Saturday, 31 August 2013

Reaction to the "No" vote on Syria

So the vote is done and now the party political battles begin. 

What's that you say? National interest? Obligations to the International Community? Sowing seeds for our children to reap later? Pfff, get out of town! Don't you know there's a (party political) war on?

As you can imagine, I'm quite annoyed about the no vote in Parliament yesterday, which I intend to explain here, using the context of a question that Think Defence asked;

"What is the short and long term impact on the UK of this vote against the following categories:

- Democratic health
- International prestige and influence
- Defence funding
- International relations with the US, Middle East and Europe,

So let's begin;

Friday, 30 August 2013

A few additional points on Syria

As a follow up to my post on Syria I thought this might be worth posting, summarising some important points. It was originally a comment I tried to post on Think Defence, but one that appears at the minute to have been eaten by the Internet goblins. It's worth keeping that in mind, as the tone and character of the post is one of responding to other comments on a forum:

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Impending Intervention in Syria

Seen as how it's the hot topic right now, I thought I'd pitch in with my own thoughts on Syria and the possibility of air strikes against the Assad regime. For additional opinions, there's two articles that have gone up recently on Think Defence which are worth checking out, one from the blog host Mr. TD himself (click here) and another from his guest contributor, Phil (click here).

Monday, 26 August 2013

The other story in the news today

It's the Bank Holiday, so this is not an article so much as a footnote.

I just found it interesting that while the situation in Syria has dominated the headlines, there has been another story making the news over the last few days that interests the UK defence community. That being the fatal crash of a Puma helicopter carrying workers out to a North Sea oil rig. It's the fifth crash involving a Puma helicopter over the last four years.

Now remind me again, which helicopter type are we pouring money into to keep flying. Oh dear...

Monday, 19 August 2013

Just call me (Dagenham) Dave

Something a little more off the cuff today. We're going to be talking second hand dealing, obviously on the military scale. Could the answer to Britain's multiple defence procurement woes come from dipping a foot into the used equipment market? Let's have a look.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Update 18/08/13

I'm working on a post related to second hand dealing. Whether it goes up today or tomorrow depends much on how Sunday dinner goes and what the delights of Sunday telly can muster.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Scratching for taxes

Build domestically from scratch, or buy "off the shelf" from abroad?

It's an age old debate. Involving a bloody big shelf. And anytime it comes around, someone will inevitably mention the issue of tax recovery. That is to say that money spent in the UK can be recovered through taxes, both corporate and private, thus essentially providing the UK with a form of discount on domestic purchases.

But just how much of a discount? I've seen figures thrown about that go as high as 40% (which I believe was once used by RUSI, but could be remembering that wrong). That seems very high to me. Unrealistically high. And so about a year ago I started to look into the subject, albeit very much on the back burner. 

Here is my current thinking on just how much of a "discount" the UK receives from buying British.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Update - 12/07/13

Sneaky post under the eyes of authority to let you know I have a post that will be going up either tomorrow or the day after.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Looking forward to SDSR 2015

We're now about two years away from the next general election, and following that it's expected a new Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) will be conducted, regardless of which party wins power. With that in mind, Think Defence has started a series gradually building up to the review, looking to attack the issue from multiple angles (the latest post can be found here).

Part of the plan was for others to pitch in with their thoughts and so I've decided to produce a post in that spirit, my own current thinking on what I'd like to see from the SDSR 2015. Keep in mind this is just my current thoughts, and as such is subject to change in the future. 

In keeping with more official documents, I've decided to number the paragraphs for this one, which should allow people commenting or referencing to point to various items in a much easier manner, though I warn you now that after revision the article takes the form of a series of paragraphs that do not always flow easily from one to the next. Some of the points raised will also be broken down and discussed in more detail at a later date.

 Let's get started.