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Thread: Training "allies": the Bassingbourn debacle

  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Training "allies": the Bassingbourn debacle

    International Defence Engagement Strategy is the UK's name for helping allies and friends, within months of starting it had a disaster with training the new Libyan Army @ Bassingbourn barracks, near Cambridge:
    Although entirely plausible in theory, the strategy has proved problematic in practice.
    Link:https://defenceindepth.co/2017/06/23...-bassingbourn/

    Why do I say debacle, this passage gives a clue:
    In 2011 the United Kingdom was instrumental in supporting the popular uprising in Libya that led to the downfall of the Gaddafi regime. Thereafter, the British government was keen to assist with post-conflict stabilization to support Libya’s democratic transition. Central to this stabilization effort was an ambitious plan, under the auspices of its new International Defence Engagement Strategy, to train a new Libyan army at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire. The training programme, implemented in June 2014, was beset with challenges from the outset, and was abruptly terminated less than five months later after a number of trainees absconded from the barracks and were arrested for serious sexual assaults in Cambridge city centre.
    The author ends with:
    The theory could be sound enough, but the practice requires some refinement.
    There is a longer paper (not read):https://www.chathamhouse.org/publica...s-bassingbourn

    Want the official view, albeit from March 2014, so before the debacle, the same website, Chatham House, has the Army's then top soldier giving a speech on 'defence engagement' the audio and transcript:https://www.chathamhouse.org/events/view/197403

    From my "armchair" it would be easier not to train such new "allies" at home, in this case in the UK, but in a culturally easier location?
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    International Defence Engagement Strategy is the UK's name for helping allies and friends, within months of starting it had a disaster with training the new Libyan Army @ Bassingbourn barracks, near Cambridge...

    Why do I say debacle, this passage gives a clue...

    From my "armchair" it would be easier not to train such new "allies" at home, in this case in the UK, but in a culturally easier location?
    Was this the debacle you speak of?

    ...a number of trainees absconded from the barracks and were arrested for serious sexual assaults in Cambridge city centre.
    Firstly, these poor young men were suffering from the trauma of Qaddafi's repressive rule and of the Civil War.

    Secondly, they were clearly resisting British imperialism by absconding and refusing to serve as cannon fodder for British wars of aggression.

    Thirdly, clearly there was a cultural miscommunication of sorts in Cambridge as the locals refused to interact with these newcomers in a respectful and welcoming manner.

    What do you have against inclusive diversity and cultural enrichment, exactly?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-25-2018 at 04:48 PM. Reason: 6,062v whne closed

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