|Some feel the Army Plans are going off the Rails (Copyright MOD)|
|The Main Battle Tank - The ultimate measure of high end warfighting (Copyright MOD)|
Part Time Role, Full Time Commitment
You get the Army you are prepared to pay for.
|Even today the British Army has more horses than helicopters (Copyright MOD)|
All’s Fair in Love and War
Speaking to acquaintances with non Army backgrounds and they will quietly whisper a sense that the Army is whinging a little bit too loudly at the way they’ve been treated. To some, the Army has not changed its structure in any meaningful sense since the end of the Cold War. The Army today nearly exactly mirrors the anticipated Options for Change structure set out in 1990. Meanwhile the other two services have been cut, cut, and then cut some more to keep the Army safe. Among the authors friends, there is a sense that this is long overdue. In 2004, the RN and the RAF jointly agreed to take far heavier cuts to their structures to enable the Army to succeed in Iraq, and latterly Afghanistan. The RAF in particular has been hammered with capability reductions in the last eight years, and the RN has lost nearly half its surface fleet. The Army has lost little equipment, or units on its ORBAT, but some may think it could be argued to have failed to achieve meaningful success in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite the incredible bravery of individuals in theatre, and the heavy price paid in terms of human life, there is a sense that the Army could have achieved more.
So, it will be an interesting few years as the Army seeks to adjust to a brave new world and a brave new force structure. In the eyes of this author at least, it wont be as bad as it is made out to be, but it will still be very painful. Perhaps it is best summed up by a comment from last night, when as the author was leaving the pub, he bumped into an old friend from HM Treasury, out for drinks with the office. He asked ‘was the Treasury out to celebrate scrapping 20% of the Army, or commiserating at not getting rid of the remaining 80%”…