• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

UK may have to cut 30,000 from armed forces-think tank

Lord Tammerlain

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
19,102
Reaction score
8,146
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Reuters AlertNet - UK may have to cut 30,000 from armed forces-think tank

Something I expect we will see announced by more and more European countries struggling to balance their budgets. Good or bad the military is probably the easiest government program to cut to any significant degree for politicians to make (US excepted)

Britain may have to reduce its military personnel by 30,000 to achieve estimated defence budget cuts of 15 percent over the next four years, an influential think tank said on Friday.

Defence is a prime candidate for cuts as the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat government searches for savings to reduce a budget deficit of around 11 percent of economic output.

snip

All non-protected departments have to find savings of 25 percent in real terms over the next four years. Details of cuts will be set out in a spending review on October 20.

snip

"Even so, given the high proportion of unprotected expenditure that they consume, neither education nor defence will be able to avoid severe reductions over the next four years."

Chalmers estimated personnel numbers would need to fall by about 15 percent, to 240,000 from 283,000, to meet the necessary reduction in spending. If spread proportionately this would mean a 30,000 cut in military personnel and a reduction in civilian personnel numbers of around 13,000, he said
 

digsbe

Truth will set you free
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
20,224
Reaction score
14,220
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
If it wasn't for the US, I don't think Europe would have the luxury of making cuts to defense. Why don't they cut the waste and spend less on bloated social programs?
 

alexa

DP Veteran
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
4,684
Reaction score
1,340
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
If it wasn't for the US
Well, if the US policy in Afghanistan is changing back to killing civilians rather than winning the trust of civilians and getting a political solution, guess we will be leaving there, so we won't have a problem.
 
Last edited:

Infinite Chaos

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
18,490
Reaction score
8,579
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
If it wasn't for the US, I don't think Europe would have the luxury of making cuts to defense --
Well, if the US policy in Afghanistan is changing back to killing civilians rather than winning the trust of civilians and getting a political solution, guess we will be leaving there, so we won't have a problem.
Digsbe does have a major point however in that European nations do need to take greater responsibility for defence of the European mainland. We cut troop numbers a while ago and started to rely more and more on "weekend warriors" of the territorial army. Further cuts are unecessary.

I've always supported Trident but now if we're seriously talking about reducing troop numbers by such large figures - maybe we really do need to reconsider Trident.

As for your point regarding Afghanistan - it should always have been the focus. We got foolishly sidetracked and bogged down in Iraq when the real battle was Afghanistan however we did train the Iraqis to a point they could take over. We really need a time frame and an end policy in Afghanistan and to make sure we're not targetting civilians - however I don't believe the US policy is going to ever be about deliberately targetting civilians.
 

PeteEU

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
34,914
Reaction score
11,920
Location
Denmark
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
If it wasn't for the US, I don't think Europe would have the luxury of making cuts to defense.
Why not.. who exactly is gonna invade us? Albania?

Why don't they cut the waste and spend less on bloated social programs?
I agree on the waste part but what bloated social programs? Just because you dont agree with the welfare state does not mean that the social programs are bloated. There might be some parts that are stupid but that is only normal in any country including the US, but overall bloated.. hardly.
 

alexa

DP Veteran
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
4,684
Reaction score
1,340
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
As for your point regarding Afghanistan - it should always have been the focus. We got foolishly sidetracked and bogged down in Iraq when the real battle was Afghanistan however we did train the Iraqis to a point they could take over. We really need a time frame and an end policy in Afghanistan and to make sure we're not targetting civilians - however I don't believe the US policy is going to ever be about deliberately targetting civilians.
There was not enough care taken to avoid civilian deaths. McChrystal realised that and changed policy to make sure that civilians were treated like civilians. From what I have heard in a different thread, P intends on changing this policy back.

