Telegraph: "Big guns don't win today's wars"

Yet another commentator suggesting that we 'shape' our Armed Forces to fight current wars and abandon or dramatically scale down everything else. What sweet music to the politicians' ears! The prescience of such armchair strategists is breathtaking. In 1929, they were clamouring for disarmament because we had triumphed in 'the war to end all wars' just ten years previously. More recently, we found ourselves training for jungle warfare in the Far East when Argentina invaded the Falklands. Nine years later, we were training for mountain warfare in Norway when Iraq invaded Kuwait.

The low priority this Government attaches to Defence is reflected by its disastrous appointment of a part-time Defence Minister and its swingeing reduction of the Defence Budget as a percentage of our GDP (the lowest since 1930 - see para 1) while we were struggling to fight distant wars on two fronts. We urgently need a Defence Review; one driven by emerging threats in the fierce competition for global resources, not one determined by short-term economic factors, current operations, the continued generosity of the USA or expectations that the EU will ever get its act together.

Incidentally, I note that the rabidly pro-Army, anti-RN journalist Max Hastings, single-handed liberator of Port Stanley, is due to appear on BBC Radio 4's 'Any Questions' at 2000 tonight so stand by for a few more broadsides against the Royal Navy's replacement carriers and JSF. Anyone would think he'd reached the Falklands in a commercial airliner. :roll:
For good or not in a sitaution where Gordon has starved the forces in general of cash for over a decade, and the brown jobs are hurting on todays front line it is not surprising that these sort of attacks on Naval and RAF funding are going to happen, and unless there is both a change of government and a bigger pot or a withdrawl from the Sandy Places major cut to the RN and RAF are inevitable.

It is of course wrong, misguded and something we will most likely pay for in the future but that is the ompact of letting this bunch of numpties fidlle their expenses for three terms.
Funny old world isn’t it. After getting off to a good start by “telling it like it is†for his lads, Gen Dicky resorted to backstabbing once he’d won everyone’s attention. Gen Dave, on the other hand, is straight at it and providing reinforcement in depth to his former boss. Interesting to see that the brown jobs haven’t progressed too far from “two up, bags of smokeâ€!

Of course! It was simply a presentation to the RUSI as a “blue skies†discussion paper. He’s simply trying to provoke a reaction and stimulate debate.

Yeah! my a**e!
Concurr with the basis of his argument…

PoW and QE are not the right tools for the job, they should be redesigned and rerolled ASAP from a strike carrier to a version of the US Navies LHA(R), F-35's for air support, large helos for lift and up to 1,800 Marines…

As a dedicated LPH they will be a far more usefull 'carrier' than our one trick pony.


Lantern Swinger
Obviously to the writer of this editorial the threat of piracy isn't a current threat and one we don't need a navy to combat. I love how he drags Hitler into it as well.
"The message to the Pentagon was clear: fight today's war, not one against some imaginary enemy of the future."

Could it be worded any more disdainfully? Remember the 4 P's: Prior Planning Prevents Panic! Simplistic to the point of childish I know, but he has essentially given up any 'informed' ground on the argument by the former statement: without preparation, there is no facility for a successful reaction. Without anticipating what may transpire and planning exercises in response, there is no possibility of a 'reactionary' force. How does he surmise that all present and future conflicts are definitely not of the previous country vs. country ilk?

Or is he suggesting that Britain secede from the "Big Gun Club" and nuzzle up to the USA's teats?

Having said that, the article really puts the RAF on the spot. If it were said that the Navy had a hard time justifying the budget when we have numerous responsibilities from maritime patrols and countermining, piracy prevention and fishery patrols as well as the nuclear deterrent and all-important defence of our coast etc. etc. then surely the RAF would have a hell of a hard time?
Oil_Slick. You have a commendable grasp of the Army’s concept of air power. Basically, that is battlefield mobility and highly mobile and flexible artillery. Interdiction? Air superiority over the battlespace? Now it’s not applicable to COIN and counter terrorism, it’s become totally irrelevant. That is a prime example of why the Army should never be given any air assets other than field tactical. They would reduce an Air Force to a tactical Air Arm in the same way as the Luftwaffe was in the last lot. How we should thank Milch, Goering and Kesselring so much.

What we are seeing is “insurance policy renewal timeâ€. Well, we must insure the car because it’s the law. The house might get burgled so we’d better insure the contents. Will the house burn down, get flooded, be blown down or struck by lightning? Well, it hasn’t yet so we’ll miss that until we can afford it. While we’re at it; when we go on holiday (that indulgence we can afford because we’re not insuring the building) we’ll miss out the holiday insurance as well this year.

