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Cuts have left our troops with mission impossible in Libya and Afghanistan

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    (Original post by kpwxx)
    And it's not just that- they aren't just cutting they're wasting. A friend of mine did 6 months of training for the RAF, only to be told there was no longer a place for him due to funding cuts, and that he could try again or look for a position in a different force in 6 months- which he would have to re-train for pretty much from scratch. All that money on training and equipment used for it completely wasted!

    xxx
    Absolutely - this government hasn't got a clue about defence or value for money.
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    (Original post by Derfel)
    The past is wonderful and all, but it's not made of money and it can't be sold. The UK's in debt and we need to cut costs and stop trying to be like the US and police the world.

    Alternatively, we can keep our "past", up our defence budget to the $800 billion that the US's is at and flounder about in trillions of debt.
    Nobody's delusional enough to think we should have a standing force the size and strength of the US', such a thing is completely unrealistic and entirely unnecessary.

    What we are saying is that if the Government wants a strong Armed Forces that it can use to back up it's foreign policy, look after it's dependancies and provide a thorough, meaningful defence of the country then it has to pay for it.
    The Government clearly wants to use the Armed Forces, hence why we've been involved in Libya, and smaller scale efforts everywhere else, but it wants to do this with less people, less equipment and while saving money. The two objectives are counter intuitive and don't work together. Either you pay for an Armed Forces that's big enough to go out and do what you want to do, or you don't go out and do it.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    While I'm not about to argue that an aircraft carrier isn't needed, number like that are disingenuous.

    In the Typhoon figures you are including the cost of the thing outright - which has already been paid- and in the AR numbers you are looking at the operation costs of the vessel alone - which is meaningless unless you include the figures for all the equipment that would go on it and all associated logistics.

    Figures will come back to bite you on the arse if someone else knows what they're talking about.
    Ok, 1 Typhoon costs £126 Million to build. We have 232 of them. And while it does not cover operating costs, given the fact that the RAF personnel in Italy have to be fed and housed, an Aircraft Carrier which both houses and can feed them (I believe the current cost is £2.45 per person per day), it would be a lot cheaper!
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    Bring them all home :crossedf:
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    (Original post by Harpoon)
    Ok, 1 Typhoon costs £126 Million to build. We have 232 of them. And while it does not cover operating costs, given the fact that the RAF personnel in Italy have to be fed and housed, an Aircraft Carrier which both houses and can feed them (I believe the current cost is £2.45 per person per day), it would be a lot cheaper!
    1 Typhoon costs closer to £80m. We are buying ~180 once you take into account the ones the Saudis have bought - and paid for - from us.
    You are neglecting the fact that an aircraft carrier has to have a few hundred people operating it, all requiring their own food and drink and rest - and therefore cover meaning more people. Add to that the fact that the carrier cost a few hundred million in the first place and it's operating costs....

    A Typhoon costs, from memory, something along the lines of £60/70,000 per hour to operate. That's including all consumables, the cost of manpower to repair and reset it and of the pilot's 'wages' while operating it. You really want to bet that an entire carrier - operating the more expensive [to run] Harrier aircraft - would be cheaper? You're delusional.

    You're sounding as bad as Sharkey Ward and his unbelievably Pro-Navy rhetoric and propaganda. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a carrier fleet back, but spouting this kind of nonsense is exactly the kind of crap that boosts people's opinions that the Forces are just bickering the entire time.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    1 Typhoon costs closer to £80m. We are buying ~180 once you take into account the ones the Saudis have bought - and paid for - from us.
    You are neglecting the fact that an aircraft carrier has to have a few hundred people operating it, all requiring their own food and drink and rest - and therefore cover meaning more people. Add to that the fact that the carrier cost a few hundred million in the first place and it's operating costs....

    A Typhoon costs, from memory, something along the lines of £60/70,000 per hour to operate. That's including all consumables, the cost of manpower to repair and reset it and of the pilot's 'wages' while operating it. You really want to bet that an entire carrier - operating the more expensive [to run] Harrier aircraft - would be cheaper? You're delusional.

    You're sounding as bad as Sharkey Ward and his unbelievably Pro-Navy rhetoric and propaganda. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a carrier fleet back, but spouting this kind of nonsense is exactly the kind of crap that boosts people's opinions that the Forces are just bickering the entire time.

    £60,000 per hour, how long is a mission from Italy to Libya? How many Typhoons have we got operational there? That soon becomes an awful lot of money. For a 3 hour mission, with 5 Typhoons, that becomes £900,000. For 10 sorties, thats £9 Million.

