#G150* – MoD: Ministry of Defeat Well Done Richard North
what a pleasant change – the meeeja giving praise where it is VERY CERTAINLY DUE.
Congratulations to Thomas Harding for this review – when all about him are trying to pretend the book hasn’t been written – including the MoD.
I read Richard’s book, having read much of it on his excellent blogs at:
It has been amusing watching the MSM panic, scared they will upset their cosy relationships with the Government and Military, MoD & Treasury if they had the timerity to quote the facts and tell the truth that is laid out in this book.
The book makes one wonder, after the lies of Tony Blair that took us into this war and then the venal attitude of Generals etc. unwilling to speak out for fear of their pensions and their chances of Defence Consultancies and non executive directorships once they retire – it would seem!
Do look at not just the titles but the sinecures and non exec. directorships of Guthrie as an example!
Then look closely at howmany past members of the MoD and politicians have either direct or indirect incomes from arms manufacturers – it is hardly a coincidence that Guthrie is a non exec of Colt & John Major is a director of Carlysle Group on an annual salary for these arms dealers of £1,000,000 a year!
After a certain amount of discussion may I congratulate Niall Warry who has so far purchased 10 copies of Richard;s book and GIVEN it to 10 Generals and senior officers who he personally knows.
One is not surprised that NO NEWSPAPER has as yet had the courage to publish the facts in this book – Read it and weep at how our troops are being betrayed by those who they trust to protect them!
Ministry of Defeat:
The British War in Iraq 2003-2009
by Richard North:
Thomas Harding finds that too often the officials in Whitehall lead the soldiers in Iraq, reviewing Ministry of Defeat by Richard North
By Thomas Harding
Published: 6:15AM BST 18 Jul 2009
Richard North might mock himself as an “armchair general”, but this forceful and searching analysis of the British military’s failings in Iraq provides greater plausibility than anything else put forward to date. Ministry of Defeat tells us that the British Army that was sent into Iraq partly to secure its strategic alliance with the US has suffered a humiliating setback that has lowered its standing in the eyes of the Americans.
North’s greatest service is to highlight the great disservice to the Lions fighting on the front line led by the Donkeys back in Whitehall. In particular, the Army’s current chief, Gen Sir Richard Dannatt, is accused of focusing on purchasing equipment for some unknown future conflict rather than getting desperately needed mine-protected vehicles into Iraq. He questions the MoD’s priorities of spending billions on aircraft carriers and fighter jets when the Army is doing the bulk of the fighting “palmed off with wholly unsuitable, second-hand equipment”.
North, a blogger and political researcher, was quick off the mark in criticising the now-notorious Snatch Land Rover used in Iraq, long before it was picked up by the mainstream press. While the Army had much ill-chosen equipment, North chooses Snatch as the symbol of the Army’s “culpable ill-preparedness and lack of flexibility” in dealing with the insurgency.
Ministry of Defeat also highlights a previously unreported “major strategic failure” in that when the British abandoned the volatile town of Al Amarah they opened the door to the insurgents creating the biggest bomb-making factory for all Iraq.
With the right equipment the British could have held the base, North argues, but instead, the town had to wait for the joint US and Iraq offensive in 2007 to be liberated from the insurgents. Similarly, he accuses the British of precipitately abandoning their bases in Basra city and choosing to “skulk” in the airbase on the outskirts.
North also focuses on the media’s lacklustre coverage of southern Iraq, which allowed much of the story to go unreported. But he also makes allowance for the climate of spin that led one British Army spokesman to proclaim all was “very, very quiet” in southern Iraq when in fact the nascent insurgency was in full cry. “Instead of a portal for information,” the MoD chose to use its resources “for propaganda, distorting rather than illuminating”. Often the insurgent outlets were better sources of information, North concludes.
He makes the point that while the US media reporting shaped the campaign, the British media’s “lack of engagement” meant mistakes went unreported.
If the important inquest into Britain’s questionable performance in Iraq is going to have any impact then those in positions of power should take heed of North’s urging that to recognise failure “is not to apportion blame, but to prevent it from being repeated”.
Ministry of Defeat: the British War in Iraq 2003-2009
by Richard North
265pp, Continuum, £19.99
Buy now for £17.99 (plus £1.25 p&p) from Telegraph Books
To view the original article CLICK HERE
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