Monday, December 19, 2011

More SDSR fallout...

("Minister, I'd like to drop this bomb on Libya this afternoon if we can afford it..."
"Dunno, let me get back to you.")

Briefly, those disreputable lefties at the Guardian have come up with a scoop, with an authentic-looking paper on cutting senior officers and civil servants in the UK Ministry of Defence. Naturally, the MoD are refusing to comment on leaks (which is sensible, and not just because there have recently been times when arguably they wouldn't have done anything else), but the numbers are remarkable.

Not, I hasten to add, because we didn't already know that there were lots more senior officers than the UK's force size would suggest, nor because we weren't all too clear that the MoD had a largely unreformed management structure, in which classic pyramids abound (if I'm a 1-star officer, then I must have one or more Captain / Colonel / Group Captains working for me, who in turn need the full array of Lieutenant Commanders / Majors / Squadron Leaders working for them who in turn etc etc).

No, on a first pass, the most notable factoid (assuming, as seems likely, this leak is real) is that the numbers of senior officers really grew after the end of the Cold War in 1990. Not sure yet whether this is absolute numbers or merely as a proportion of the forces - I'll get back to this later in the week.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with the ever-prescient words of Bremner, Bird and Fortune:

(Well, yes...)

Edit: updates here and here.

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