Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lost before it started – Part 3

click here to go to the blogIn Part 1, we saw that Tony Blair had committed the bulk of the UK's long-term deployable forces to the European Rapid Reaction Force (ERRF). Part 2 saw the 2003 Defence White Paper, heralding a "major restructuring" of the Army and the official emergence of FRES, in order to meet the commitment – just at a time when the Army was taking on the occupation of Iraq and needed to keep its options open.

We also saw the Army enthusiastically embrace the restructuring, using it to reactivate an 80s equipment project and acquire a fleet of new armoured vehicles. General Sir Mike Jackson then started reshaping the infantry to accommodate the new equipment – even though it would not be available for many years. With this going on, the war in Iraq took second place, the Army there having to make do with 14-year-old second-hand Land Rovers.

In Part 3, now up on Defence of the Realm, we see a new Chief of the General Staff take over – General Sir Richard Dannatt. And the madness goes on.