A Longer Farewell

Last Friday I let everyone know of my intent to shut up shop and close Think Defence. I also said I would pen a more considered farewell by way of an explanation and look forward.

Beginnings

The reason I started Think Defence was simply to provide a forum for (hopefully) sensible conversations about UK defence and security.

I actually received the inspiration to ‘do something’ from Dr Richard North at EU Referendum who at the time was campaigning on the Snatch Land Rover issue against a great deal of negativity. Richard was thoroughly vindicated and eventually spun Defence of the Realm out from the main blog and so one might consider DOTR as the ‘granddaddy’ of UK Defence Blogs although I think Tony McNally has been blogging at Rogue Gunner since 2006. Richard Beedall’s site, Navy Matters, was also an early inspiration, I owe them all a debt of gratitude for showing the way.

With a broader subject spread, Think Defence was born in February 2009 with a post about the A400M.

Back Office

The format and publishing platform has changed a number of times, first Joomla (painful) and then on to WordPress. I wanted total control so decided against Blogger or Typepad. With increasing traffic, the demands of a high volume site dictated the need for much more robust hosting arrangements.

WordPress is a great platform for content creators but don’t underestimate the learning curve.

On hosting, after going through several, the adage that you get what you pay for is apt, if you want security and reliability that is. Advertising through Google and several contributions from the TD   community has enabled this high quality hosting and a number of additional enhancements to the basic platform.

The Road to Today

A few nerdy stats…

  • 2009; 105 posts, 1 page and 93,091 words
  • 2010; 400 posts, 0 pages and 326,059 words
  • 2011; 336 posts, 0 pages and 487,964 words
  • 2012; 401 posts, 3 pages and 584,272 words
  • 2013; 724 posts, 5 pages and 603,584 words
  • 2014; 712 posts, 4 pages and 507,100 words
  • 2015; 665 posts, 50 pages and 571,040 words
  • 2016; 463 posts, 47 pages and 285,271 words

Totting up, that is approximately 3.5 million words across over just under four thousand posts or pages.

When I live blogged the 2015 SDSR, traffic went through the roof, about 45,000 page views that day. Otherwise, traffic has grown steadily with an average of about 10,000 page views per day until fairly recently when I slowed things down. Current traffic is about 6,000 page views per day.

In total, Think Defence has garnered approximately 13 million page views.

There has been a few a few shenanigans; others stealing content and passing it off as their own, legal threats from a certain mythical think tank, a constant battle against spammers and the odd intemperate bitchfest in comments, but despite these, it’s been a hoot!

A collection of great guest writers have also added enormous value.

The real strength of Think Defence however, is not the content, it is the comments, all 164 odd thousand of them.

On Twitter, as you may know, I also kept an active presence, over 8,000 followers now, although not quite in Justin Bieber territory!

The reason for my decision, which has been coming for some time, is simply one of time. To keep things going at a level of quality that I set myself means a lot of time. Whilst it has been possible to slow the post rate down, time spent researching and collating information from different sources still means a large commitment.

It is also much harder than one might imagine to ‘slow down’, the temptation is always there. Better to remove the temptation altogether.

The three things I have taken most pride from are;

Keeping a loyal and hugely knowledgeable gang of commenters who continually invest their own time to join the conversation and make Think Defence a friendly and interesting place.

Being able to attract guest authors and provide them with a platform to say what they want, Think Defence would be much the poorer without its guest authors or contributors.

Finally, inspiring a few guest authors to go on and start their own blogs, Thin Pinstriped Line and Defence with a C for example.

A Few Thoughts on Military Blogging

What started out fairly low key has turned into a bit of a monster because I think there was a ‘market need’ for it.

Let’s be clear, typing words into a computer is in no way comparable to the problems that defence professionals face in the real world, or indeed, former server service personnel.

I have also tried, not always successfully, to avoid being too judgemental from a position of comfort, people in the MoD and industry don’t get up in morning and decide to make poor decisions. They are working within the bounds of a larger system with financial, political and operational constraints we cannot know. FRES or Type 26 problems are not the result of one pivotal decision made by a single malignant person.

That said, problems can sometimes be seen from outside with a clarity not possible when dealing with the day to day, so defence blogging (and defence journalism of course) is a valuable means by which decisions can be examined and those in power held to some form of account.

