Friday, 22 June 2012

The wisdom of the Duke of Wellington

With the Government insistent that the military must bear its fair share of the budget cuts, relying on an army of part-time soldiers is the only option available, and one the top brass have reluctantly concluded that they must embrace. Indeed, their approach is not that different from the Duke of Wellington’s, when, during the Peninsula War (when the British Army was roughly the same size as it is today), he remarked: “As this is the last army England has, we must take care of it.”


James Higham said...

And we weaken as Germany strengthen. Intelligent.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we reflect for a moment on what the British Army and Navy and Airforce (the Armed Forces) are for.
There are several possibilities which may come to mind, not in order of preference.

(1) One rather naive possibility is that they exist to ensure the defence of the realm, that is, the defense of Britain’s borders, of Britain against external threats.
(2) Another possibility is that they are for the furtherance of democracy throughout the world.
(3) Yet another is to unseat governments which are perceived to behave towards their citizens in a manner differing to that commonly in use in Britain. This is the definition currently popular with the UK coalition government. Consider what happened in Libya and now the propaganda against Syria.
(4) Could be as part of the armed forces of a future unified European Union. We can see parts of this taking form in the new British aircraft carriers, which will be co-owned by France, probably with French aircraft, much more expensive than American as well as less capable. They will probably be manned by joint crews, British and French, which will be jolly no doubt in times of stress between our two great nations. Historically speaking, times of stress between our two great nations occur very, very frequently.
As part of the armed forces of any UN peace force which may happen in the future.
Something else.

The writer believes that the British Armed Forces exist to defend Britain.
In such a case, a reduced force could be perfectly acceptable, but the newly defined force must be very well equipped and trained for it’s job. Perhaps even a National Service should be reconsidered, not as a means of providing manpower, but as a means of ensuring every male member of the community has the basic training and knowledge of military practices to be able to respond quickly and effectively to a call-up in case of emergency.
Special consideration should be given to the RN which will have the job of defending home-water trade routes. Such a task will require specialised ships either above or below surface as the need requires.
A dedicated self defence force implies a home based construction base for equipment ranging from capital (small) ships to hand weapons.