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British Army Chief Wants Out Of Iraq  
User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5815 posts, RR: 31
Posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2355 times:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6046332.stm

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2325 times:

Caused a stir here.
Since senior military commanders, whilst still serving, are not known to make comments that might be seen to contradict government policy.
If they did, note the Daily Mail ran this, they would have put it through their anti government prism-(though if a Tory government was prosecuting this war, I doubt they'd have been so keen to).

However, Dannant is only saying what most think, additionally, he may not want to be seen as being a government stooge.

He is in favour of Afghanistan however.

Fact is, to keep say one battallion in Iraq, you need three, one there, one preparing to relieve them, the third having been replaced in theatre and working up, after a rest period, to go elsewhere, do other things, or to prepare to go to Iraq again.
Multiply this across the numbers in Iraq, you see overstretch, Afghanistan adds to this, then other things like Bosnia, the residual though reducing Northern Ireland and other commitments.

This should be seen in the context of earlier comments that the army 'is running hot', can only just cope.


User currently offlineBushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2307 times:

I think it is brave for a guy in his position to come out and say that. If Gen. Casey did that, he would be out of a job PDQ. I think it is high time for the Iraqi government to step up and do thier part. I know democracy is slow, it is that way by design, but there seems to be little progress at ending the violence gripping Baghdad specifically, the coalition forces can only do so much.

User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2294 times:

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 2):
I think it is high time for the Iraqi government to step up and do thier part.

It agreed 100%, hopefully it will happen sometime in my lifetime. It's time to see if the Iraqi government can move forward on its own, doubtful but the US and UK troops can't provide assistance forever.


User currently offlineBHXFAOTIPYYC From Portugal, joined Jun 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2292 times:

It is quite bizarre, because Blair has said that "he agrees with every word" (to quote Sky News).

Whilst I understand and agree with what Dannant is saying, he is just one in a long line of top UK and US military (serving and retired) to publicly state that he is not happy with the present situation. With the advent of the Internet and so many 24 hour news channels "everyone" is getting their 2 cents in. I'm sure the polarisation that this war is causing must be music to the terrorists/insurgents ears. There is supposed to be a chain of command in our armed forces starting with the PM/President and going down. This chain seems to somewhat kinked these days.



Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2286 times:

Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 4):
he is just one in a long line of top UK and US military (serving and retired) to publicly state that he is not happy with the present situation.

No, not serving. For an officer so senior to effectively come out and publicly say he doesn't agree with government policy is extremely unusual, at least in the 250 years.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2265 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 5):
No, not serving. For an officer so senior to effectively come out and publicly say he doesn't agree with government policy is extremely unusual, at least in the 250 years.

Concur. He either has brass balls or was authorized by the government to issue the statement "to test the waters."


User currently offlineAllstarflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks ago) and read 2237 times:

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 2):
I think it is brave for a guy in his position to come out and say that.

 no  I don't know what the military structure is like over there, but that would be bad ju-ju if anyone did that over here and undercut the C-in-C. The PR nightmare, the military trying to deal internally with how to address insubordination and then the decision with what to do then about the war - it would not be a good thing. I'm sure there's other (more tactful) ways of voicing one's opinion/displeasure without  stirthepot  .

-R


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 2 weeks ago) and read 2237 times:

Seems like the General is talking again . . . .

"I said that we should pull out sometime soon, but that comment needs to be placed in the context of the campaign and the campaign plan," Dannatt said Friday, after the newspaper interview was published."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/13/iraq.general/index.html


I guess all you folks that jumped on the Anti-Blair bandwagon in this thread thinking the good General just ended his career and Blair's oughta grab some salt to have with your crow.

Further:

Dannatt said his criticism of post-war planning in Iraq and his concerns about troops being stretched in Iraq and Afghanistan merely echoed comments already aired by retired senior officials.

So, he's right in line with a hundred other Flag Officers that have voiced the same concerns. Some retired, some still on active service? So what? That's his job. Good for you, Gen Dannett. No different than Gen Schoomaker refusing to send the US Army budget forward because it was bullshit. Instead, he did his job and made the heirarchy listen. About time we had some folks in the Flag ranks that weren't a bunch of yes men asskissing peuedo politicians that do their jobs.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2214 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 8):
I guess all you folks that jumped on the Anti-Blair bandwagon in this thread thinking the good General just ended his career and Blair's oughta grab some salt to have with your crow.