Hopefully, other and future defence bloggers looking outside in will try and keep that in mind.

Where I think defence blogging can have significant value is to link current decisions to past decisions. We know the MoD has a predilection to change project names in order to compartmentalise previous problems, the FLAV >> FFLAV >> MRAV/TRACER >> FRES >> SV/UV >> Ajax/MIV journey being a case in point.

I feel privileged to know the authors of blogs such as Jedibeeftrix, Chuck Hills Coast Guard Blog, Mental Crumble, PsyWar, Quill or Capture, Bring the Heat, Defense and Freedom, Military History Now, Defence in Depth, Weapons Man, Save the Royal Navy, Eagle Speak, Steeljaw Scribe, Angry Staff Officer, Snafu, Thin Pinstriped Line, Defence with a C, Fall When Hit, CDR Salamander, Defence of the Realm, Kings of War, War on the Rocks and many more, even if only virtually.

There is a fantastic community of defence writers outside of Think Defence.

When it comes to UK defence blogging specifically, MoD policy, whether written or unwritten, puts many constraints on serving personnel or civil servants putting their thoughts online. In 2016, the British Army Review is still closed from the public and those serving personnel that have contributed to Think Defence and other blogs have generally done so under a nom de plume. This is stark contrast to US forces where writing and public debate seems (at least from this perspective) to be positively encouraged.

The MoD’s social media policy will change as times change, slower than many want, but it will change. Hopefully, the forces culture will follow.

Over the years a few things have remained constant at Think Defence;

  • People, training and thinking must always come before shiny new toys
  • High-end equipment spending will be wasted without adequate support, spares and consumable stocks
  • Civilian industry can offer many solutions to defence problems
  • Technology risk taking is to be encouraged
  • UK defence industry must be nurtured and protected
  • Bridges are rather cool and metals boxes, likewise

My hope is that these themes remain as defence writing evolves, especially the last one, obvs!

From this point…

Think Defence will not disappear overnight, this is the current plan…

First, I will start to thin out the database and remove content that has not aged well, was topical to a specific time point, or frankly, a bit rubbish.

Second, the Parliamentary Questions and Answers will be deleted, these are held in Hansard and easily accessed with keyword searches etc.

Third, I have a Flickr Pro account that I will maintain, all the media from the site will be migrated. If anyone is looking for an opportunity to help, tagging and grouping would benefit from ‘many hands makes light work’. Please let me know if you are interested.

Finally, I intend to migrate the long form content into downloadable PDF’s. This will mean losing the YouTube videos but I will link to those as appropriate from within the document. The PDF’s will be fully indexed, with a tables of content and all the media. Whether these remain hosted at www.thinkdefence.co.uk or somewhere else remains to be decided, am having a number of conversations about this. Other options include migrating to a WordPress.com site as a means of archiving older content.

As this processes progresses, I will keep you all posted, it might take a while.

Container

A Final Word

Thanks

 

 

About The Author

Think Defence hopes to start sensible conversations about UK defence issues, no agenda or no campaign but there might be one or two posts on containers, bridges and mexeflotes!

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86 Comments on "A Longer Farewell"

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Noel Hadjimichael

With a defence, security, policy and media bent, I have loved my exposure in the recent months to Think Defence – the responsible, robust and respectful debate zone for all of us who believe in the UK, the Forces and their hardy tradition of keeping alive the best from the past whilst dealing with
present and future operational/strategic challenges. I ran a national newspaper blog for four years in the early 2000s and know how hard it is to keep the quality and energy alive. Well done, best wishes for the next phase in your creative life. Pint on me in London if you are free. (rare thing an Aussie making the offer)

Barborossa

Always enjoyed the discussion and lively(!) banter, and am most sorry to see this go, but needs must.

Now importantly, what’s your last song?…
…My Way is too cliché.

