Author Topic: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"  (Read 8367 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline milnews.ca

  • Info Curator, Baker & Food Slut
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Relic
  • *
  • 435,640
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 22,412
    • MILNEWS.ca-Military News for Canadians
"Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« on: June 07, 2008, 18:31:07 »
Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29, of the Copyright Act.

Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits
Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, The Telegraph, 7 Jun 08
Article link

One of Britain's most senior SAS commanders has resigned – a move that will fuel fears that the effect of overstretch is reaching crisis point in the military.

Brig Ed Butler, who was one of the Army’s key strategists in the war in Afghanistan, decided to leave amid concerns that the pressure of operations was having a “negative impact” on his family life.

It is also understood that the highly decorated 46-year-old officer, who has won the Distinguished Service Order and is a CBE, was “disappointed” not to have been offered the position of Director of Special Forces.

As DSF he would have been responsible for all of Britain’s special forces operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, liaising with allies and briefing the Prime Minister on special forces operations.

His resignation follows that of Lt Col Stuart Tootal, who left last year in protest at the “appalling” and “shoddy” treatment of troops.

Lt Col Tootal, who served with Brig Butler in Afghanistan and was also awarded the DSO, is understood to have become disillusioned with service life after he also failed to be offered a key staff job.

The commanding officer of 22 SAS, who can not be named for security reasons, also resigned last year following frustrations with his career....


SAS chief resigns over lack of kit
Michael Smith, Sunday Times, 8 Jun 08
Article link

A FORMER head of the SAS has quit the army after criticising the government for risking soldiers’ lives by failing to fund troops and equipment.

Brigadier Ed Butler, one of Britain’s most experienced and decorated special forces soldiers, is the most senior of three key commanders to have resigned in the past year amid widespread anger over lack of funding.

News of his resignation comes in the same week that General Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the army, called for better treatment for the forces and more money to be spent on defence.

In a statement issued through the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Butler said he was leaving for “a number of factors and reasons” and singled out difficulties faced by service personnel.

He praised the “extraordinarily brave men and women” who repeatedly did their job well in the face of “constraints and restraints”. He said the country owed them “a huge debt of gratitude”.

The MoD said it was “not a protest vote”. But close friends said Butler was disappointed that the government put soldiers’ lives at risk by failing to pay for sufficient troops and equipment.

“He was very frustrated at the cuts going on in the army at present,” one close associate said. “Sadly, many of the concerns held by senior officers have not been resolved and, across the armed forces, there are a lot of officers and soldiers who are not happy.” ....
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 257,360
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 14,224
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 23:30:42 »
Well done Ed and Stuart. More senior officers should resign if they can't ethically support the government's policies, nor do anythign about it through normal channels.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline rifleman

  • Son of Martha
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 9,057
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 293
  • No White Belts - No Pipeclay!
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 23:46:05 »
How is resigning going to help?

Offline Sheep Dog AT

  • The Fly in Someone's Ointment - Giggity
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 58,120
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,219
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2008, 23:54:14 »
It is the only course of action they have left.  What do you expect them to do, start a coup to effect a change in policy?
Apparently infamous for his one liners.
Oh Giggity Well...........Giggity

aesop081

  • Guest
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2008, 23:56:32 »
How is resigning going to help?

You mean beyond the strong political message that a high-level resignation sends in full public view ?

Online tomahawk6

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 113,205
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,989
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2008, 00:52:50 »
Mixed message in that article.They quit because they didnt get the job they wanted or because of OPTEMPO/Equipment issues ? Which is it ?If they had gotten the job they wanted the poor kit and OPTEMPO would have been ok ?

Offline rifleman

  • Son of Martha
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 9,057
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 293
  • No White Belts - No Pipeclay!
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2008, 00:57:14 »
Thats what I read, they didn't get jobs they wanted.

As for getting the funding, you just got to keep at it.

