    How the hell are our forces expected to function at all, let alone be considered world-class ?

    This really gets my goat.Whole thing all to bloody cock considering the country has been decimated over the past decade by a bunch of bloody w*nkers in charge.
  10. Taloolah you say, 'The country has been decimated', could you elucidate?
  11. Yes Leathers, but your country has billions of dollars to throw at defence to paper over the cracks.
  12. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    In my opinion, the UK has lost the plot (and I'm not blaming the last 10 years specifically, however, the most recent incumbents in power certainly have not helped).

    Loss of national identity - half-arsed devolution coupled with pandering to Political Correctness with respect to immigrants has resulted in many in the UK having, at best, a confused sense of national identity. If we don't know who we are, or what we stand for, any national body is going to suffer.
    Rights over responsibilities - if people want rights, they must accept the corresponding responsibilities - there's too much "me, me, me" in the UK today and no sense of working towards a greater good.
    Economy - while on paper, employment looks good, a huge amount of those employed are public sector workers who depend upon a shrinking private sector through taxation - while there are many worthy public sector jobs that should be funded, the last 10 years has seen an explosion in the number of non-jobs with the associated increase in tax burden.
    Education - the current education system is a shambles, due largely to government setting simplistic targets that must be met - we should be producing educated people, capable of fending for themselves in their adult life, not illiterate, innumerate young adults who may have the requisite number of GCSEs but couldn't be trusted to sit the right way round on a bog seat!
    Health - too many simplistic targets at the national level, coupled with a huge management overhead to enforce these targets means that treatment plans are corrupted while the money to pay for the treatment is diverted away from the health front line.
    Defence - 'nuff said elsewhere.
    Politics - the rise of the "career politician" <spit> has led to Westminster being populated with egotisitical, over-rated, self-serving Whiskey-anchors who are more concerned with feathering their own nests than representing the views and concerns of their own constituents.

    How to fix it? In all honesty, I don't know - but outlawing of party politics would be a start.
  13. Well FW I wholeheartedly agree with your appraisal of the shite creek we are being paddled up, sadly the chances of getting a government to sort it and the scum element out are zero, unless there is some Cromwellian figure lurking in the shadows? I don’t know what it is with us Brits we just whinge and accept any madness that comes down from the House of Commons.
  14. Make no mistake, Max Hastings is no friend of the RN and is heavily biased towards the Army. Despite first-hand experience of the Falklands war, he is unable to accept the strategic value of having mobile floating airfields with accompanying vessels able to transport, protect, deliver, defend and sustain 'boots on the ground' together with their equipment, vehicles, stores, food, ammo and POL anywhere around the world, or the flexibility to loiter offshore indefinitely, irrespective of host nation support.

    That said, I am in total agreement with his arguments about lack of Government support (not just financial) and societal apathy (often antipathy) towards the Armed Forces together with the problems these bring to recruiting, retention and discipline.
  15. Yes, a very sad state of affairs to which I too have no answer. For once I find myself in total agreement with Finknottle (including his post regarding Taloolah's misuse of the word "decimate").
    The current crop of leading politicians leaves me feeling entirely disenfranchised.
    When the election does finally happen, I have no idea who I should vote for, since no-one represents my point of view anymore, and that from someone who has voted every time I have been eligible for over 50 years.

  16. The origin of the word ''decimate '' is taken from the Old Roman Empire and its legions.
    If a Legion did not do well in combat/conquest then a punishment of Decimation could be imposed on it --every tenth legionaire was put to the sword or worse !!

    I think in Taloolah's use of the word it could be correct in that the UK army regiments seem to be 'disappearing ' almalgamating disbanding etc although for very different reasons than the Roman 's :thanks: :thanks:

    :nemo: :nemo:
  17. FlagWaver has hit the nail on the head - the problem is that, whilst the Armed Forces is traditionally more Conservative than Labour leaning, I'm not sure things would be a lot better under the Tories. There still would be a fundamental lack of understanding of the role of the Armed Forces, and the societal damage cannot now be reversed - you can't take the newly granted "rights" away.

    We're buggered.
  18. My first question is what do you mean by 'world class', if you mean how do we rate against the best in the world, we have to admit we have neither the manpower or GDP (and never will have) to compete against some so that is not a reasonable comparison. If we look at nations of similar staus in population and GDP then there is only one I would suggest that could give us a hard time and that is the next door surrender monkeys. Agianst all the rest I would suggest we have a measure of superiority so by that measure we are still world class.

    If on the other hand you ask if we are as capableas we were say 10 years ago then the answer is clarly NO. 50+ years of slicing and dicing the defence budget has chipped away at our ability to project power in the world arena, but most of the other nations have suffered similarly so in general all have slipped down that slipperly pole leaving us much where we were.
  19. For what it's worth, I agree with Maxi_77. It's been an attack from 2 directions, though. As many of you have observed, the general population is so unmilitary and feckless that the recruiting and training staff have a huge task.

    I hated the '60s. The "make love not war" mindset and the slow disregard for authority and personal discipline. I experienced first hand the ridicule for mentally preparing myself for a military career, even just being a member of the ATC. This was compounded in the late '80s when the National aim became personal gain at whatever cost to anyone else. The kids we rely on today, in their natural state, are largely not just physically unfit but also psychologically unfit for the Military. The same also seems true throughout NATO, though.

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