10 December, 2006

Why the Generals have to speak out.

Recently two former Chiefs of the General Staff, General Mike Jackson, General Richard Dannatt, have, in defiance of convention, spoken out against various aspects of defence policy. According to Colonel Tim Collins, writing the Sunday Telegraph the Generals took this unusual step out of frustration that the politicians are ignoring the view of the military when formulating policy.

Our military commanders historically have stayed in the background, but their advice was heeded by the politicians. If the politicians have stopped listening, the commanders themselves have no alternative but to start acting more like politicians. Is this really what the Government, or the country, wants?

The battle cry of the American revolutionaries was "no taxation without representation"; after the comments of Gens Jackson and Dannatt, the cry of the single Service chiefs must now be "no liability for blunders without control and influence".


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