My suggestions are:-
633sqn,
Dambusters, or
Jerusalem

Possibly ‘Lincolnshire Poacher’ or ‘Speed the Plough’

Gremlin

I have learned a considerable amount over the the 5 years or so since finding this site in the wake of the 2010 SDSR and I can safely say lunchtime reading will not be the same again. So many thanks for all of your efforts & those of the guest contributors and commenters…they’ve helped me understand and appreciate better the myriad complexities & subtleties of defence. I will particularly miss the banter, particularly @NAB’s rather trenchant comments, especially those in response to fantasy-fleet “crayoning”. Containers perhaps less so I’m sorry to say, but even there I have a new respect for logistics…so not totally fallow ground. Good luck with whatever comes next.

JohnHartley

TD Don’t make the mistake of doing more work to shut it down than it would be to keep it going in a reduced way.
As a MoD botherer , this has been the ideal site to pee into the tent from outside. All big organisations suffer from group think. An idea may make sense to them, given the constraints they are under, but sometimes you need the little boy to shout that the Emperor has no clothes. I wish I had a quid for every splutter from the great & good that riff raff scum like me know nothing. Then quietly over time, the policy changes, just a little. There is very little thinking at the top level of government. That is not the way to advance. Thirty second soundbites are more valued than deep thought. Being old fashioned, I like an idea/plan/policy/design that can withstand lively debate. That way something solid & sensible should emerge in time. Well, you have to hope. Sorry for the ramble.

David

Long term lurker – thanks for such an informative and interesting site, I’ve learned a lot and had quite a few misconceptions corrected, what more could you ask for?

Senior Moment

And thank you.
I did send details of this site to a member of the Defence Committee at the House Of Commons.

wf

@Barbarossa: “I Like Big ISO’s and I Cannot Lie”?

Return of the...

I have been a long time loiterer of this site and I have enjoyed every article. I have a huge mount of respect for the amount of work that has been put into this site. The content has always been educating and entertaining. Thank you. A picture of me (well part of me at least) even featured in your Light Forces Mobility Project stood near a heavily overloaded Springer. Thank you also to many of those making well informed comments. This was one of the few sites where the comments did not degrade into name calling, racism and nonsense. It was refreshing. This site will be missed.

@Barborossa has set me thinking

We should dine TD out with a virtual dinner.

At the end we would set light to a virtual waste paper basket and TD could lead us over and under the virtual furniture singing this song.

We should dine TD out with a virtual dinner.

At the end we would set light to a virtual waste paper basket and TD could lead us over and under the virtual furniture singing the CRE.

For those unfamiliar

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uZiUnmRta-E

The last Hurrah would be over said flaming WBP.

As a one time 2i/c whose OC was the British representative on an ISO committee on containers, loyalty forbears me from saying anything other than how interesting containers can be.

Barborossa

‘Sapper’ by Rudyard Kipling…’nuff said really.

@Ravenser

Dear TD,

Thank you very much for all of your hard work and dedication. It has been enlightening and a pleasure to follow you.

“In the event that the situation had deteriorated and a break-in operation to Sarajevo….had become necessary then armoured engineers would have been the lead element. Once again we are reminded that there comes a time in war when Sappers have to go in front to open up the way.

‘Follow the Sapper’ is a timeless cry.”

– Brigadier I.T.D. McGill’s Report to the Corps, 1995

@TD I think we are all a bit old for that. Virtual furniture as my real joints wouldn’t do real furniture.

Never mastered embedding a video or picture and now I never shall. Blub

But a very big thank you for all your effort. Enjoy your grandchildren.

C...

I’ve been a long time reader/lurker and infrequent commenter. TD and the comments feeds have been there for me my whole career whenever my knowledge or experience has reached its limits. So be assured that your influence has reached some who are involved in this business.

I’ll be sad to see TD go, and will need to find a replacement for my daily digest.

Best of luck with all your future endeavors

wf

If we’re discussing flaming arseholes, I can recommend a pond in front of the mess. I found Blandford camp’s just the right depth: not so deep the terminally drunk will drown, not so shallow those dressed in underwear only break any bones on being thrown in :-)

HMArmedForcesReview

Thank you once again.

Barborossa

I’ve just read some of the posts above…Waste Paper Basket?

For gods sake man, have you no sense of moderation!…

…You set alight the mess piano!…

Preferably while the MO is playing his version of ‘chopsticks’… For the upteenth time…

(Might explain why RAF messes only have fruit machines-chained to the wall)

Barborossa

….And then chuck it from the upstairs lobby window- with the intent of getting it in the pond.

