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Military Lite

(11 Posts)
absentgrana Thu 21-Jul-11 14:20:22

AIBU to rejoice at the recent proposal to reduce the size of the armed forces even further? This was reported in a shock horror way, saying that the numbers of professional soldiers proposed would be the smallest since the Boer War. If you look at any world map from 1899, half it was coloured red. If they could manage with that number of soldiers at the height of the British Empire, surely we could cope now that Empire is no longer. While I appreciate that this will affect military families directly and the local economy and jobs in garrison towns indirectly, it might make our gung-ho politicians think twice before embarking on foreign military adventures. I'm tired of seeing old men send young men (and women) to die. There were seven "wars" under Tony Blair's leadership, Afghanistan is still a mess after ten years, the military is still in Iraq and David Cameron authorised the bombing of bits of Libya.

pompa Thu 21-Jul-11 17:39:19

I'm not sure that reducing the armed forces will mean that less will die in combat, just that less will have to share the same dangers for us.

goldengirl Thu 21-Jul-11 17:57:21

Don't worry, the Territorials are being drafted in instead!!!!!! Politicians lead us into these dreadful wars and then make cuts not just in armed forces personnel but in clothing, vehicles etc etc etc. I thought we were meant to learn from history [hmmm]. Oh dear, I seem to be having a rant on a number of threads this evening. I'll go and have a brew

artygran Sun 24-Jul-11 16:51:03

When I worked in the MOD, it was top heavy with civil servants who didn't seem to do a great deal, and retired officers clinging onto their bowler hats. The MOD was always adept at wasting colossal amounts of public money, and from what I read it does not seem to be any better now. Perhaps they should look to trim the fat a bit closer to home. We have the best trained, most dedicated and professional forces in the world, including the TA and Reservists; this government has decimated them and still wants us to run around the playground with the big boys, punching above our weight. We shall end up with something akin to the American National Guard before long - or even Dad's Army!

AmberGold Sun 07-Aug-11 17:31:51

Here here artygran! There are still far too many civil servants in the MOD, and they don't even do a very good job. If we could save just some of the money wasted there and spend it on the troops on the ground we might achieve more.

Bellesnan Sun 07-Aug-11 18:20:25

My sil is in a band of the Household Division and they have to go to Germany for two months in September just to play at Officers mess 'dos' which can be counted on both hands. They are being billeted in an almost empty base with apparently no amenities, will have many hours of doing nothing, are being paid a small monthly allowance but will have to pay for all their food etc. Their married quarters at home, albeit not expensive to rent, still have the same bathrooms and kitchens from when they were first built over 40 years ago and which have accommodated countless families; there is no money to pay for refurb. apparently but plenty of money to entertain the officers!

artygran Sun 07-Aug-11 19:05:31

'Twas always thus, I'm afraid, Bellesnan.

goldengirl Mon 08-Aug-11 10:28:23

I'm reading about the Fromelles [WWI] battle at present and the mess that those in charge made of the arrangements for the battle and the lack of honesty in the reporting - egos appear to have been involved. Men were sent to their deaths because of poor organisation. It doesn't matter how many troops you have, if there is noone with proper organisational and strategic skills leading, there will be real problems. Even back in WWI it was recognised that care during resting periods was vital - but ignored and troops were made to go straight into the front line from a long march with no break. Today, I think many of those in quarters have to put up with poor quality accommodation and yet they are inspected minutely when the time comes to leave. I understand the Aussies look after their men and women far better, especially with health care.

susiecb Mon 08-Aug-11 11:49:13

My husband is waiting to be called up for Dads Army - he feel sure thats coming next!

Bellesnan Mon 08-Aug-11 14:14:30

Your right goldengirl - they are marched in and then marched out after very close inspection. In my kids current accommodation - when they moved in it was so filthy that my daughter sent photos to a very, very senior officer - amazingly it soon got sorted!

artygran Mon 08-Aug-11 21:15:57

DH left the Army in 1985 but some of the quarters we lived in in this country were horrible beyond belief - even those allocated to senior NCOs. I could fill a book with stories about married quarters and so, I suspect, could many others! Whenever we went abroad, we at least got decent accommodation. We visited our son in two RAF married quarters - one in Cornwall and one in North Yorkshire and both seemed like palaces compared to what we had had to put up with. We were not even allowed to have our own furniture, curtains, etc. (at least that's changed), and MOD's ideas of interior decorating left an awful lot to be desired.
In 2001, we stayed in a lovely B&B in Somerset run by a recently retired military man and his wife. We were chatting about quarters and she said "I always said that when I got a place of my own, I'd paint it any colour but magnolia. So what did I put on the walls here? Bloody magnolia! Can't get it out of your system can you?"