Offline Sheep Dog AT

  • The Fly in Someone's Ointment - Giggity
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 58,120
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,219
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2008, 14:34:17 »
I guess you missed this point driven the departure of the other high ranking officer:  "His resignation follows that of Lt Col Stuart Tootal, who left last year in protest at the “appalling” and “shoddy” treatment of troops."

Apparently infamous for his one liners.
Oh Giggity Well...........Giggity

Online tomahawk6

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 113,205
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,989
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2008, 18:15:16 »
Actually it appeared that Tootal was unhappy that he didnt get a certain job and turned in his kit. I dont object to people retiring because of policy what I do object to is someone taking a shot at the policy makers when the real reason is related to his career.

Offline Old Sweat

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 220,875
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,870
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2008, 18:38:59 »
Resigning on a major point of principle can be seen as the ultimate form of protest for a serving member, especially a very senior officer. Some retire over career set backs and a very few (I hope) try to embarass everybody when they miss the next ring.

Having stated the obvious, any one who quits to preotest the troops getting screwed faces questions about their integrity. If things are so bad for the troops, why aren't we officers staying to take more than our share of the burden?

Offline EW

  • Member
  • ****
  • 960
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 115
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2008, 20:04:03 »
Actually it appeared that Tootal was unhappy that he didnt get a certain job and turned in his kit. I dont object to people retiring because of policy what I do object to is someone taking a shot at the policy makers when the real reason is related to his career.

It could be that they didn't want to make do with jobs they didn't feel challenged in, and they decided to pull pin and leave, rather than make everyone else miserable with moaning and groaning about it - I think we all know people like that. 

I think the real story will be what they do next.  Move on into the private sector with the odd public appearance on the news, or are they really ticked with the treatment of the troops and take the opportunity to now speak out freely.  Too little information to gauge it properly.  No doubt the Fleet Street papers will be playing it up this week.

Offline milnews.ca

  • Info Curator, Baker & Food Slut
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Relic
  • *
  • 435,640
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 22,412
    • MILNEWS.ca-Military News for Canadians
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2008, 20:07:33 »
Having stated the obvious, any one who quits to preotest the troops getting screwed faces questions about their integrity. If things are so bad for the troops, why aren't we officers staying to take more than our share of the burden?

Or, on the other end of the scale, "if things were done so wrongly when you were in, why are you  complaining now that you're retired, instead of leaving a system you couldn't serve in good conscience?"
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline Old Sweat

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 220,875
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,870
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2008, 21:31:11 »
Tony,

I'm not sure I am getting your drift.

It is easy and perhaps correct to quit if you are dissatisfied with your lot; to bail out and leave your troops in a mess is wrong. If your troops are reduced to going to food banks and almost begging in the streets, that is a tragedy which requires putting one's butt on the line. Where were these gentlemen when this first surfaced? Now, with no personal slur intended, I suspect you understand that the press will make a big deal out of it, regardless of the motivation.

In the early months of the Joe Clark administration the commander of 1 CBG complained to the press about his troops and their families being forced to go to food banks in Calgary. The CDS was quoted to the effect that CF policy was not going to be set by an army one star in Western Canada.  The CDS was sunk by Senator Stan Waters, late of the 1st SSF and the PPCLI, who prompted Prime Minsiter Clark to state he that there was nothing wrong with an officer standing up for his troops.

Offline rifleman

  • Son of Martha
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 9,057
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 293
  • No White Belts - No Pipeclay!
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2008, 21:51:34 »
I would be more sympathetic for a commander who was relieved, for crossing the line to look out for his troops.

Retiring when they are needed the most can lead to someone less concerned taking over and really putting it to the troops.



aesop081

  • Guest
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2008, 22:00:43 »


Retiring when they are needed the most can lead to someone less concerned taking over and really putting it to the troops.




....or to someone more energetic and with a personality more suited to cary on the fight..........

Offline rifleman

  • Son of Martha
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 9,057
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 293
  • No White Belts - No Pipeclay!
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2008, 22:30:27 »
....or to someone more energetic and with a personality more suited to cary on the fight..........

