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Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Parochial Axe-Grinding?, 22 April 2013
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This review is from: Punching Below Our Weight: How Inter-Service Rivalry has Damaged the British Armed Forces (Kindle Edition)
There's a great essay to be written about inter-Service rivalry and the damage it has done to UK defence......but this is not it.

Even if the allegiance of the author had not been declared in the introduction, it wouldn't take more than 2 pages to deduce it. A large part of this essay is devoted to a long one-sided winge about how the RAF have undermined Naval aviation since the 1930s. This may have some basis in fact, and it may have been detrimental to the Navy, but it is a niche issue and should not dominate the essay, which should be able to use a wider range of examples to better effect. For me, the whole piece has too much of the tone of a mess bar rant and insufficient objectivity.

While the author shows that the unseemly bickering at the top of the military is unedifying and endemic, the essay fails to convince me that our military is seriously ineffective as a direct result. Yet I think the hypothesis is true and would like to see it addressed with more credibility.

Some of the sweeping statements are offensive and unjustifiable eg: "the RAF ... places its welfare and survival above national interests" and "Overriding all [for almost all officers] is devotion to ones service". The proof-reading leaves something to be desired too.

Finally, I find the proposed remedies unconvincing - although I accept it is hard to develop the theme fully in a relatively short essay. Altogether, very disappointing.
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