Barborossa

…Interestingly, OC fire section always seemed to be at the forefront of this part of the festivities

paul g

I’ve only ever had the nerve to write my thoughts on here and the response was a fantastic morale boost, people who had left the forces much higher up the chain than myself agreeing with the points that had written.
Much better than my final week when myself and 3 others who had over 100 years between us were told by LE officer that we were “deadwood” Thanks for giving me a voice and being a thoroughly informative and interesting site.
Ex REME SSGT “deadwood” out to all callsigns

jedibeeftrix

Delighted to have been a part of the community. Privileged to have had access to the content.

Thank you.

DGOS

Thanks I have learned much over wide range of things.

God knows how much time you have spent.

Couple of your series would be worth a masters degree

The contribution of genuine experts has been impressive.

I hope you enjoy your well earned rest.

Would a container hold all the support documentation or a mexifloat? not sink under it all.

Thank you for a very informative and thought provoking blog that cuts to the quick on defence expenditure , the good , the bad and the ugly sides.
I hope you see your way clear to posting guest articles on some of the other blogs you mentioned if only occasionally just to keep your hand in as it were.

Tony McNally

Thanks for the mention, all the best in the future, Rogue Gunner out!

Mercator

I have enjoyed your blog tremendously over the years, TD. Best of luck to you and hopefully I’ll continue to see you about on Twitter. Cheers mate.

David Stephen

Sad to see an end to an excellent blog, full of well researched information and a great platform for discussion. I fully appreciate the difficulty of doing something to such a high standard for a prolonged period of time. Thank you for the last 7 years.

IXION

Thanks TD.

I can’t express how much your blog has meant to me. If that sounds a bit wet. Whilst reading it over the last few years have;

Technically died I once contributed 24 hours after having no blood pressure or pulse.

Very nearly gone bankrupt… twice, and had to watch my child go through 2 serious operations.

TD was a bit if an escape for me where I could flex a few I’ll used mental muscles.

I learnt a hell of a lot. There are few things more annoying than having your favourite nostrums destroyed by inconvenient facts!

So one last time fir old times sake.

Elephants I tell you again the carriers are Elephants.:-D

As a long time lurker, occaisional comenter and self-proclaimed “site numpty”, I’d just like to add my vote of thanks for the well researched and informative blog, TD!

The commenters on here are a special bunch of people,and most of the time I’ve just sat in awe of the knowledge freely shared. Or just asked the odd stupid question. mostly the latter.

As one of the “armchair generls” I’ve learnt a lot about the inner workings of the services and the MoD, and the site has given me far more of an appreciation of ISO containers than is stirctly healthy (and who hasn’t played Spot the Hi-Cube while driing on the motorway)!

So, Thanks TD! The Internet will be little poorer without you!

And remember – “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so.” D. Adams.

WiseApe

What’s not to like:

comment image

S O

Well, with TD going into retirement (ha! I outlasted you! ;-) ) there’s some share of the ‘market’ up for grabs, ideally this vacancy would be filled by a European defence-oriented blog and discussion site.
The extreme focus on the UK and very UK-ish thinking was in my opinion the biggest legitimate criticism about this site. It served the British and Commonwealth visitors well, but what we need the most is a European public debating European deterrence and defence, capable of countering the U.S. narratives with European perspectives.

No such thing will pop up, of course.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@SO

“but what we need the most is a European public debating European deterrence and defence, capable of countering the U.S. narratives with European perspectives.

No such thing will pop up, of course.”

No what is required nis for Europe and certain countries in particular to treat defence seriously and actually be prepared to counter the growing threats rather than the “narrative” of Europes greatest defender and the UKs greatest friend and ally.

DavidNiven

@S O
‘but what we need the most is a European public debating European deterrence and defence, capable of countering the U.S. narratives with European perspectives.’

So whats stopping you?

S O

@DavidNiven

I’m set in my blogging ways after nine years of D&F, and D&F visitor numbers aren’t growing much.

