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Old 12-18-2012   #1
Bill Moore
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Default How the British Army will Fight

These interviews impressed me as being balanced. Those interviewed realize that Afghanistan isn't a template for future conflict, and logically state the requirement for having a full range of military capabilities.
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Old 12-18-2012   #2
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Default Comments from an armchair


I have now watched and listened to the film clip twice. It raises a number of issues succinctly, although some of the footage was odd - the Russians in Kosovo and the IDF. Being an official product, when the MoD prefers to be in hibernation from public comment, it is a shame alternative voices do not feature. The speakers, with one exception, being MoD employees or contractors.

After a recent, speculative press report 'British Army's fleet of Apache helicopters 'could be scrapped' it was almost amusing to hear the remarks on "heavy" assets versus Apaches:

What was more valuable was the very careful skirting round the issue of, from various voices:
an ability to go with them (USA)...making a strategic difference to the ability to do a task alone..
There are dissenting voices that think the shrunken UK military have - now and will clearly do so soon - fallen below the US minimum level for a contribution.

Reductions in public spending are driving this process, not a change in strategic direction nor a change in public opinion - which gives defence a low priority. I suspect that politically no-one wants to ask, let alone hear either the British professionals or US politicians answer the question is the UK a meaningful ally when it comes to a fight? A fight not for national survival, hard to conceive of today, more likely an intervention with the USA somewhere.

Hypothetically had the UK not pushed others in NATO in 2005 over "making a difference" in Afghanistan; the decision for ISAF to go south, would the USA have done so alone? You can argue that the minimal campaigning by the USA in Afghanistan better suited your national purpose.
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Old 12-18-2012   #3
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Some governments pay too much attention to maintaining relationships and cooperations of nebulous value.

It's as if they knew from an inexplicable source that a certain cooperation makes sense, and don't even bother to think about the "why" or even "if".
The result are expensive policies for the sake of maintaining said cooperation/prestige/relationship.

Germany had and has its strange fixation on keeping NATO and transatlantic cooperation strong, even though the value is probably zero (to cooperate prevents overt rivalry, but the latter doesn't need to happen without said cooperation anyway).
There were also expensive policies done in order to support the bid for a permanent UNSC seat (for which we have little actual use).

Same with the EU; European unification has become an ideology which tolerates no even only small step backwards. Officials rarely discuss the actual utility of additional European cooperation.

The fixation on maintaining big brother's good will is particularly strong in NZ, Australia and the UK. Maybe it's the common language which support this fixation?
Maybe it wouldbe wise to look at more relaxed, non-Anglophone countries and thier alliance policies?
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