Monday, 28 October 2013

You're on my patch!

Right, time to sit down and ponder again for a bit. Today's post revolves around an ongoing debate that's come up at places like Think Defence and others on a routine basis, in a variety of forms, and one that I think is quite interesting. It often starts with calls to disband the RAF, the RAF Regiment, or similar such arguments.

What we're looking at today is the degree to which the various services overlap into each others primary areas of responsibility.

Friday, 18 October 2013

The end of the COIN wars?

The period from around 2003 till the present - at least in terms of UK defence - has been dominated by the so called "COIN Wars" (COunter-INsurgency) in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fighting has been bloody and bitter. It has cost many hundreds of British fatalities and that's even before we get into the issue of suicides among post-tour service personnel. Thousands more have been left with a variety of lasting wounds, ranging from superficial scars to lost limbs and deep mental traumas.

This has been the human legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan, alongside the widely distributed images of coffins draped in British flags being carried off of aeroplanes and then driven solemnly through the streets of towns such as Royal Wotton Basset. The financial cost has also been enormous, with some estimates putting the cost of Afghanistan alone at around £40 billion by the time we withdraw.

Against this back drop, public appetite for future COIN wars seems slim. And thus the prevailing attitude among those with an interest in military matters seems to be that Britain will never again fight such a war, or at the very least not in the near future. 

My contention today is that this might prove to be wishful thinking. Indeed, if we find ourselves unprepared, it might in fact be very dangerous thinking.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Somme, then and now

This morning I received an e-mail with a little link in it to YouTube. The link took me to what is quite possibly one of the best pieces of history filming I've seen in a long while.

I have no idea who "Tashkenk Goatman" is, other than that looking through his other videos I realised that I've already re-posted some of his work in the past (a series of videos captured at Sailsbury Plain of the British army showing off its armoured warfare capabilities).

Whoever he and his friend in this new video might be, I commend them. This really is a quality piece of work, looking back at the battlefields of the Somme and comparing footage filmed back then with the modern landscape, with the cameras seemingly sited in almost the exact same spots. For amateur work it's pretty remarkable and well worth the quarter of an hour it'll take for you to watch.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Update 04/10/13

Is it really October already? Blimey. 2014 approaches.

As for me personally I've been quiet busy again, as I'm sure most of you will have noticed, but (he says) tomorrow looks a little more open so I might have a chance to polish off something I've been working on slowly for the last couple of days.

A few bits of news I thought my be worth shedding some light on, the first being that the last sections of HMS Queen Elizabeths flight deck have been installed. Next piece; the ramp. Here's a link for more details;

Secondly, 6 squadron RAF has deployed to Sweden as part of Exercise Arctic Challenge and they've even had time to pose for this snap;

Finally, 117 British forces personnel have been recognised as part the Operational Honours and Awards list 41 (September 2012 - April 2013). The complete list includes members of all three services and can be found here;