British Infantryman in South Africa 1877-81 - download pdf or read online

By Ian Castle

For lots of humans the epitome of the British soldier of the past due Victorian interval is the Redcoat who fought in southern Africa within the 1870s. This identify covers the major interval of the wars opposed to the Zulu and Boers; the dramatic battles of Rorke's flow, Isandlwana, Ulundi, Laing's Nek and Majuba are the most well-known engagements within the background of the British military. the adventure of the British soldier from the again streets of Britain's internal towns, to the remoted rock outcrop of Isandlwana and the mountain most sensible of Majuba is one in all self-discipline, devotion, loyalty, bravery, decision and sheer hard-work. it's a trip from which many males by no means back.

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Whether to buy this weapon or that weapon; whether to opt for this mix of forces or that mix of forces. It is decisions like these which have received most attention in the defence field. CONSTRAINTS ON POLICY MAKERS 31 Today almost everyone is aware of the enormous strides made in developing and exploiting rigorous analytical techniques capable of improving these 'second-order' decisions. In the United States, particularly since the advent of Mr R. McNamara as Secretary of Defense, a lot of effort has gone into introducing to the defence field a whole range of sophisticated management techniques designed to save money, to use resources more economically and to produce better designed equipment.

It is true that both 18 THE MANAGEMENT OF DEFENCE the 1953 reorganisation and the 1958 amendments to the National Security Act gave greater power to the Secretary of Defense himself, but surprisingly little use was made of these powers by the holders of that office. In fact there were two kinds of Secretaries of Defense in the period between Mr Forrestars departure and the arrival of Mr McNamara. There were those like Mr Forrestal, notably Mr Lovett and Mr Gates, who saw themselves as 'political' heads of a department (possibly with authority and responsibilities similar to those of a British Cabinet Minister); 36 under this conception the Secretary was responsible for initiating policy, for suggesting a budget allocation and for reconciling or imposing a solution in the event of a differing view about its allocation between the Services.

Every treaty obligation does the same. Even membership of the United Nations carries obligations. Some of these commit· ments may be purely residual, relics of a bygone era, as certain British commitments are, but however inconvenient they may be, they are legally binding, and their existence helps to determine the size, the shape and posture of Britain's defence effort. Policy makers are constrained by the facts of international life and the web of relationships and commitments in which their country is enmeshed.

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