It’s late on Friday and I have had one too many cheekies so apologies to the long suffering readers if I get a bit sweary.
One might have thought that the Strategic Defence and Security review would have started with the usual array of planning assumptions, foreign policy objectives, reviews of potential threats and a workable idea of the budget framework in which the outcome must fall within. There is nothing at all wrong with having a financial element in the initial planning matrix, without funds, a strategy is merely wishful thinking and there is no point basing ones strategy on the promise of jam tomorrow.
Reported across a number of media outlets tonight is the unedifying spectacle of the horse trading that has characterised the review process. It is a few days before the white paper is published that will inform the nations strategic defence and security arrangements for at least 5 years, we are facing a diverse and growing number of threats and more importantly have personnel from all three services in harms way. As the theatre unfolds perhaps those doing the cutting/strategy might pause for thought, maybe theatre is the wrong word, circus might be a more apt description for in a circus one finds clowns.
Clowns are self evidently in charge of the piggy bank.
General Sir Peter Wall, the Chief of the General Staff, made clear to Number 10 that he could not accept cuts in Army numbers and training which would hamper the Afghan operation
What the fuck is going on, words really do fail me, we have 10,000 personnel on a very warm two way lead exchange and the Government was even contemplating cutting training and numbers in the Army.
Mr Cameron’s intervention followed a day of threats from senior defence figures. The angry response from the top brass came after the Treasury attempted to force the Ministry of Defence to make cuts deeper than those which had been agreed previously. Military chiefs had described the move as a “betrayal”.
It had appeared on Thursday that Dr Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, and George Osborne, the Chancellor, had agreed a deal for a seven per cent cut to the MoD budget. But the Treasury position hardened yesterday morning, with officials making renewed demands for 10 per cent cuts.
The last-minute switch caused fury at the MoD, and Forces chiefs were sent to Downing Street for crisis talks. In private meetings, senior commanders told Mr Cameron’s team the bigger cuts package would undermine the Afghan war and potentially force Britain into a humiliating early withdrawal.
What sort of clowns do we have at the Treasury, they come to an agreement with the MoD and a day later say, only joking, we want more.
We can’t even run a defence and security review without last minute fuck ups like this, the pubic bitching between the services and total absence of any foreign policy input except to say, its whatever the EU says just puts the icing on the cake, no wonder Hilary is worried. In fact if I was her I would be embarrassed, not worried.
Best polish them shoes for next week.
This blows away any pretence that the review was anything more than a slicing job so let’s just drop the act and get back to cutting budgets, tripping over and squirting water from flowers.