Friday, 21 July 2017
Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Monday, 17 July 2017
Thursday, 13 July 2017
Sunday, 9 July 2017
Thursday, 6 July 2017
|RFA WAVE RULER embarking US Coast Guard detachment in West Indies Source|
|HMS SEVERN in the Cayman Islands SOURCE|
Monday, 3 July 2017
More widely this visible sign of capability will be seen by many allied navies as a reminder that the RN remains one of the worlds most capable and competent forces. It is likely that there will be many nations keen to secure a visit by QE over the next few years - helping boost UK defence engagement and wider policy goals, and helping visibly show UK commitment to our friends and allies.
|James 3:4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go :-)|
Sunday, 2 July 2017
The ThinPinstripedLine blog began back in 2011 as a private blog, written in the authors spare time, and with the aim of trying to provide an alternate source of views and opinions on defence and foreign policy issues, predominantly written from the perspective of trying to understand whether there was a deeper rationale behind many of the defence stories appearing in the news. It was, and remains, the bugbear of the author that defence journalism is often fairly sensational, built on easy to write stories, often on the premise of ‘the MOD has cocked up, now whats the story about again’? In mid 2014, circumstances meant that it was no longer possible to continue writing the blog and it was suggested to Humphrey that it may be a good time to call it a day. Despite three years passing, the site has continued to attract hits and comments, and people have made clear that they miss it. Humphrey always wanted to restart the site, but circumstances meant that this has not been possible until now.
To help establish some basic credibility, Humphrey has had a diverse background in the MOD which has included working at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of defence issues. He has been fortunate enough to travel across the world to all major UK military bases, and worked on many of the major operational & policy issues affecting Defence in PJHQ, Front Line Commands and Whitehall. Humphrey also spent nearly 20 years serving as a Commissioned Officer in the Reserves, and is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts as well as other operational tours. Like many of his generation, he is as familiar with being shelled as he is with staffing a submission. To avoid any doubt though, Humphrey now does not work for, and has no current professional connection to, the UK Ministry of Defence or the British Armed Forces. This blog does not represent any official view on defence policy, nor does it purport to speak on behalf of the MOD. It is purely the collected thoughts of a private individual.
One only has to look at the enormous range of issues affecting the world over the last 3 years to realise that the strategic situation facing the UK and her allies is astonishingly complex and not easily solved. The key challenge facing the UK is how to simultaneously manage to contain and influence Russian behaviour as a significant conventional challenge, requiring long neglected conventional military skills, whilst sustaining influence in NATO against a backdrop of Brexit, and also fighting a long term campaign in the Middle East whilst trying to sustain a global presence across a range of theatres. This is being done against the backdrop of enormous financial and manpower pressures, and the difficult of balancing the needs to deliver capability today against the long term rewards of capability . This is not an easy operational environment to operate in at the best of times!
• Analysis of the 2015 SDSR and its prospects for the future
• Assessment on the role of the British Defence Staffs across the world
• The challenges facing the Royal Navy over the next year or two
• The UK in the Middle East and HMS JUFAIR.
• CVF and RN carrier airpower resurgent
• Gibraltar and why a frigate should not be based there.
Sunday, 4 June 2017
I stopped updating this site approximately three years ago. However, due to changes in my personal circumstances, it is likely that within the next few weeks, possibly couple of months, I would potentially be in a position to restart it. If the blog were to restart, would the demand or interest be there for it?
I would welcome the thoughts of anyone as to whether it is worth restarting this blog, or if it is best left as it is?
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
As 2015 draws to a close, I wanted to post a quick update on this site. Since circumstances prevented me from continuing to publish PSL in June 2014, I have been greatly touched by the many messages of goodwill and support I've received from people all over the world about this site and how much they enjoyed reading it. Even today, some 18 months after it temporarily closed, it still clocks up over 5000 hits per month, which is wonderful to see.
Jim Hacker: Are you trying to say "Happy Christmas," Humphrey?
Sir Humphrey: Yes, Minister."
Sunday, 22 June 2014
Saturday, 14 June 2014
It is also worrying how quickly the ISF seem to be collapsing in the face of an aggressive attack, and how much equipment is being lost. Consider the level of funding thrown into providing new equipment and support to the ISF over the last 10 years, and you realise that there will be a proliferation of weapons out there which are now available for use by militia. While they will in reality struggle to support any vehicles or heavy armoured elements for long without access to mechanics and workshops, there is sufficient proliferation to make it immensely challenging for the ISF to go on the offensive against them.
It is also telling the way that despite years of training and support from the West and elsewhere, there has been no real resistance. The concept of Iraq as a bonding factor for the Army to fight for seems to be missing - the polarising factor is the Shia or Sunni militias and groups, which is where the loyalty is being shown. Arguably, until the Army can replace the local Militia as a sign and guarantor of security to the ordinary Iraqi, the prospects for the long term stability of Iraq as a united country are weak.