I don't know about you but I had a most entertaining read this morning* while drinking my coffee. The source of my delight was a fantastically hysterical article by the Independent (and its associated comment section) regarding a supposedly leaked document from the Treasury warning about the dangers of a "hard Brexit", that is to say the UK leaving the EU without an agreement and reverting to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
Monday, 13 March 2017
Wednesday, 1 March 2017
Sparked by a debate the other day on Twitter and given added emphasis to write again by the pressure of Think Defence recommending me, I'd just like to muse today about the idea of Britain as a world power. It's a subject that comes up fairly frequently in UK defence circles and at times seems to take on a life and importance all of its own. Can't perform mission A? Never mind, at least we're a world power don't you know. Need new equipment or a force structure? Well, what would a world power look for, etc.
Posted by Chris at 4:11 pm
Wednesday, 25 January 2017
As Exercise RED FLAG kicks off once again in the US, I thought this would be a good time to finally getting around to finishing an article I started over a year ago and have sporadically returned to at times since then. A primary reason for it taking so long was the research required, the extent of which will become evident shortly.
Posted by Chris at 11:34 pm
Thursday, 8 December 2016
Since the victory of Donald Trump in the US Presidential election the Internet has been ablaze - unlike this blog - with articles about the possible defence ramifications of his win. Indeed the Internet in general has gone into utter meltdown about Trump, but it's the more extreme ends that have amused me the most, those touting the end of the world as we know it.
Posted by Chris at 7:41 pm
Saturday, 22 October 2016
So last night I found out that Think Defence is hanging up his keyboard, at least as far as blogging is concerned.
I've known TD since about 2010ish I believe, maybe earlier, when I first stumbled across his blog. I started out just reading the articles and the fascinating discussions that accompanied them in the comments section, something which I think has always been a great strength of Think Defence; the quality and diversity of the comments it attracted and the debates that sprung from them. Eventually I joined in the discussions and from there started contributing guest articles. It was Think Defence that ultimately got me into the blogging game, so in the end analysis you can blame all my ramblings on him!
It's a sad day for UK defence commentary to see him go. Not only did his articles attract an unmatched level of discussion from civilians and military personnel alike, but the breadth of the topics - particularly those not normally covered on defence blogs - guaranteed that Think Defence was at the forefront of UK defence blogging.
I owe him a lot and it's a debt I'll never really be able to repay. The UK defence community is certainly losing one of its best assets, but blogging is a lot harder than it looks, especially if you want to produce decent quality material. I can't argue with anyone that wants to put their blog to bed and spend more time with the family.
All we can do then is wish him well and I hope that whatever he turns to next will be a success. Probably building bridges out of shipping containers.
Posted by Chris at 5:59 pm
Saturday, 8 October 2016
Friday, 30 September 2016
I've talked recently about strategy, how it relates to the UK and the lack of a seemingly coherent UK strategy in the sense of having an armed forces that are shaped to meet some very specific strategic goals. But one thing I haven't talked about yet, one thing we always seem to forget, is what I like to call the "British Dilemma".
Posted by Chris at 4:56 pm
Friday, 9 September 2016
Saturday, 20 August 2016
Recently I assessed both some of the lessons that could be taken from the Chilcot enquiry into the UK's contribution to the Iraq campaign, and also some of the lessons that have come out of the fighting in Ukraine. During the process of this it occurred to me that British land forces as currently structured seem ill prepared to meet some of the challenges raised, such as some of the logistic issues raised by Chilcot and certainly some of the emerging challenges that have appeared in Ukraine. A leaked British army report would seem to agree with that position.
The trouble is what to do about it? Today I'm going to dip my toe into waters that I normally try and avoid, that of the so-called "fantasy fleets/fantasy orbats" etc, and look at a possible restructuring of the British Army to meet these new challenges. But in order to do this with any kind of sanity and an intention to produce something that is at least workable in reality - in broad terms if not in detail - then it needs to be somewhat grounded and adhere to a few basic rules.
Posted by Chris at 12:22 am