Monday, 18 November 2013

Scotland the Brave

Last week the Scottish Global Forum released its report about the future of defence in an independent Scotland, which you can read here. Think Defence brought the issue up and since then a good debate has been drummed up, which can be found here. It was on my 'to do list' to look at this issue anyway, so I might as well do it now while the debate is simmering nicely.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A review of Army 2020

I don't know about you, but I find it quite instructive to go back and read old books and material at a later date to see what I can glean from them that I might have missed first time round. This is especially the case with military books, be they historical works, personal accounts, or studies of tactics and strategy. Often I find that subtle points - lost on the first reading as you come to grips with all the information being presented - will become apparent on a second or third reading, as your brain is now able to process a lot of the technical information and jargon in a more efficient manner, peeling back these layers to reveal the core points underneath.

There's probably a name for this process already, but personally I refer to it as (if you'll indulge a few words of the dreaded management speak, which I normally avoid) "developed understanding". In line with that I went back and had a read of the Army 2020 report that lays out the structure and purpose of the future British Army organisation.

On first reading I, like many others, was left a bit perplexed at how the numbers were all going to add up and the reasoning behind some of the decisions, like the Reaction Force/Adaptable Force split. Having gone back over it at a more leisurely pace I think it's all a bit clearer now. Indeed, it's actually a pretty good solution for the resources given.

So in todays article, I'm planning to lay out some of the stuff that I've learned. Hopefully this will help others who were as confused as I was when the paper was first released. For those who already have a firm grip of Army 2020, you probably wont learn much from this.

Monday, 11 November 2013

We Will Remember Them

Please feel free to leave any thoughts or memorials in the comments.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Quick update

Three things I'd like to mention quickly;

1) Google can go jump off a %&!$ing cliff. The reason you're having to force people to use Google+ is because nobody is interested in it. Because it's pointless and shite. Forcing us to use it will not change that fact.

2) Apologies to the anonymous commentor who wrote out a comment on the "Carry On Up The Clyde" article that didn't appear. It was sucked up by Googles spam filter which I only check every couple of days. That comment has now been approved and posted, whomever it may belong to.

3) My next article will be about Army 2020. I've almost finished that, but I'm going to wait until after Remembrance day to post it. So keep an eye out for that one on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Carry On Up The Clyde

Today I managed to slack off for a few hours... sorry, I mean I found the time for some personal professional development in a solitary and reflective environment, during which I managed to catch the defence minister Phillip Hammonds speech about the announced restructuring being undertaken by BAE in its ship building business, along with the questions that followed.

Normally watching MPs debate in the House of Commons is about as thrilling as watching paint dry, but today was... well, really no different. Though it did have some moments of interest that we'll look at.

Friday, 1 November 2013

I Reserve the right to disagree (and make up appalling titles for blog posts)

There's been a lot of talk recently about Army 2020, the reserves, the perils of letting Capita run anything more complex than a church fete, and whether the UK will meet its recruitment targets going forward. Sir Humphrey over at the Thin Pinstriped Line has recently written a piece about this very topic, offering a more positive and "glass half full" take on the current situation, which you can read by following this link.

I on the other hand, am about to do the opposite. In many regards I think the theory of making greater use of the reserves is a good idea, and considering the government has no real appetite for defence spending, reserves could end up playing a vital role in the future. But I'm not really convinced the reality is going to match the concept. This is why.