Hearing some discussion program on this in the UK, people were saying they hoped McChrystal's policies were kept and the need was to find a political solution. If the policy goes back to US soldiers, not having one hand tied behind their backs, as they are saying and still shooting where they may kills civilians I doubt there will be any chance of a political solution, so from what the people I heard talking were saying, if the policy is changing in this direction, then we may just do what the Canadians did and leave.
 
Last edited:

Infinite Chaos

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
18,490
Reaction score
8,579
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
-- Hearing some discussion program on this in the UK, people were saying they hoped McChrystal's policies were kept and the need was to find a political solution. If the policy goes back to US soldiers, not having one hand tied behind their backs, as they are saying and still shooting where they may kills civilians I doubt there will be any chance of a political solution, so from what the people I heard talking were saying, if the policy is changing in this direction, then we may just do what the Canadians did and leave.
What Canada is doing isn't the correct solution either I'm afraid, it just leaves fewer allies on the ground to deal with problems. I also watched some discussion in the UK (the Big Question yesterday on BBC1) and the muslim lady from the Respect Party was calling for immediate withdrawal - which simply leaves a vaccuum for a Taleban organisation to come back and take over - or we head towards a truly failed state like Somalia.

The solutions aren't pretty and they will cost more lives - the allies took their eyes off the ball and went into Iraq, the most appropriate time to resolve Afghanistan with least bloodshed has gone: Kharzai is a poor leader who can only control a small part of his country and corruption is rife - walking away is the wrong thing right now - but that's not the point of this thread!
 

alexa

DP Veteran
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
4,684
Reaction score
1,340
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
What Canada is doing isn't the correct solution either I'm afraid, it just leaves fewer allies on the ground to deal with problems. I also watched some discussion in the UK (the Big Question yesterday on BBC1) and the muslim lady from the Respect Party was calling for immediate withdrawal - which simply leaves a vaccuum for a Taleban organisation to come back and take over - or we head towards a truly failed state like Somalia.

The solutions aren't pretty and they will cost more lives - the allies took their eyes off the ball and went into Iraq, the most appropriate time to resolve Afghanistan with least bloodshed has gone: Kharzai is a poor leader who can only control a small part of his country and corruption is rife - walking away is the wrong thing right now - but that's not the point of this thread!
Count me out IUnfinite. My voice will never go with any bloodbath of civilians,. Already too many civilians have been killed in Afghanistan. Karzai was a US puppet, previous finance dealings with Bush who got the position after the US allowed Abdul Haq, who would have almost certainly been leader but no one's puppet, to be murdered by the Taliban.

US also refused to allow him and other Afghans to overthrow the Taliban themselves.

The greatest irony is that Afghanistan was wanting rid of the Taliban before all this began but if you are now going to be supporting the killing of civilians, count me out. Not in My Name.
 

alexa

DP Veteran
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
4,684
Reaction score
1,340
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
you are now going to be supporting the killing of civilians, count me out. Not in My Name.
Late edit: My apologies, Infinite, I know you will not be supporting the killing of civilians, however it appears this new policy will in reality do that. I feel very strongly about this but please accept my apologies for suggesting you would actually support the killing of civilians. As I said I know you would not.
 

Republic_Of_Public

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,922
Reaction score
343
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
On the one hand we have a greater chance of the US making up the deficit when we cut back on troops and equipment. But on the other we're expected to help out in invading places which we the British People don't seem to be given the full reason why. (And with the Pentagon considering London a terror nest heaving with dissent and flag burners, I'm not surprised.)

But that's part of the deal. The US loves the prestige of having an old Motherland be their bridge to a sceptical Europe. Britain still means a lot to foreigners if not to us. For the Americans it's a regal place with a proper heritage which goes back countless centuries, having clout in the money markets and being seen as somewhere still worth consulting during international crisis.

However the payoff for our having the US be Europe's continuing arsenal of democracy is our being pressed into military adventures, which seem as much about crushing terrorism as having a more secure domination of the fossil fuels which are now over 50% gone. (Fair enough I suppose, were it not for the fact the Americans have almost always run a sloppy occupation with slim knowledge of those they occupy, hence the violence even now in Afghanistan. Indeed, their bit of Germany in 1945 was more lawless than ours, France's or Russia's before they left.)


