One Response to “Kyle’s Links 1/30/09”

  1. Prestwick says:

    The Economist article on the state of the British Forces is a facinating and even handed critique but offers nothing that we haven’t already known for decades.

    Yes, the forces are undermanned, under or ill equipped and spending has always been poor but that has been the case since even during the Second World War. Case in point, the Gloucester Regiment who fought in Korea were equipped with a motley assortment of uniform and kit from periods ranging between (and I kid you not) 1914, 1939 and 1944. Wrap around cloth gaiters anyone? Mmm very nice!

    Britain’s forces have also for the most part of the 20th century have had a certain smugness about being able to do the job better than everyone else and have also been seriously shaken when the bubble is punctured. Take the 1960s, British forces triumphant in Malaya against first Communist Guerrillas and then Indonesia then become bogged down and run ragged by Arab nationalists in Aden and the Yemen. Americans may well be shocked by charred bodies of their countrymen hanging from bridges in Fallujah but 35-40 years previously Arab tribesmen were parading the heads of SAS servicemen on pikes.

    The bottom line is however is that no matter how understrength or ill-equipped for the task, the fact is that you can *always* rely on the men of the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Marine Commando to get the job done. Period. End of discussion.

    And this is where I take a bit of issue with the article. It points out that the Americans later “took the lead” in retaking Musa Quala but it took them a 1,000 strong battle group several days to achieve that.

    3 Para took the same area and held it successfully with a fraction of that force and firepower. That alone is testement to the fact that the British Army still “has it”.

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