His Original article can be located here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/concoughlin/8519679/Britain-used-to-win-the-wars-it-fought-so-what-happened-in-Libya.html.
His argument is that, the decline in the British ”Military Prowess”, to use his word (neo-conservative, want to call him names, but wont stop to his disgraceful low), is as a result of a SIMPLE issue of, thank gods, Leadership. Here is a passage with more contradiction and appearance of real contemporary military knowledge and understanding, and as always, a ‘pipe-hole’ for the security establishment disinformation, as he was in the 1970s, 80s, 90s to the dangerous levels of ‘selling-out’ or ‘finguring’ other fleet street ‘security establishment critics and watchers’, ask the Guardian! Anyway here is the passage;
”So what happened? Why is it that whenever we involve ourselves in conflict, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, it seems almost inevitable that the outcome will fall short of the expectations generated at the mission’s outset? It is not as if there has been a rapid decline in the quality of the young men and women who volunteer to serve in our Armed Forces. One need only look at the number of awards being made every year for outstanding acts of courage and bravery to see that there has been no diminution in the nation’s fighting prowess.”
Here are your contradiction, Mr. Toon. First, the ‘quality issues’ is there and the most significant reason behind contemporary British Armed Forces Combat Effectiveness Decline, or as you might say ‘prowess gone’. Go to Catterick, or any other training bases/ATR, whatever your choice, and take a look at the deplorable ‘quality’ and ‘quantity’ of real ‘soldier material’. The Army is full of Obese, unhealthy, Illiterate, and non-leadership qualities, what I referred to, during my first month after a spell in the forces, as a truly ‘Victorian Armed Forces”, ‘the bottom of society, forced not by will but by the need for monetary benefits (over-promised, and under-paid)”. It is this major factor that has seen deplorable decline in the numbers of recruits for special forces role, ‘fat people cant run’ (is the fun-around the camps). So, your sympathising disinformation/propaganda for a reason of why our forces have seen a decline in their effectiveness is more deeper than leadership issue (and of course leadership is important as most coming out of RMA Sandhurst are more stupid than a mere private, and rely on the battle-wits experienced Sergeants and other senior NCOs; it is as if the entire British Army is run by these NCOs rather than the Queen’s Commissioned Officers Cadre, good for nothing, but ”hobbies-obsessed-junkies” and holidays).
As you read the article one gets the clear intended-goal behind the article, (a) lobbying for the ”Militarists” (the New Navalists) against the government cuts, (b) the military own deficiencies and weaknesses are sought to be excused as a ‘politicians lack of leadership, mishandling and non-military knowledge; simply the latter, politicians, fault, not the glorious military establishment. and finally, (c) he is ‘reiterating and re-advocating’ the military wisdom of how to handle Libya; Full ‘Commitment’ (you make up your mind what it is).
So, Mr. Toon, rethink before you put your masters’ words to pen.