Simon

TD,

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. At least one country listens ;-)

Just image how hard it would be for our ISTAR and strike assets to track those… just a little bit of a shame they painted them military brown. It’s a dead giveaway!

wf

The “European” view about defence is to simultaneously moan about how the US is an imperialist warmonger, while proceeding to cut defence spending to the bone on the assumption that the “warmonger” will pick up the bill. Any “European focused” defence site will be dominated by legal and peacekeeping discussions, not hard military issues, because that’s what the commenters are comfortable with :-(

mr.fred

Well, I’ve certainly enjoyed my time here. TD and the various contributors have presented many fascinating and through-provoking articles and the comments have (almost) always remained civil.
A sad loss but there’s always going to be a limit to what you’ll do for the love of a thing.

Simon257

Thanks TD
Going to miss this. The stuff I’ve learnt about Pallets and Containers, I’ll take to my grave!

Przemek

I spent many hours, pleasant hours, reading your blog. I admire your huge work, you have done to prepare such interesting articles. Good luck with new projects. Greetings from Poland.

S O

@wf;

we Europeans outnumber the Russian military almost 2:1, similar in spending etc – and we have hardly any other threat than Russia, while Russia is quite busy in Asia.

Exactly the kind of nonsense that you wrote there is why we need a platform for a European perspective on military affairs and defence policy. Your parroting of U.S.-made nonsense about a non-existing European weakness in military affairs proved the point.

DavidNiven

@SO

Bosnia was a European problem and it took NATO and mainly American firepower (both diplomatically and militarily) to end it, the same with Kosovo. Libya was on the southern doorstep of Europe and required American support for it to be accomplished even though it was mainly European countries that wanted to take action at first.

NATO protection has been the reason that Europe has prospered. Do the eastern European countries feel that they would be defended by Europe or NATO, considering the response by some Eastern European countries to Europe’s solution to the migrant problem?

What do you think European defence should look like? And what would be the goals of European defence? Would it still be within the frame work of NATO?

WiseApe

Not so endangered afterall:

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2040712/china-finishes-hull-first-domestically-built-aircraft

Thanks TD and good luck with future endeavours. Put some rum in it.

S O

@DavidNiven;
Europe needed U.S. participation to handle those peripheral issues in U.S. style. It could EASILY handled all those minor issues in European style. To call the Americans was luxury, not necessity.
Furthermore, I’ve argued for years that these transatlantic cooperations were more about fostering togetherness and friendship than about actual needs.

Italy could have handled the entire Bosnia war with its own resources, for example.

Besides, neither Libya nor Bosnia nor Kosovo actions were about European defence. All of them were great power games.

S O

So again; you guys bringing forward the U.S: narrative on European military affairs only supports the need for a European discussion platform (preferably even with IP ban on all U.S. visitors, so Europeans are really the majority without limiting the forum to an obscure language like Estonian or Hungarian).

DavidNiven

@S O

‘Europe needed U.S. participation to handle those peripheral issues in U.S. style. It could EASILY handled all those minor issues in European style.’

Yep and the European style was to show the absolute inability to develop a coherent strategy and rely on the UN and then not have the balls to back up the UN mandates militarily.

‘To call the Americans was luxury, not necessity.’

No it was an absolute necessity. As much as you hate US meddling they forced the Serbs to sign the Dayton accord not the Europeans.

‘Italy could have handled the entire Bosnia war with its own resources, for example.’

UNPROFOR was close to 39000 strong, there is no way Italy could have fielded and sustained such a land force let alone the air assets used.

‘Bosnia nor Kosovo actions were about European defence. ‘

A bit of yes and no, look at a map and see if an ethnically charged civil war could not spill over into Europe?

‘All of them were great power games.’

Bosnia and Kosovo really? is this just ignorance or bias coming through?

You still haven’t answered my questions on European defence?

Observer

SO if you keep slicing off the parts of the community that disagree with you, you’ll soon end up with an IP address of your own house only.

No UK, no US, soon no Italy or Spain or France or even some parts of Germany that disagree with you. Where will it stop?

S O

The Americans have an oppressive numerical superiority and easily dominate almost all discussions of military affairs that happen on the WWW in English. To block their IPs would allow for a European discussion community, it wouldn’t be about keeping out dissent.

You cannot bring facts supporting a European perspective to full effect when 2/3 of the forum were Americans, with their peculiar political and discussion culture. They flood forums with their quantity, perspective, narratives and national mythology – and guarantee that a forum could not establish or foster a European perspective. We have dozens such forums on the internet already.

