Thursday, June 13, 2024

This is an ARCHIVED article at Information and links may well be out of date.

General Sir Richard Dannatt's autobiography is entitled "Leading from the Front" but it also might equally be called "The Enemy Within". The autobiography is to be published on 16/9/10 and is being serialised in The Sunday Telegraph. The paper's Defence Correspondent Sean Rayment writes that:

The memoir is a searing indictment of how New Labour, and to some extent the military's high command, failed to properly lead, fund and equip the armed forces for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The failing, was, in part, driven by the dysfunctional relationship between Tony Blair, the then prime minister, and his chancellor Gordon Brown.

Blair's ambitious strategy of deploying Britain's armed services as a "force for good" on the world stage, where they would "go first, go fast, go home" was, almost at its inception, undermined by Brown's refusals to fund overseas military "adventures".

The problems first emerged during the long-awaited Strategic Defence Review of 1997-98, which was supposed to see Britain's military moving from a Cold War footing to one which would be able to cope with global conflicts of the future.

The review was widely heralded as a success by the military and politicians alike but the concept failed to factor in Gordon Brown's "malign" indifference to the military.

After the funding targets were set and accepted they were immediately reduced by the Treasury's demand for "efficiency savings". ...