    And I'm not saying that we don't need an Army or the RAF, what I am saying is that, for the Libyan mission, an AC would have been far more effective and cost a lot less than our current forces there.
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    (Original post by Harpoon)
    £60,000 per hour, how long is a mission from Italy to Libya? How many Typhoons have we got operational there? That soon becomes an awful lot of money. For a 3 hour mission, with 5 Typhoons, that becomes £900,000. For 10 sorties, thats £9 Million.

    And I'm not saying that we don't need an Army or the RAF, what I am saying is that, for the Libyan mission, an AC would have been far more effective and cost a lot less than our current forces there.
    6x Typhoons are in Italy at present. But remember, as it's a newer aircraft it gets turned around faster. It can carry more and therefore do more per mission than a Harrier which is more expensive to operate.

    Every aspect of military aviation is expensive, whether fron land at distance or close up from a carrier, to suggest otherwise is to skirt the issue and appear overly simplistic. This debate doesn't deserve that.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    6x Typhoons are in Italy at present. But remember, as it's a newer aircraft it gets turned around faster. It can carry more and therefore do more per mission than a Harrier which is more expensive to operate.

    Every aspect of military aviation is expensive, whether fron land at distance or close up from a carrier, to suggest otherwise is to skirt the issue and appear overly simplistic. This debate doesn't deserve that.
    But its in Italy! If we had a Carrier off the coast of Libya, we could have a higher sortie rate and a longer time over target! And your telling me that an aircraft designed as a fighter can do a better job of ground attack that a purpose built mud mover?
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    (Original post by Harpoon)
    But its in Italy! If we had a Carrier off the coast of Libya, we could have a higher sortie rate and a longer time over target! And your telling me that an aircraft designed as a fighter can do a better job of ground attack that a purpose built mud mover?
    Yes. Because it is a new aircraft as opposed to one that's 20yrs old. One that's designed to carry both the newest sensors and the relevant weaponry than one that can carry either/or. And that's ignoring the fact that as much as Typhoons are dropping some weaponry, the majority of that work is done by the Tornados that are down there, which again are more capable, carry a greater array of sensors and have a man dedicated to the sole role of identifying targets.

    Yes, having a carrier gives greater flexibility, is a more potent sign of intent and gives you an alternative tactic, but it is not the be-all and end-all. In this situation, RAF land-based a/c are easily as effective as carrier-borne a/c that we don't have in the first place.
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    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    The Swiss model only works because almost all Swiss-born adult males are trained reservists with weaponry at home, they're a neutral and well-respected nation unlikely to be invaded any time soon, their nation's territory is very conducive to a strong defensive posture, and they're surrounded by very friendly nations. Whilst we were busy making an Empire the Swiss were stressing their neutrality for a century and a half - we have different reputations in the world
    The UK is unlikely to be invaded any time soon.
    Switzerland is surrounded by other countries, we are an island, so our territory is more conducive to a strong defensive posture.
    As for being surrounded by very friendly nations....Switzerland doesn't really form alliances as such. The UK has Ireland and the USA on one side and the EU on the other, all of which are friendly.

    The UK is not at risk of being invaded but even if it was we can still put together a cost effective military that focuses on defending the UK. The costs come in the overseas operations, 'humanitarian intervention' and the likes in Libya, this is where I am saying we could use a private sector model. If we need to have a humanitarian intervention to promote democracy and human rights and save people from Saddam/Gaddafi/the Taleban, then why not offer that to a private contractor who can go in and do the mission. If the cost to the British taxpayer is lower, and fewer British lives are lost then its a win-win.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    The UK is unlikely to be invaded any time soon.
    Switzerland is surrounded by other countries, we are an island, so our territory is more conducive to a strong defensive posture.
    As for being surrounded by very friendly nations....Switzerland doesn't really form alliances as such. The UK has Ireland and the USA on one side and the EU on the other, all of which are friendly.

    The UK is not at risk of being invaded but even if it was we can still put together a cost effective military that focuses on defending the UK. The costs come in the overseas operations, 'humanitarian intervention' and the likes in Libya, this is where I am saying we could use a private sector model. If we need to have a humanitarian intervention to promote democracy and human rights and save people from Saddam/Gaddafi/the Taleban, then why not offer that to a private contractor who can go in and do the mission. If the cost to the British taxpayer is lower, and fewer British lives are lost then its a win-win.
    Firstly, read my longer post countering your original one.

    Secondly, take into consideration that the US did exactly that in Iraq with Blackwater. A private army for hire. They worked outside of Government jurisdiction and created far more problems than they solved and were mercenaries committing crimes.
    I don't care if the alternative is more expensive, it's much better than that.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    That theory works in some industries and with good reason, but the defence sector is not one it should ever be implemented in.