Anyway, I think such a blog / forum is what’s needed the most.
TD was/is almost unique as a blog with integral forum-like discussions. Blog formats usually don’t provoke 100+ comments per post and I’m not sure what the secret sauce for this is.
Maybe a ring of bloggers who feed their topics into one of the template forums (invisionboard, for example) would fit well.

Simon

The USP of Think Defence (to me) is the fact that a post provokes thought.

It’s almost the scientific method and almost the engineering process, in that someone postulates, and others analyse based on experience, existing solutions, and imaginative thought.

There is often then a battle between experience (or those that are stuck in their ways) and those that hope to skin the cat a different way and think outside the box.

The arguments that ensue are then both entertaining and informative for all to read.

The more contentious the topic the more comments seem to appear.

crj

Oh TD, don’t go! See how even this farewell thread has degenerated into an intelligent philosophical debate? The Interweb needs you!
Many thanks to you and all your contributors, you have enlightened and entertained. I feel quite bereft, and turn to the great E. J. Thribb for solace:

So
Farewell then
TD
“Put the ISO container on the Mexiflote”
Yes
That was
Your catchphrase.

Mark1603

TD,

I am really sorry to see this come to an end, but sometimes needs must.

The joy of the site has been the in-depth analysis, review and discussions that have focussed on perhaps the most import area which is Logistics.

I once heard some-one say that “Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk Logistics”. Well all I can say is that TD, YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL

As Ex REME, now working in the “Defence Logistics” area as a Contractor/ Supplier I will sadly miss all the informative information you have provided.

Good luck in all that you do in the future.

jedibeeftrix

@ SO – “The Americans have an oppressive numerical superiority and easily dominate almost all discussions of military affairs that happen on the WWW in English. To block their IPs would allow for a European discussion community, it wouldn’t be about keeping out dissent.”

I would not want to see any british defence forum absent the US view, or the Oz/Ca/NZ view, or the continental view.

Sisyphus

Dear TD,

I know I have said my farewells but…

You will have read all the positive feedback and noted how much of a gap in many people’s required daily reading [including mine] your understandable decision will leave…

Think Defence has acquired, quite rightly, a wonderful reputation, a ‘brand’ if you like, that focuses on topics of great interest to those concerned about the UK armed forces. That concern grows year on year and desperately needs a platform. I don’t know if you will continue with your twitter account but have you thought about delegating the operations of this forum to another individual? I know one or two of the regular visitors here have their own blogs, like Chris with his Defence with A ‘C’, [dare I mention an Italian chap too], and there are others who have written guest articles.

Could not others step forward and continue to run the site [with you taking a well earned break but with supervisory/editorial role] … I am not volunteering myself, I don’t have the skills or expertise, but among your many loyal following there are journalists, others who have served with a talent for blogging or IT, or indeed a syndicate of your guest writers, who might continue with your approval…

It really is too good a site to let fade without my making the suggestion…

Wah…

Take a break, then rethink. :)

Donald_of_Tokyo

A bit sad thing, but anyway I enjoyed TD a lot. Especially, many of the logistics thread was “info. only here” for me. Thanks a lot.

Simon

TD, you can’t go now.

China have just flown their J20. We all need to know what tactics we will employ with Typhoon and F35 to penetrate their airspace when they launch their offensive on the South China Sea islands with their new aircraft carrier, etc, etc, etc.

Especially if we can’t figure out which HGVs are missile launchers and which are full of rice.

Frenchie

TD, I’m sure that among the readers, there are computer scientists, people who are very competent in military matters as Jed, Monty, ACC, I do not know that yet. I see this blog as a rare community in terms of competences and respect for ordinary citizens of Europe and even worldwide.

Frenchie

I meant that you can delegate your work to other people of course.

JohnHartley

TD. Why not go off on your break, but leave 4 threads running? Say one for the Army, then Navy + Airforce, & a life,universe everything else thread. You can then put your feet up, while the usual suspects, ramble on, (me included).

@Simon I hope and pray that our politicians will refrain from engagement in South East Asian wars. We have neither the ships, the troops, nor the money so by Jingo lets sit that one out.

