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2021-10-10

Admiral SIr Tony Radakin was accused of "undermining a Royal Marines Major General" according to the Daily Mail.

"His appointment as Chief of the Defence Staff came days after the death of Major General Matt Holmes, 54. The former Commandant General of the Marines was found dead at his family home in Winchester, Hampshire, on Saturday. There were no suspicious circumstances"

It would seem from the Mail's account that there was little love remaining to be lost between these two officers.

The Mail reports "A directive from Sir Tony's office included a gagging order banning the Marines officer from discussing key issues with colleagues, including the commander of the US Marine Corps". 

Why on earth would a high-ranking Major-General be prohibited from discussing matters military with US colleagues? It would seem that the prohibition possibly related to matters political.

It would appear that Sir Tony was worried about his authority. Most good leaders know that authority is better won by good leadership than imposed by order, even, perhaps especially, in the forces.

Whilst the death of Major General Holmes might be entirely unrelated to the Marines, it seems likely from reading the Mail's report that it may not be. Somebody should be asking what on earth might drive such an experienced officer to take his own life - it might be important.

Whilst we will likely never know the truth, the suspicion remains that the new Chief of Staff may have a people-management problem. In times of crisis when senior officers need to have trust and confidence in each other both as superiors and subordinates in order to speak truth to power, that may not augur well.

Read the Mail's article.

2021-08-10

Few Brexit supporters who have monitored the seemingly ever-closer "defence" arrangements between the UK and the EU military post-Brexit (under both Mrs May and the Boris) will be surprised by this article on the Brexit Watch site - the only real surprise is how long it has taken to manifest.

It has been a pretty safe assumption since the early days that the civil servants were in fact driving the agenda, pulling the various Defence Ministers (and others) along in their slip-stream, willingly or unwillingly.

Now the "Brexit Watch Team" has published their investigation into the role of one Angus Lapsley in these post-Brexit shenanigans, and interesting reading it makes:

"...there is no such thing as a single error in the loss of secret intelligence, because many processes are involved with keeping it safe ..."

"The agglomeration of security breaches is akin to a factory woodworker slicing off someone’s hand and then proceeding to do it at least twice more – it would be preposterous to call it an accident"

There are many questions here that demand answers - but it seems unwise to make any bets on the length of time that we may have to wait for any to appear ...

Read the full disturbing report.

2021-04-26

After many years of defence cuts and the strategic reviews that led to them, Britain is back . . .

Reports in the press confirm that we will send a "carriier strike group" to far eastern waters (albeit with a little help from our friends).

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace:

"When our Carrier Strike Group sets sail next month, it will be flying the flag for Global Britain - projecting our influence, signalling our power, engaging with our friends and reaffirming our commitment to addressing the security challenges of today and tomorrow"

Sky News has the story.

I hope they will leave us enough boats to defend our fishing grounds, not to mention that invisible line down the middle of the channel that seems to get more porous every day. Charity begins at home.

2021-05-25

That our politicians are toying with the notion that our armed forces should be "greened" has always struck me as an absurdity worthy of propagation within our ranks by our most committed enemy. After all, in a dog-eats-dog fight to the finish, all our people, systems, and forces will be strained to their very limits, and often beyond. Shouting that "my tanks are greener than yours" isn't going to cut it.

That such an obvious truth should need to be stated is pretty worrying. That it is not being stated loud and clear by our government is cause for dismay, to put it politely.

That is not to say that "greening" has no place whatsoever, just to emphasise that its place is down at the very bottom of the heap unless there are other more important associated reasons that might pull something up the priority list.

Veterans for Britain seem to have concluded that the case for common sense in defence must now be overtly made, and it's hard to disagree.

2021-03-31

UKIP's Defence spokesman Lieutenant-General Jonathon Riley writing in Conservative Woman reviews China's geopolitical stance, and he paints a concerning picture.

"There is little point in the West trying to deal with China as if she were another democratic or even old-style communist state"

"... military consequences will be determined by who can employ them. Principally, this is the US and certainly not the hollowed-out British armed forces"

It may be worth mentioning that the only reason that the US is in pole position is that President Trump spent a lot of money on brining the US armed forces up to scratch - it remains to be seen how the new "Biden-Harris" administration will proceed.