Come on, 'Flyer, you aren't that naiive.

What happened is the good General spent the following day "clarifying" his remarks to every broadcaster in the country - i.e. backtracking from what he said.

It wasn't ever a question of "ending his career" (not least because sacking him would cause uproar) it was, quite simply, extremely surprising that the commander of the army would say such a thing.

You know, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and an event is newsworthy enough for someone to put on here because it's newsworthy.

The interesting question about his original remarks is whether they were deliberate or a fairly substantial slip of the tongue.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2210 times:

Blair back the General in this piece . . .

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/14/iraq.general/index.html

Quoting Banco (Reply 9):
extremely surprising that the commander of the army would say such a thing.

I would definitely agree there. Wish more Flag officers had the balls - slip of the tongue or otherwise - to say what they feel - we'd be a lot better off for it.

Gen. Dannatt likely said exactly what he thought, and that deserves respect. Especially for a military man who has to be part politician and part soldier based on the position he is holding. Good for him.

It's his job, like it or not, to make the hard calls and call 'em like he sees 'em. If he meant what he said literally, I'm okay with it whether or not I agree with it because it took gut to say it. Just like my mentioin of Schoomaker above - who went against Rummy - a guy we KNOW has a propensity for firing anyone over anything that isn't exactly in concert with his thought process.

I don't think he's backtracking either. And PM Blair's comments appear to be rather supportive of the General.

The General's own words: Dannatt, speaking in an interview with ITN, said "one or two comments" were "plucked" out of an "extensive" and wide-ranging interview and placed in a story he thought was "sensationalized" and overblown.

You don't suppose, Banco, do you that the media grabbed ahold of this, butchered it as usual, and made a sensational story out of it? Entirely possible. Even for the renowned BBC  wink .


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2209 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 10):
Blair back the General in this piece . . .

The political reality is that had to. No choice whatsoever. Look, irrespective of the rights and wrongs, you must understand that the actions the following day, on all sides, were a damage limitation exercise. Don't take a face value the "shoulder to shoulder" stuff of the following day, because that's just trying to extricate all of them from a tricky situation.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 10):
I would definitely agree there. Wish more Flag officers had the balls - slip of the tongue or otherwise - to say what they feel - we'd be a lot better off for it.

This is the question, was it a slip of the tongue, or deliberate? If the former, it was a bloody long one, because he went on about at length in an interview. This isn't one casual throwaway line that could have been misinterpreted. If deliberate, why would he do such a thing?

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 10):
I don't think he's backtracking either. And PM Blair's comments appear to be rather supportive of the General.

Oh he was. No question whatsoever. There's a substantial difference between saying we should leave "soon" and his clarification of "as soon as the job is done". It comes back again to whether he meant what he originally said.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 10):
You don't suppose, Banco, do you that the media grabbed ahold of this, butchered it as usual, and made a sensational story out of it? Entirely possible. Even for the renowned BBC

No, I don't. Not in this case, and the reason is because Dannatt's interview in the Daily Mail was a very long one. This wasn't him saying two sentences that could be skewed and misquoted, it was lengthy and well-argued. I would strongly advise that you research the BBC and other UK sources, because they will go into the political nuances of all of this to a much greater level than CNN, simply because it's a bigger story here than internationally.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2206 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 11):

OK, I take what you say at face value - even though you recommend against taking things at face value  wink  - and I appreciate your input. Maybe I can get my hands on that Daily Mail article and read the whole thing.

Regardless, I still respect the General for have the fortitude for speaking his mind, rather than towing the party line.

Quoting Banco (Reply 11):
I would strongly advise that you research the BBC and other UK sources, because they will go into the political nuances of all of this to a much greater level than CNN, simply because it's a bigger story here than internationally.

I read both - the BBC and the CNN articles . . . they weren't much different. The CNN article this morning was markedly different than the one I posted a few moments ago.

I will go have a look at the Daily Mail as well . . . .


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2204 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 12):
Regardless, I still respect the General for have the fortitude for speaking his mind, rather than towing the party line.

That's one of the theories about why he might have done it. Certainly his comments went down well with the soldiers, who always like to see their senior officers standing up for their own opinions.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
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