Be fair, the World has never been so stable. Russia is our friend, Argentina doesn’t look strong enough to bother us, N Korea is a long way away and we can ignore various treaties that we are party to, Iran is something the septics can worry about, there isn’t any fierce competition for dwindling world resources, we don’t have any mineral resource rights of our own in far flung places, over 70% of our trade and raw materials doesn’t move by or over the sea and it will soon be Christmas and baby Jesus loves us all. Some or none of that is true. The secret is, spotting it.
Lets get real here…

Tanks… we have @ 350ish in total, about 200 in use, anyone we have the numbers to fight is going to be using Monkey Model T72's at best, people who can afford better are going to have far more so we'd better not pick a pissing match with them either…

Planes… Unless we are going to go toe to toe with Russia or China, we are looking at fighting some wog airforce with a couple of dozen obsolete model Mig 29's or Su 27's… a dose of TLAMs will render them a non event even before we get into a Snoopy vs The Red Baron situation… We don't need 232 Typhoons that are so capable and agile, the only threat they face is an F-22 Raptor, as being as how the'yre not for export, short of a war with the USA, we have a huge capability advantage if we had the ability to deploy them, but we don't.


What are we trying to keep the ability to fight high tempo ops against 1st tier opposition when the best we will ever realistically face are 3rd or 4th tier mickey mouse militaries?

You can buy a Porsche and use it to fetch the shopping, but it's rather overkill when a Mondeo does the same for a shitload less money… and we're trying to buy Porsches on Mondeo money.
"people who can afford better are going to have far more"

I was under the impression that Challenger 2 was the best? Perhaps I have just fallen for the propaganda.

"What are we trying to keep the ability to fight high tempo ops against 1st tier opposition when the best we will ever realistically face are 3rd or 4th tier mickey mouse militaries"

I hear what you are saying, but the British military doctrine at the moment dictates a small number of highly capable units, rather than lots of average ones.

A bit like Pakistan and India - India has lots of not very effective units that it hopes would overwhelm Pakistan's technologically superior force.

The other problem we have is that our Lords and Masters have decided that our current Foreign Policy is to cosy up to the Americans on their oil wars at all times (yes Afghanistan is about oil - or at least overland oil supply routes). Add in to this mix the Russian push for control of the Arctic (and their general increase in sabre rattling), the Chinese land and resource grab in Africa with their threats to Taiwan, and the continued claim of Argentina over the Falkland Islands, not to mention Iran and N. Korea, it is feasible that we will see full scale ops before the end of the next decade. As it stands we're on course to get our asses kicked, especially down South where the Americans carrier battle groups won't be able to save us - and then people like you (not necessarily you but like you) will be criticising everyone from the PM to Private Jones for the poor state of the Armed Forces.

Another thing that is often overlooked, especially with the lack of T45s, is that units get lost, both through War and peace time accidents. We should have sufficient numbers of men and material to be able to overcome at least 1/3 losses and still continue to fight without noticing the impact. As it stands the RN can't afford to lose 1 unit without the whole surface fleet programme being disrupted.
redassnotdragass said:
"people who can afford better are going to have far more"

I was under the impression that Challenger 2 was the best? Perhaps I have just fallen for the propaganda.
The Abrams is the better tank, the CH2 the better gunnery system.

All irrelevant with a government that puts as much effort into ensuring the tax paying public keeping the host of benefit claimants in the way they have become accustomed. (Better off than me) :evil:


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Don't forget, redass, the oil and gas under the South China Sea. This puts China in conflict (who owns what has never been conclusively settled) with Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Stand by for the odd grab by China of some apparently useless piece of rock - lots of little islands and reefs whose ownership is disputable. That bids to suck in Australia and New Zealand and ultimately ourselves, bringing the Commonwealth head to head with Chinese sea power as it develops. We have already seen spats with the Americans. Oh good, the Crabs will provide air cover, the way they always do.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
I gather Bugis St ain't what it was. And someone has plonked a big posh hotel on Pulau Tioman that wasn't there in my day.

I'm quite serious about this. If the Arctic and the S China Sea aren't about sea power it's hat-eating time.
Well it ain't no coincidence the Chinese have the biggest ship building program in the world and that the Russian Navy and Airforce are working up.

Still as long as we have plenty of infantry with their jackals and cougars etc in Helmland we'll be ok.
Seaweed. Right on all counts, including Bugis St. Don't forget all our posessions and attendant mineral rights in the S Atlantic. Unless the plan is to cede them all to the EU and let them share their defence?

Latest Threads

New Posts