More pertinent is the what if NATO folds under Trump’s proposals for Europe to fund its defence, where does it leave the UK facing an integrated EU army in the low countries? For over 400 years it has been our strategic imperative to engage any European power doing so.

Grubbie

This is a terrible loss, can’t you just hang on until the mod has decided what it needs and the government has come up with an industrial strategy?

Nick

@TD

I will miss you and the Think Defence “blog” (it was so much more than just another blog) and all the commentariat here enormously. Thank you.

Sir, you will damn well be missed ! Thank you again for the chance to publish content as a guest of your fine publication, an opportunity that was greatly appreciated.

Good luck with all your future endeavors, professional and personal.

break

Bravo Zulu. Time 17.48z

Out

DavidNiven

Are comments still on?

The Other Chris

Would certainly be open to being part of a team moderating comments and curating guest posts to keep the resource open, just a matter of available time – what sort of timescales are you looking at and how many others are available to shoulder the volunteer work?

JohnHartley

TD Don’t go now that an “orange orangutan with a rat on his head” (thankyou Hitler rants parodies) has been elected President. Years of amusement to come. His probable defence chiefs were interviewed on defensenews & they seem sensible. Yes they want to boost the US military, but they realise there won’t be unlimited funds available.
If you want a team of part time moderators, count me in, though I will spend most of the time moderating myself.

JohnHartley

The Daily Mail is saying that all this shiny new kit, may be compromised by the fact that it will have to operate from neglected, run down bases.
For example, the old power cables in Portsmouth, may not be up to providing shore power for the new QE/PoW aircraft carriers.
I think you are ending, with the issues, where you started TD.

JohnHartley

TD. Aviationweek has video of the Raytheon High Power Microwave shooting down UAVs. It fits in a standard shipping container.

The Other Chris

I think an Open Threads return would be well received and used.

JohnHartley

Yes, an open/heads-up thread would be handy. For example the press over the last couple of days has been going on about Westlands factory at Yeovil shutting & how the RN surface fleet is too small & in too poor a condition to fight.

Absolutely!!!
Always felt that the site lost something of it’s personality with the demise of Open Threads, so it would be fantastic to see it back.

Challenger

I echo the sentiments of the other guys with regards to an open thread.

It would be a great, relatively low maintenance way of keeping the TD embers burning and provide many of us with a badly missed place to discuss the defence issues and news of the day.

WiseApe

Well as long as it doesn’t just degenerate into a carrier thread again…

sisyphus

for example, today, with the release of the Defence Select Committee report, I have no where to go and read a well informed debate now TD has moved on… it was one of very few joys…

JohnHartley

Re open thread.
Lord West has a centrespread in the Sun newspaper today (thankfully not page 3), moaning that the RN fleet is too weak. There is a little box, titled, “What we need”. It says 14 submarines, 2 aircraft carriers, 1 helicopter carrier, 8 destroyers, 22 frigates.
I cannot disagree, but feel a lot of overpaid non-jobs would have to be sacked all over the public sector, to pay for it.
TD I just got excited by a shipping container on youtube. An American firm can ship a 2 bay, fully enclosed, ventilated, air con, shooting range in a 40 ft container. They displayed it in a customer’s garage. Sadly my garage is not 40 ft long. It would stick out & block the road. Unlikely to please the neighbours. However, it might be of use in those urban military bases, keeping sentries in practise, where you have not got a range.

JohnHartley

TD How does one volunteer? Use small words & simple terms, or it may be beyond me.

TD
Not a clue what being a moderator entails, but more than happy to put my hat in the ring if it helps maintain this little patch of ‘sanity’ in an otherwise increasingly bizarre world!

The Other Chris

Definitely, that system is going to require a long piece covering the history of mortar systems, analysis of upcoming precision grenade launchers taking the place of light systems, whether 120mm mortars can take on a significant load, commonality between MIV 8×8 as well as the automatic mortar systems on combat boats such as the Patria Nemo Navy variant…

Grubbie

Hugely frustrating that TD has gone. Where could I go for a sensible analysis and discussion of the National Shipbuilding Strategy? My initial verdict would be that John Parker is way out of his depth

wpDiscuz
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