Perhaps.... but then say that

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 257,360
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 14,224
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2008, 01:23:35 »
Many years ago - while the Earth was cooling - I attended a staff college course at Warminster and one of the speakers invited to address us was the MGen Comd 3 Armd Div, then based in Germany with BAOR. The General talked for awhile about 3 Armd Div and their role in deterring the Soviet tide and asked for questions.

Now, everyone who was in Germany at the time (I was not one of them) complained heartily about the stresses related to excessive exercises and deployments, some spending over 250 days annually away from barracks on deployments etc. This on top of multiple tours in Northern Ireland. One brave young Cavalry officer  stood up and said something  like "All the units in BAOR are burned out from too many deployments and exercises. People are leaving the army at a huge rate as a result. Why are we working so hard?".

You could have heard a pin drop after that one.

The General paused and then replied "I have three very capable young Brigadiers working for me, and never has any one of them told me 'NO'.

The message was pretty clear: stand up to your boss for what you think is right. If you can't change things after that, then transfer or leave.

My guess is that Tootal and Butler have decided to talk with their feet.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline milnews.ca

  • Info Curator, Baker & Food Slut
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Relic
  • *
  • 435,640
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 22,412
    • MILNEWS.ca-Military News for Canadians
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2008, 06:15:07 »
I'm not sure I am getting your drift. It is easy and perhaps correct to quit if you are dissatisfied with your lot; to bail out and leave your troops in a mess is wrong. If your troops are reduced to going to food banks and almost begging in the streets, that is a tragedy which requires putting one's butt on the line. Where were these gentlemen when this first surfaced?

Agreed - what I was trying to get at was that it appears that in the past year or so, a lot of retired (very senior) officers have either written books, or make extensive public statements, criticizing either the conduct of the particular war they were involved in, or the treatment of the troops.  One former general I heard interviewed on the radio, in an uncut interview, said that he opposed a certain move or policy so much, he'd told his bosses that he was prepared to resign.  The policy stuck, he stayed, he got his pension, then he talked.   I was just wondering why folks in such a situation didn't just resign on principle. 

In the early months of the Joe Clark administration the commander of 1 CBG complained to the press about his troops and their families being forced to go to food banks in Calgary. The CDS was quoted to the effect that CF policy was not going to be set by an army one star in Western Canada.  The CDS was sunk by Senator Stan Waters, late of the 1st SSF and the PPCLI, who prompted Prime Minsiter Clark to state he that there was nothing wrong with an officer standing up for his troops.

First I've heard of this story - thanks for sharing this.  Now THIS is how it should work, one would think.
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Online tomahawk6

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 113,205
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,989
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2008, 09:22:03 »
I just wonder if these officers got the jobs they wanted would they have soldiered on despite the problems.Retiring doesnt quite send the same message as an officer giving up his pension in protest of policy.
There is no question that reformers within any Army unless they are protected by senior officers isnt a career path that I would recomend. I remember MAJ Vandergriff whose personnel ideas seem to have taken root in the Army but he ended up retiring in 2005.

Offline lone bugler

  • Member
  • ****
  • 25,425
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 145
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2008, 10:49:43 »
If the troops are already getting bad kit and funding, how is the loss of a senior experienced officer going to help. The general just put more of his troops in danger cause now troops are more likely to die from tactical reasons
"Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder"

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 257,360
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 14,224
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: "Army crisis grows as SAS commander quits"
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2008, 00:01:28 »
If the troops are already getting bad kit and funding, how is the loss of a senior experienced officer going to help. The general just put more of his troops in danger cause now troops are more likely to die from tactical reasons

Don't worry about capable leaders stepping in to fill their shoes if they leave. Thanks to the ruthlessly managed promotion system in the UK ,there are still enough ambitious young thrusters out there to fill any gaps that appear  in the command structure, for any reason!
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon