Future Army Structure – A call for papers Part 1.

This post is a request for help, it is an exploration of how one might structure an army for a future guided by the RUSI doctrines; Strategic Raiding primarily, Contributory secondarily, and Article 5 of NATO, and a continuance of the Strategic deterrent. It assumes that the RUSI prognostication of a 15% cut in Defence spending is correct, and it is an attempt to marry the ambitions listed above to that presumed resource. This blog will explore a possibility based on the authors limited knowledge in the hope of incisive and constructive feedback.

It is your moment to shoot me down, but hopefully to push back when this narrative veers off course.

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Unrepresentative Government – And how Germany is killing the Eurozone

A lack of representative governance is playing havoc with the future of the Eurozone, and its cause is a democratic initiative from the German high court whereby it placed limits on the power of the executive to give away its authority to govern without reference to the elected parliament. The constitutional court ruled that the Bundestag must be given a full vote before further power is transferred to Brussels, and further stating that ultimate sovereignty must rest with the member states.

German parliamentary sovereignty is now threatening the future of the Eurozone, and by extension the wider economic recovery of EU as a whole.

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Great Games Made Legendary – DLC and the death of modding?

Some games arrive out-of-the-box as truly masterpieces in their own right, some small few transcend even this status to become legendary as a result of the modding tools provided, and the gamers who are inspired to go even further. If there could be just three games from times past that are without doubt legendary in this respect then they would be; Operation Flashpoint from Bohemia Interactive Software, Morrowind from Bethesda Softworks, and Medieval: Total War from The Creative Assembly. All three have used this success to create enduring franchises, Armed Assault, The Elder Scrolls, and Total War series respectively, and all three have either recently released a game from the franchise, or are just about too, or expected to announce one shortly shortly, and more importantly all three of these franchises will make use of Downloadable Content, or DLC as it is known.

DLC creates a problem for developers like these however; how do you persuade your consumers to build up a tolerance to continual micro-payments when their attention is focussed on what the mod community is cooking up……… for free?

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Britain’s future strategic direction #10 – RUSI and the balanced force.

Malcolm Chalmers is the author of the latest RUSI paper on Britain’s Future Defence Review, and his interest in this paper is to seek a balanced force against the tide of coming cuts. His concern would be to de-emphasise legacy skills whilst preserving a regenerative capability on the understanding that while they are not crucial now we live in an uncertain world, and as such we must insure against the unknown.

First and foremost it is recognised that we are overspent, over-tasked, likely to witness Defence budget reductions, and must therefore reduce the scale of our capabilities.

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Britain’s Budget Deficit – Canada and the self authored life, a coalition story

George Osborne has announced that Britain will emulate Canada in its actions to eradicate the budget deficit, and attempt to recreate the miracle of transforming a nine percent deficit into a surplus with three years. This will be achieved, according to Mr Osborne, by a “once in a generation” revolution in public services, instigated by the question; “what needs to be done by government and what we can afford to do”. Be in no doubt, if the Canadian experience is anything to go by, department budget cuts in the region of 20% will lead to nurses and teachers getting the sack in addition to the ‘faceless’ quangocrats that the public love to hate, but the result will be worth it.

At a time when Britain was facing a future trajectory that ends with a national debt of 400% of GDP with 27% of government spending to be dedicated to paying off debt-interest in the same period, we can only look at Canada’s example with admiration as they power out of the global financial crises with a GDP growth of 5.3%.

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The Ultimate Convergence Device – Nokia and the MeeGo tablet phone.

Convergence devices are forever promised, a device that fits comfortably in your pocket, can make phone-calls, plays all manner of media from books to music to video, will play games, handle basic office tasks such as documents, email and PIM tasks, as well as acting as a hub for your various groups of online friends via social networking and IM, with a vibrant development community and a non-restrictive platform, but has such a device ever arrived? Arguably not, most notably because of the conflicting challenges of making a device big enough to both display a lot of information information and house some serious power, and then small enough to remain pocket-able in a way that allows it to be always at hand. Will we ever reach this Nirvana?

Probably by the start of 2011 is this blogs best guess:

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Gaza Aid Flotilla Raid By Israeli Forces – Illegal act of war or not?

There is a great deal of sound and fury regarding the Israeli boarding operation of the Gaza aid flotilla, largely because of the violence involved and death of around a dozen of the activists on board. Two of the key points of criticism prevalent on the internet thus far that the boarding operation was illegal because it was in international waters and possibly even an act of war against a Turkish flag-carrier, and that the action was both unjustified and disproportionate, as usual it isn’t that simple.

It never is.

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