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An excellent study of how the British armed forces are going astray

EU Referendum has a long and detailed article on the problems the British Army is having with its equipment in the Middle East and the lessons that could and should be learned from other forces, such as the Canadians. The EU Ref. blog has become a regular read for me, and it specialises on two or three consistent themes and sticks to them solidly. You will not get closely-argued analysis of the armed forces like this unless you buy a specialist book or attend a lecture by military historians such as John Keegan. First class stuff all round.

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8 comments to An excellent study of how the British armed forces are going astray

  • Thanks for reminding me what an exdellent blog EU Referendum is; it has been in my ‘favourites’ for a long time, but somehow never got migrated to my Bloglines feeds – rectified.

  • MarkE

    I was gutted when I started this job to find EUref was a blocked site, along with most blogs. I’m not sure how they missed Samizdata, but I sure am grateful. What else could I do while waiting for colleagues to get around to answering my questions so I can work?

  • J

    Interesting blog, although I think there is better armchair generalship out on the web if that’s your kind of thing. Suggesting that amphibious capability is not useful in a landlocked country is not very sensible (rivers? lakes? marshes? inland seas?), and his assertion that we should use MBTs in a fight against a highly mobile enemy who know the terrain is entirely unsupported. Recent Israeli experiences suggest otherwise, that’s for sure.

  • Julian Taylor

    Bit surprised that they praise the use of fortified APC units while completely forgetting the point of open ‘rovers in a combat environment – namely that of freedom of sight and movement. Yes, an open landrover does indeed present a nice target for your average 72 maiden-seeking Taliban, but you have an advantage in that you can move your weapon onto him far quicker and send him back to Allah in a more expeditious way than several troops fumbling around in the back of an APC can. Our armed forces do have a method for the reason they select their TO&E and, unlike many other armed forces, it does tend to be based upon solid military experience.

    Rather than bleat about the easy option of better armour, more armour, even more armour and bloody great big chunks of armour, how about addressing the point of dealing with a speedily deteriorating state in Iraq, where the on-ground troops are fully aware of how bad the situation is while the politicians, on both sides of the Atlantic, stick their heads back in the sand and alternately mutter about troop reinforcement or phased withdrawals, but all the while ignoring the real facts.

  • Jim Doyle

    “Rather than bleat about the easy option of better armour, more armour, even more armour and bloody great big chunks of armour,”

    Which beats the suspension to shit in no time at all.

    “how about addressing the point of dealing with a speedily deteriorating state in Iraq”

    Which would involve having trained hundreds of Arabic-speaking, Pushtu-speaking, etc, soldiers for the daily house-to-house stuff that might have helped the situation from detriorating to this sad state, but then wht defense contractor can make much money off of that? And after all, who has more juice in Congress, defense contractors or generals?

  • Its an excellent site, thanks for the pointer

  • David Hofman

    The article you linked to at EUReferendum makes a clear and compelling case that British soldiers are suffering needless and preventable death and injury because they have the wrong equipment or the right equipment is in short supply. This is a serious issue being almost totally ignored by the media, government and opposition.

    Thank you for providing the link.

  • The Canadian Army doesn’t have to worry about whether its equipment works, because it doesn’t have any anymore. Likewise for the Royal Canadian Navy.

    If you think the UK is starving its military for funding, you ought to look at what the Canucks have done to theirs.