    There are several problems with this in reality, too.

    How do you decide which regiments are underperforming? How do you make that quantifying system transparent? There are too many variables in what kind of opposition they might be up against and how new recruits/training cycles and injuries could affect them. Does a unit that's not seen any fighting get a worse record than one who has seen lots? So in cases like current when infantry units are out in Afg, the tank units are not and would then be rated poorly...

    All officers and new recruits are centrally recruited and trained, and that's the same for each Force, going through the same establishments before heading off to their units, if they are deemed inadequate they don't go.

    All servicemen and women [and can we all stop saying soldiers? There are 70,000 people who would consider being called a soldier highly insulting. I was in the RAF, if someone called me a soldier I would instantly stop listening to their 'opinion' because it wasn't based on knowledge and was therefore irrelevant] already do substantial parts of their own admin. There's a centralised programme called JPA that all personnel use to do basic admin for themselves. Slight problem is that the programme is bilge and doesn't work. But the practise is there.

    However, the larger chunks of admin need to be done by those trained in that field. You wouldn't want every serviceman rotating in to 'their turn' of flying a Typhoon, would you?

    One of the most important points is that unlike schools and hospitals we're asking these men to go out and put their lives on the line. They need to do that in units they are comfortable with, with people they know. There's a reason why an Army regiment is like a family. You all know each other's families, you have a vested interest in looking after them, because they're your friend, not just a colleague. Removing good soldiers from these equations happens already but should be limited. They need to go where they do more good: training the next soliders.

    In the other Forces, there are niche roles. It's childish and naive to suggest that people can chop and change readily. Many roles in the forces require years of training which cost huge amounts, to throw this away is far more wasteful than any current proposal.



    The Defence sector is inherently wasteful. It's an expense you don't really ever want to see the benefit of. Don't think of it as a tool, think of it as an insurance policy. You want the fineprint and the details to be ready to take care of any problem that may arise, but you'd far rather leave the policy in the drawer never having to use it.
    These are fair points and I would expect this type of argument to be put against it - it is essentially the same thing as the unions have said in education, health, every other sector that has been modernised. People in general do not like change especially in the public sector and so there is a lot of readjustment of mentalities but when the shift has happened you reap the benefits, you can become a flexible adaptable workforce like the best of the private sector.

    In the end doing nothing, is not an option - we are taxing our higher earners to the point where they want to leave the UK and damaging enterprise, and borrowing high levels every year just to meet the spending commitments. Costs need to come down and the taxpayer needs to get a much better deal, whether it means involving the private sector or keeping defence owned by the state the budget has got to be radically slashed which means hard decisions of how to provide a service with smaller resources (again - what the private sector has to adapt to do all the time).

    But when you get state monopolies the people in the service suffer. The state is the only purchaser of labour and it is not as though the armed forces even have any union power, they are at the mercy of the monopsony purchaser of labour and if they don't like it they just have to deal with it. How many servicemen/women really say "yes I like the MoD, they look after us well, pay us enough, give us appropriate equipment" or how many are disillusioned with their employer? In the private sector if your employer doesn't recognise your talent and doesn't give you what you want you move and find an employer that does. The market will set the correct wages and conditions for each role in the military, and the state control on being able to dictate terms and conditions (and no doubt ensure that the big wigs at the top get a great deal while the front line get shafted) will be removed.

    I think the 'state is best' mindset in this country is all wrong, you hear it from the lefties in health, education etc, and the right wingers who usually recognise the improvements that can be made for bringing the market into public services, for some reason have a blind spot about defence and they don't seem to think defence is important enough to be improved by the benefits of marketisation and competition. To me this is silly, defence is of the utmost importance - it needs to be delivered cheaply and cost effectively and markets are the best way of doing that.

    I also think we need to get rid of this stupid mantra 'our armed forces are the best in the world' which has to be said whatever is going on. I am sure that being a fully professional armed forces, with lots of combat experience, that in terms of technical expertise and training the UK must be right up there in the global league of armed forces but like any public service there will be parts of it that are performing well and parts of it that aren't, and you don't do anybody any favours without identifying this. Finding out where best practice goes on and getting this to transfer through to the weaker areas is a cornerstone of public service reform and it needs to be put through the military as well.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    I think you have fundamentally misunderstood the mission in Libya. O our intervention was for humanitarians only - our presence in Libya should not be for the establishment of democracy unless we are strictly invited to do so by the Council.
    If it was fundamentally about protecting innocent civilians, there would have been no conditions of support to the rebels. The invading forces would have invaded without conditions with the single purpose to protect innocent civilians. But that has not been the case.

