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Telegraph: "David Cameron 'Sidelines' Top Military Chiefs After Afghanistan Row"

broadside

War Hero
At first glance this does not look like a particular clever move by Cameron - particularly in the context of his soapbox comments about inclusion and garnering opinion from "specialists" in the pursuit of sensible policy across all areas of government and public expenditure etc.

Time will tell but I expect Labour to be all over this like a rash.

Possibly another example of why inexperienced politicians should tread clear of "matters international" unless and until they are forced into it. Cameron has few options with regard to Afghanistan but he had loads of options over Libya and increasingly looks like he followed the wrong path. I can't help but wonder how much advice he got from the "Purple 3" when formulating his plans for Libya.

This could be better than a Coronation Street Christmas Special.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
At first glance this does not look like a particular clever move by Cameron - particularly in the context of his soapbox comments about inclusion and garnering opinion from "specialists" in the pursuit of sensible policy across all areas of government and public expenditure etc.

Time will tell but I expect Labour to be all over this like a rash.

Possibly another example of why inexperienced politicians should tread clear of "matters international" unless and until they are forced into it. Cameron has few options with regard to Afghanistan but he had loads of options over Libya and increasingly looks like he followed the wrong path. I can't help but wonder how much advice he got from the "Purple 3" when formulating his plans for Libya.

This could be better than a Coronation Street Christmas Special.

I'm unsure about this, the DB, is led by PUS and CDS, the balance I will leave to the imagination. Removing the three Tribal chiefs just doesn't make sense. The load placed upon CDS and the remit to ensure parity would be too great.

I think this may have been a mooted option for reform but one that probably won't be taken.
 

broadside

War Hero
WD, funnily enough I was just reading the RUSI Defence Reform Agenda document and came across the following (Page 14) - Looks like someone is jumping the gun and converting proposals and options into actions and decisions.

Most obviously, the single-service chiefs and their London staffs could be moved to their front-line command bases (Portsmouth, High Wycombe and Andover); indeed, the roles of front-line command and the service chief could be merged. The service chiefs could lose their places completely on the Defence Board (or its successor body)...

 

wurz

Lantern Swinger
Found it now. Smacks of sour grapes, the man is a twerp and needs a slap. Broadside, as for Labour being all over it, well can you blame them? Dave regularly slated them over defence - you reap what you sow.
 

soleil

War Hero
Link doesn't work and I can't readily find it on the main paper site.

Apologies for that, Wurz. For some reason, the Telegraph has moved the article since I added the link this morning.

Edited to say that I have now changed the link in the first post so that it works.
 
Last edited:

broadside

War Hero
Found it now. Smacks of sour grapes, the man is a twerp and needs a slap. Broadside, as for Labour being all over it, well can you blame them? Dave regularly slated them over defence - you reap what you sow.

Wurz, no, I don't blame them at all, it was an observation rather than a criticism. That said, as per my earlier post #4 it does look as if the Telegraph have picked up on a paragraph in the RUSI document - which presented a number of alternative options with one option for greater joint harmonisation being the removal of the tribal chiefs from direct contact with the PM - and seem to have regurgitated it as fact. Fact it may be but I haven't seen confirmation of the removal of the 3 Service Heads confirmed anywhere (yet!)
 

wurz

Lantern Swinger
I will have to read that later. Just read the link from the other thread about SDSR, very interesting.
 

Ageing_Gracefully

War Hero
Moderator
Review Editor
Book Reviewer
If this happens will it just be a case of adding another layer to the command structure?

I can just picture CDS being asked if Op X could be done. CDS then says "I will get back to you" and goes to meet his 3 x HoS to see what they say.

If the 3 x HoS were still on the Board then decisions could be made, or at least the process for arriving at decisions shortened as explanations will not have to be fed down the chain.

Will the Board then consist of Sec of State, PUS and CDS, or will it be a case of CDS in a corner having to fight off, single handed, the slings and arrows of multiple politicians and civil serpents?

Mind you, as CDS they should have the cojones to be able to deflect that sort of approach. It could leave CDS in a very lonely place if he does not have his HoS to side with him, or at least to give strength to his arguments.
 

finknottle

Banned
The UK policy, so that would be the pack of lies policy that took our armed forces into Iraq and now the continuing lies that our troops in Afghanistan keep us safe at home, to the best of my knowledge the Taliban have no global jihadist policy, they just want all foreigners off their soil.
 
SIR – Con Coughlin is right to suggest that Liam Fox appears not to realise that the reason the Ministry of Defence is “bloated and dysfunctional” is the civil servants (“It’s time for Britain to merge its Army, Navy and Air Force”, Comment, June 30).

Anyone who has served in the MoD knows that. Civil servants spend most of their career there, and are as familiar with its Byzantine system as rats in a drainpipe.

Serving officers come and go, and most spend as little time in the MoD as they can.

Perhaps Dr Fox is too chicken to take on the officials, instead choosing the shabby option of attacking serving officers, who are much easier targets.

Dr Fox needs to understand that until a coherent defence strategy is worked out, Lord Levene can reorganise the MoD until the cows come home, but it will still be unfit for purpose because no one will know what it is supposed to deliver. The so-called Strategic Defence and Security Review is incoherent nonsense.

Major General Julian Thompson
London SW6
As usual, the General hits the nail on the head although a certain junior service has learned how to play the MoD game more competently than others by growing its officers into it starting at a much lower level.
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
Actually I think the good general is talking complete horse manure. It displays the age old problem of the forces, which is to rather than accept responsiblity for things going wrong, seek to blame it on the bad man who did it to them. The moral cowardice displayed by many senior forces personnel in seeking to blame anonymous civil servants, who almost certainly have no ability to display the sort of powers ascribed to them is an utter disgrace.
 
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