A lot of the time the Americans are right, for example when they bombed Libya in 1985. It was good that we helped by not hindering the American air force by letting them take off. But to the moaners who say that America demands we do too much for them militarily on their terms, I say that until we get a proper army of our own back, we'll have to get used to the fact that you have to do other people favours to get on.
 
Last edited:

Lord Tammerlain

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
19,102
Reaction score
8,146
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
On the one hand we have a greater chance of the US making up the deficit when we cut back on troops and equipment. But on the other we're expected to help out in invading places which we the British People don't seem to be given the full reason why. (And with the Pentagon considering London a terror nest heaving with dissent and flag burners, I'm not surprised.)

But that's part of the deal. The US loves the prestige of having an old Motherland be their bridge to a sceptical Europe. Britain still means a lot to foreigners if not to us. For the Americans it's a regal place with a proper heritage which goes back countless centuries, having clout in the money markets and being seen as somewhere still worth consulting during international crisis.

However the payoff for our having the US be Europe's continuing arsenal of democracy is our being pressed into military adventures, which seem as much about crushing terrorism as having a more secure domination of the fossil fuels which are now over 50% gone. (Fair enough I suppose, were it not for the fact the Americans have almost always run a sloppy occupation with slim knowledge of those they occupy, hence the violence even now in Afghanistan. Indeed, their bit of Germany in 1945 was more lawless than ours, France's or Russia's before they left.)


A lot of the time the Americans are right, for example when they bombed Libya in 1985. It was good that we helped by not hindering the American air force by letting them take off. But to the moaners who say that America demands we do too much for them militarily on their terms, I say that until we get a proper army of our own back, we'll have to get used to the fact that you have to do other people favours to get on.
The UK does not have a proper military?

How many countries pose a realistic thr20eat to the UK right now. How many could do more then launch a few missiles or air sorties vs the UK. Russia had to use 40% of its land forces in its confrontation with Georgia, it has still not pacified Chechnya or the other regions around it. China is more interested in Taiwan then the UK, and could just about 50 nukes to hit the UK.

Realitically the UK and Europe have far more then enough in military strength to defend and win and confrontation in the Europe or the UK. They do not have the military strength to go into Ethopia and win/occupy it
 

Lord Tammerlain

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
19,102
Reaction score
8,146
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Digsbe does have a major point however in that European nations do need to take greater responsibility for defence of the European mainland. We cut troop numbers a while ago and started to rely more and more on "weekend warriors" of the territorial army. Further cuts are unecessary.

I've always supported Trident but now if we're seriously talking about reducing troop numbers by such large figures - maybe we really do need to reconsider Trident.

As for your point regarding Afghanistan - it should always have been the focus. We got foolishly sidetracked and bogged down in Iraq when the real battle was Afghanistan however we did train the Iraqis to a point they could take over. We really need a time frame and an end policy in Afghanistan and to make sure we're not targetting civilians - however I don't believe the US policy is going to ever be about deliberately targetting civilians.
Which countries in the world pose a realistic threat to the European mainland/UK?

I am not just talking about a few missle strikes or air attacks but an actual invasion type threat. Since the USSR collapsed, only one country in the world would have that power and currently they are allies with Europe not enemies
 

Infinite Chaos

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
18,490
Reaction score
8,579
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Which countries in the world pose a realistic threat to the European mainland/UK?

I am not just talking about a few missle strikes or air attacks but an actual invasion type threat. Since the USSR collapsed, only one country in the world would have that power and currently they are allies with Europe not enemies
"Defence" is not merely physical - it's also psychological. Demonstrating a physicality or a readiness also prevents incidents or wars that could happen.

