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Special Forces to face parliamentary scrutiny

Discussion in 'Special Forces' started by ERFC, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. ERFC

    ERFC Royal Marines Commando

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  2. dodgyknees

    dodgyknees Active Member

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    Difficult to argue against.

    The difficulty will come in making a case for SF Operations without compromising OPSEC.

    There is a massive difference between intelligence and evidence and MPs may be asked to make decisions based on intelligence they may not be cleared to see in full. Particularly valid when it is almost impossible to gather supporting evidence without boots on the ground...which you would need parliamentary authority to deploy. Bit chicken and egg.
     
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  3. R

    R Well-Known Member

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    Well so long SB it was good while it lasted.......:(
     
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  4. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Difficult to argue against from an oversight and scrutiny point of view. Unsure how the nation's strategic operational reach would be affected though. :(

    The Guardian link is particularly interesting:

    "He proposed oversight should be done by a sub-committee of the Commons defence committee, with members given high-level security clearance, rather than by the parliamentary intelligence and security committee."

    I'm creating my own fantasy parliamentary SF scrutiny sub-committee:
    Diane Abbott, Boris Johnson, David Lammy... any more suggestions?

    What could possibly go wrong?
     
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  5. dodgyknees

    dodgyknees Active Member

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    Rees-Mogg to ensure the cavalry get a run out.
     
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  6. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Okay. He's on the committee. The Moggster will inevitably ask questions about 7 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps.
     
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  7. RM2977

    RM2977 Member

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    If the Americans already have a similar system in place, it can't really be much of a hindrance to overseas operations as they have special forces all over the world.

    Seems like a good idea to me. Everything and everyone should be able to be held accountable at the end of the day, as long as opsec isn't breached.
     
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  8. ERFC

    ERFC Royal Marines Commando

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    I wouldn’t mind it if it was implemented well after the OP was complete and that a brief explanation of the circumstances were given and that was it. However, MPs are nosey bastards and I’m sure theyd want full disclosure.

    Someone like Corbyn would happily get rid of Trident and then let everyone know about what are SF are doing as well as battering any Jews that don’t agree with him! :D

    (That was a joke before the haters start taking off)
     
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  9. SixteenSixtyFour

    SixteenSixtyFour Member

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    It's a nice idea (perhaps), but in reality it would seriously compromise both the security and the effectiveness of SF Ops, wouldn't it? You cannot very well send operators on a 'covert' operation which has just been discussed at length in Parliament the day prior. By that point everyone and their mum knows about it.
     
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  10. cc1

    cc1 (former RM)

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    Committees have always been excellent at passing motions in a time-sensitive manner...
     
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  11. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Pondering this, I think that a presidential executive order bypasses Congress, etc., in the USA. I can't imagine how SF or intelligence agencies could function otherwise.
    A (relatively) recent example would be the SF operation which resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden. Pakistan wasn't informed, let alone US Congress.

    But it's way above my pay grade of dragging grumpy sheep out of gorse bushes.
     
  12. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    I think the issue is that government, small g, should not be able to undertake military action overseas without being legitimately held to account.

    Previously I know of alleged covert military operations that government would have denied "ownernship" if the mission was compromised. That doesn't help the poor bugger on the ground if they get captured, fall outside Geneva convention protocols & find themselves prosecuted as rogue "terrorists".

    In short, state-sponsored terrorism, (as we label deniable acts undertaken by Russia), are being held accountable and auditable. That's got to be good news for the guys at the sharp end.

    With regard security clearance, I see no reason why government ministers cannot be DV'd and subject to the provisions of the Official Secret Act much the same as the UKSF.
     
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  13. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    ...the other thing worth mentioning, despite my personal dislike for certain political parties is the job of the opposition parties is to question Government (large G) actions. If we allowed politicians to commit British troops on a whim, we would do ridiculous stuff like, ooh, let me think... Invade Iraq on a pretext perhaps. Or maybe even send tens of thousands of conscripted British and Commonwealth citizens to fight unwinnable wars without relevance or accountability, such as Gallipoli, etc.

    In short, the scrutiny has nothing to do with UKSF personnel, just the idiots that deploy them without legitimate cause, deny it, them blame them.
     
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  14. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Arguably one of Winston Churchill's daftest adventures. :confused: Thank goodness his judgment improved in the next thirty years.

    I pass a stone memorial on Dartmoor from time-to-time. It's quite isolated and was erected by a local farming family about one hundred years ago to mark the death of their son who died as a drummer boy-soldier, aged fifteen, at Gallipoli.
     
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