Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Monday, 21 April 2014

The 2014 Afghan Presedential Election

This week the people of Afghanistan are going to the polls to elect a new President now that the term of Hamid Karzai is finally up. In terms of the importance for the future of Afghanistan and the success of the ISAF mission, this election couldn't be more critical. And potentially it marks a turning point in the campaign against the insurgency.

Karzai was initially voted in by a council and not a general election of the populace. His second election in 2004, the first proper test of his popularity with voters, was mired in controversy and accusations of corruption and electoral fraud. A simlar story played out in 2009, to such an extent that his main opponent refused to compete in a run-off election, believing that the process was already inherently rigged against him.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Refining Procurement

Originally the current government planned on selling off the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation to the private sector, which I'm sure was absolutely because they felt this was the best way to proceed, and had absolutely nothing to do with ideological opinions or generating profit for party donors and old chums. But when it became apparent that only one consortium would bid for the contract the government was forced into the latest of many U-turns.

Now ever since the first announcement that privatisation was being considered I - being the cynic that I am - have been convinced that the government had already made up its mind that privatisation would go ahead. It was essentially just buying time to work out the details and giving the private sector time to calculate its profit margins. I was told originally by one friend that I was just being morbid and defeatist, and that in fact a proper and fair investigation would take place.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The draw down from Germany

The time is almost up for UK forces in Germany. But is this a wise choice?

Two incidents spring to mind immediately, those being the operations over Libya in 2011 and the recent hoo-ha in the Ukraine. These two incidents, both occurring effectively on the borders of NATO, have demonstrated that not all the future uses of the UK armed forces will be on the other side of the world. Some may be very close to home indeed.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Syria and the Ukraine

Or more specifically, has the wests reaction to Syria had an influence on Russias response to the evolving situation in Ukraine?

When the British parliament voted to reject military action in Syria, which subsequently caused a pause for thought in the US, this gave Russia the breathing space to negotiate a deal which allowed Assad to remain untouched in Syria while agreeing to dispose of his chemical weapons.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Quick Update

Just occured to me to check the spam folder. Found a comment by Repulse on the recent return of the original frigate article and an anonymous comment on the article about Independent air forces. Both have been restored to their proper place in the comments. 

The war against genuine spam continues.