In the case of Europe, I don't realistically see many countries beyond our sometime ally threatening us but there is no need for the US to have or maintain bases on the European mainland any more however they are there. The average US citizen who is aware of US bases on the European mainland also probably questions the expense of projecting and protecting US interests in Europe through such a large military presence. That benign protector has become used to keeping bases overseas and the sway it holds and we need to show the US that they are not a threat but their military presence is not required anymore.

Regarding Europe and wars in Europe - they have come about (the disintegration of Yugoslavia being one theatre) and a lack of integrated policy meant the threats that came about were not dealt with early or in a sufficient manner to prevent huge civilian deaths.

On another side - the UK does get involved with other countries in putting troops on the ground as well as UN humanitarian missions. I am in favour of such actions as it keeps the troops ready, skilled (thinking in terms of the skills of maintaining supply chains / security and quelling resistance AND learning the skills of "hearts & minds") and hardened (where necessary) as well as projecting a UK presence - though not a seemingly permanent one as the US tends to favour.
 

PeteEU

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
34,914
Reaction score
11,920
Location
Denmark
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
"Defence" is not merely physical - it's also psychological. Demonstrating a physicality or a readiness also prevents incidents or wars that could happen.
Yea it was 100 years ago when countries could not deal with each other without threatening military action. Today.. not so much. What incidents exactly should a large military force prevent these days in Europe?

In the case of Europe, I don't realistically see many countries beyond our sometime ally threatening us but there is no need for the US to have or maintain bases on the European mainland any more however they are there. The average US citizen who is aware of US bases on the European mainland also probably questions the expense of projecting and protecting US interests in Europe through such a large military presence. That benign protector has become used to keeping bases overseas and the sway it holds and we need to show the US that they are not a threat but their military presence is not required anymore.
I agree fully.. go home, you aint needed here any more.. Problem is you need certain bases for you military campaigns in the Middle East and Asia. Having the medical facilities in Germany saves lives.

Regarding Europe and wars in Europe - they have come about (the disintegration of Yugoslavia being one theatre) and a lack of integrated policy meant the threats that came about were not dealt with early or in a sufficient manner to prevent huge civilian deaths.
Eh? Yugoslavia was always a powderkeg waiting to happen because the problems were not solved after WW1 or WW2 in the region. And no one, including the US would ever go into a civil war to separate the factions without a ceasefire in place. That is what happened. As for lack of integrated policy.. sorry but there was no lack of integrated policy on Yugoslavia.. we were all in agreement not to send in our boys and girls into a conflict zone without the approval of both sides and a ceasefire in place.

On another side - the UK does get involved with other countries in putting troops on the ground as well as UN humanitarian missions. I am in favour of such actions as it keeps the troops ready, skilled (thinking in terms of the skills of maintaining supply chains / security and quelling resistance AND learning the skills of "hearts & minds") and hardened (where necessary) as well as projecting a UK presence - though not a seemingly permanent one as the US tends to favour.
Yes it does, along with all other European countries.. and the US does not.
 

Infinite Chaos

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
18,490
Reaction score
8,579
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Yea it was 100 years ago when countries could not deal with each other without threatening military action. Today.. not so much. What incidents exactly should a large military force prevent these days in Europe?
I'm partly addressing that to being rid of the permanent US presence. Further, if we reduce our military there is less likelihood of our being able to continue to be involved in the missions we are now. I'm not advocating a pan-European army but it is important to each European nation that it can maintain a military presence. (both at home and abroad if necessary)

-- Problem is you need certain bases for you military campaigns in the Middle East and Asia. Having the medical facilities in Germany saves lives.
1) I'm not ungrateful for the past US presence.
2) Those military campaigns by the US in the ME are not in our interests - they now seem to be mostly in the interests of the Christian Hard-Right that (from some reading) thinks unquestioning support for Israel means christians secure the holy land for the supposed return of Jesus Christ. I don't buy into that and would rather the US used its influence in a more even handed way.
3) Why couldn't the medical bases / facilities be run by the German military? I'm certain the Germans wouldn't deny the US medical treatment if they could be rid of permanent US bases.