    Furthermore, the United States and her allies would not be taking sides - as both representatives of the council and the Gadhafi forces have killed innocent civilians. If the object was genuinely about protecting innocent civilians, both actors would be repressed and the United States would be killing both rebels and Gadhafi forces, along with themselves.

    Plus, if this action was apolitical on the basis of protecting innocent people; many of the allies of the United States would have been invaded by the United States a long time ago.
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    (Original post by Struggle)
    If it was fundamentally about protecting innocent civilians, there would have been no conditions of support to the rebels. The invading forces would have invaded without conditions with the single purpose to protect innocent civilians. But that has not been the case.

    Furthermore, the United States and her allies would not be taking sides - as both representatives of the council and the Gadhafi forces have killed innocent civilians. If the object was genuinely about protecting innocent civilians, both actors would be repressed and the United States would be killing both rebels and Gadhafi forces, along with themselves.

    Plus, if this action was apolitical on the basis of protecting innocent people; many of the allies of the United States would have been invaded by the United States a long time ago.
    That depends tbh. If you look long term stalemate is not an option so really the only way to truly protect civilians long term and achieve something is to remove Gaddaffi
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    That depends tbh. If you look long term stalemate is not an option so really the only way to truly protect civilians long term and achieve something is to remove Gaddaffi
    In that case, it would be political. My problem is; the notion of humanitarian intervention has been used as a pretext to cover up the real motive and gain support for that motive.

    In order to come to that conclusion, the United States need to embrace another party - in this case, it is the rebels. In other words, they are pursuing a party which sides with their political interests. It is necessary to do so when an outcome is political.

    This gives entire justification to the Gadhafi regime to use whatever force they deem necessary in order to protect themselves against a regime which has used a false pretext as a primary motive for invasion, when a political motive is the primary reason for invasion.

    It also creates a situation where civilian populations who supported the invasion in Libya without reasonable rationality or thought, accountable for the unjust invasion equally alongside those who are directly involved in its undertaking.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    x
    I'm not indifferent to the desire to make the military more efficient in the use of it's resources and the MoD more accountable for the business it makes. I'm all for measures that can make the lives of those at the front easier and safer.

    However.

    Unlike, I think, everyone else in this thread, I have been in the Forces. I've seen first hand when business strategies have been implemented into the coalface of military ops and seen the majority of these fail and actually increase costs of operations.

    Despite many people's opinions, the Armed Forces are at the very cutting edge of a huge amount of business-like ideas, and indeed, key innovators. The recent vogue in team building, in building specific leadership skills, in analysing your employees to work out how to connect, in allowing a flexible approach to work and more simple notions like allowing the best operators to aid training the others and move up the chain have all derived from practises in the Armed Forces. I've seen business analysts dripping in degrees, postgraduate awards and postnominals walk away from RAF bases having admitted being shown completely new and brilliant ideas.

    I understand what you're trying to say, but I also feel as though you have utterly no understanding of the way the Armed Forces operates, otherwise you wouldn't have made so many fundamental mistakes throughout your arguments.
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    09 August 2011

    DEFENCE MANAGEMENT.


    Figures released by the Ministry of Defence have revealed a £1.3m monthly spend on hotels for personnel currently based in Italy.

    BFBS reported that an average of £1,315,000 had been spent every month for around 1000 service personnel working to carry out air strikes against Colonel Gaddafi's forces in Libya.

    And it was said this figure did not include the cost of food.

    Costs of the Libya air campaign have been criticised by naval supporters, who have argued is would be far cheaper to carry out attacks with Harrier jets and aircraft carriers.

    In April, Rear Admiral Terry Loughran, the former commander of HMS Ark Royal, told Defencemanagement.com: "If you had Ark Royal and the Harriers we would be so much better placed with the Libya no fly zone

    "To take one Typhoon, dropping one Paveway bomb…it had to be accompanied by a Tornado, had to be accompanied by an in-flight refuelling aircraft…the total fuel bill was half a million pounds. If you had done the same thing with Harriers and a carrier it would be £80,000."

    The news follows earlier revelations in July that the MoD had spent over £98m on hotel accommodation between 2008 and 2010.
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    Indeed - especially on the aircraft carrier point. The fact is, whenever Cameron and Co say something on defence, I tend to believe the opposite. They cannot be trusted on defence.
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    Too many wars and not enough money. Chose priorities, starting with the UK.

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