-- sorry but there was no lack of integrated policy on Yugoslavia.. we were all in agreement not to send in our boys and girls into a conflict zone without the approval of both sides and a ceasefire in place --
And in the meantime ethnic cleansing took place. Sorry but this could have been handled better and faster.

-- Yes it does, along with all other European countries.. and the US does not.
Agreed.
 

PeteEU

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
34,914
Reaction score
11,920
Location
Denmark
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
I'm partly addressing that to being rid of the permanent US presence. Further, if we reduce our military there is less likelihood of our being able to continue to be involved in the missions we are now. I'm not advocating a pan-European army but it is important to each European nation that it can maintain a military presence. (both at home and abroad if necessary)
European countries already do this. European countries have forces both for national defence and send lots of troops abroad under the UN banner.

1) I'm not ungrateful for the past US presence.
2) Those military campaigns by the US in the ME are not in our interests - they now seem to be mostly in the interests of the Christian Hard-Right that (from some reading) thinks unquestioning support for Israel means christians secure the holy land for the supposed return of Jesus Christ. I don't buy into that and would rather the US used its influence in a more even handed way.
That's political. The US uses its military to project its political and economic influence across the globe.

3) Why couldn't the medical bases / facilities be run by the German military? I'm certain the Germans wouldn't deny the US medical treatment if they could be rid of permanent US bases.
Because of a long standing US policy not to put US troops under the command of anyone but the US... and putting wounded US troops into a German hospital is effectively putting them under the command/care of a foreign nation. This rule is why the US has never had Blue Helmets.

And in the meantime ethnic cleansing took place. Sorry but this could have been handled better and faster.
How? Exactly how? Putting our troops in harms way when both sides are bent on killing each other off? No nation could do that. When was the last time anyone entered a civil war without both sides calling a truce? almost never.
 

Infinite Chaos

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
18,490
Reaction score
8,579
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
European countries already do this. European countries have forces both for national defence and send lots of troops abroad under the UN banner.
Thus one of the needs to maintain sufficient troop numbers

-- That's political. The US uses its military to project its political and economic influence across the globe.
Agreed, however why do we have to provide the US with permanent bases so they can play one sided games in the Middle East? They already have bases in many Arab countries where reinforcements can come from.

-- Because of a long standing US policy not to put US troops under the command of anyone but the US... and putting wounded US troops into a German hospital is effectively putting them under the command/care of a foreign nation. This rule is why the US has never had Blue Helmets.
Not reason enough for European countries to give over permanent bases to the US - especially a US that often treats "allies" with disdain.

-- How? Exactly how? Putting our troops in harms way when both sides are bent on killing each other off? No nation could do that. When was the last time anyone entered a civil war without both sides calling a truce? almost never.
All sorts of ways - serious political and economic pressure outside the battlefield, interdiction strikes if necessary without putting troops on the ground. I'll come back with further examples later in the day.
 

PeteEU

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
34,914
Reaction score
11,920
Location
Denmark
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
Thus one of the needs to maintain sufficient troop numbers
Which most countries do. The UK has more than enough to take a 30k dip. Just dont follow the US all over the world.

Agreed, however why do we have to provide the US with permanent bases so they can play one sided games in the Middle East? They already have bases in many Arab countries where reinforcements can come from.
Because they are gods given country? They saved us from Hitler? The national anthem is catchy? They have Britney Spears... in other words ... I agree..

Not reason enough for European countries to give over permanent bases to the US - especially a US that often treats "allies" with disdain.
I agree.

All sorts of ways - serious political and economic pressure outside the battlefield, interdiction strikes if necessary without putting troops on the ground. I'll come back with further examples later in the day.
But they did. There was arms ban, sports ban (I should know... Denmark won the 92 Euros because of it), and diplomatic bans. They froze the assets of "offending" parties and what not. It was not as effective as one would have hoped because of the Russian reluctance... a bit like Israel and the US.
 
Top Bottom