I Can See Clearly Now

On The Way...the Starstreak seconds after it was fired at the firing trials at Tanjung Logok, Johor, in March, 2016. year. According to Thales, the missile will fired 7-8 milliseconds after the trigger is depressed.

SHAH ALAM: I can see clearly now. The decision not to arm the nine Guardians 4X4 APC with a remote weapon station (RWS) for the Malbatt contingent in Lebanon has resulted in a loss of RM2.22 million in reimbursements from the United Nations.

The Auditor General in its 2018 report of government agencies stated that a UN inspection of the Guardians showed that without the RWS, the Guardians of Malbatt was not in line with the specifications of the vehicles agreed upon under an MOU with the participating nations.

A Guardian with Malbatt peacekeepers at a riot control training. The Guardian manual turret did not appear to be fitted with a gun.

The lack of the RWS – the Guardians are equipped with a manual cupola for a 7.62mm machine gun – was the reason that the UN did not reimbursed the RM2.2 million paid for the vehicles. The government paid RM45.10 million for the vehicles which include drivers training, spare parts and delivery charges. Upon inspection by UN in Lebanon, the Guardians passed two of three requirements as it was equipped with armour capable of defeating 7.62mm rounds and capacity for up to 10 soldiers.
IAG Guardians of the Malaysian contingent in Lebanon.

However, as it was not equipped with the RWS, it reduced the reimbursements paid to the government by RM2.2 million, the report said. The Defence Ministry in its answer to the report stated that the reduction of the reimbursement was due to the lack of the RWS only, without explaining further.
One of the Guardians on the low loaders. JF picture

I had reported previously that the experience in Lebanon showed that the local population were wary of UN vehicles equipped with RWS as this means that these vehicles are equipped with cameras and recording systems. The locals felt that the cameras would be used to spy on them doing their daily business and the recordings could fall onto the wrong hands. So a decision was made for the Malbatt not to equipped the Guardians without RWS to appease the locals.
IAG Guardian displayed at Weststar booth at DSA 2018, equipped with a RWS.

The report also noted that the Guardians were purchased as part of the RM897 million Starstreak SHORAD system deal signed with Weststar in 2015 (note the report did not name Weststar). The other deals under the Starstreak contract include the buy-back of the retired Starburst short range missile system (RM60 million) and 107 Maxus vans worth RM14.05 million. The government did not pay any money for these three deals.
A close up view of the LML NG, it has two Starstreak missiles in its sealed canister compared to three on the old launcher.

The same audit report stated that even though the Starstreak deliveries were late, the Defence Ministry had failed to get liquidated damages (LAD) amounting to RM15.04 million from Weststar as off June, 2020. The delay in deliveries of the Starstreak LMS NG, according to the report was due to compliance with the United States International Traffic Arms Regulation (US ITAR). The report also stated that the 24 LML NG launcher were supposed to be supplied under the contract.
The GK-M1 Weapon Platform in the RapidRover configuration. Tweaks are still being made to the vehicle for the final configuration.

The ministry in its response stated that its Legal Division was in the process of preparing the documents to issue the LAD to the supplier.
A Starstreak on its way to its target during the Eks Panah Jaguh 2018. Note the Rapid Ranger vehicle on the far right.

And as if the bad stories surrounding the LCS project is not enough, the report adds more fuel to the controversy. It said the Defence Ministry had failed to issue LAD amounting to RM116.4 million to Boustead Naval Shipyard due to the late delivery of LCS1, some 245 days from its scheduled delivery date in April, 2019.
A close up of Maharaja Lela at the BNS yard in Lumut today.

Moreover it said the ministry had paid BNS extra in progress payments by more than 21.1 percent.
It stated that as of 31 December, 2019, the progress payment made for LCS1 was RM910 million or 63.8 per cent even the actual progress of work was at that point was 42.7 per cent.
The keel of the fourth LCS in the BNS hangar for the ceremony today.

Interestingly the report stated that the total cost for LCS1 was pegged at RM1.427 billion. The ministry in its response that its legal division was preparing to issue the LAD and its also waiting for the Cabinet to decide on the direction of the project. As for the extra progress payments made, it stated that it was based on the contract’s schedule and after confirmation from the RMN LCS project team based at the shipyard.

For further details on the report go here.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1631 Articles
Shah Alam

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  2. From bad to worse i guess..we really not learning from our past mistakes..its all about ‘poket masing masing’ now..cant we be like indonesians at least..not perfect but not as fu**ed up like us here..

  3. These delays are due to the previous Mindef ? The current just took over during the MCO time (approx) so IMO it’s unlikely to be his call….

    Reply
    It seems most of it were during the previous government but carried on during the current

  4. Its a sad state for our armed forces.
    The issue of the RWS should have been brought up earlier with the UN.
    Never again grant Boustead any further contracts

    Reply
    I was told the decision came from the ministry

  5. “reduced the reimbursements paid to the government by RM2.2 million”
    Understandable. So they didn’t pay us back for something we didn’t equipped. Sounds fair enough. We made a tactical decision and at least the entire vehicle was paid for bar the RWS which we didn’t get. After 70 years of peacekeeping, the UN still don’t seem to get what it takes to do a proper peacekeeping role. If they could, they would want all to be hulked inside Namer heavy IFV protected by Trophy & RCWS and the only contact with locals are via video cameras and loudspeakers as the IDF does it. Outstanding job of making friends with the locals, eh.

    “failed to get liquidated damages (LAD) from Weststar” “compliance with US ITAR”
    Again this does sound like a reasonable answer not to issue them LAD as it doesn’t look to be Weststar’s fault it got delayed.

    The BNS one, however…..

  6. my opinion

    The RWS issue was a right call. Our forces are in tune to the wishes of the locals that we are protecting. All these hearts and minds decisions are the lessons we passed down from our experience of emergency and communist insurgency. Which is something that even the UN does not understand it seems.

    On the starstreak. Do we only have 24 LML-NG? This is probably in addition to our existing LML from our starburst stocks and the 6 rapid ranger systems? I also feel we should not punish a contractor due to ITAR, as that is beyond the control of the contractor. I don’t think auditors can even comprehend the power of USA and its ITAR regulations.

  7. “The locals felt that the cameras would be used to spy on them doing their daily business..”

    Isn’t that supposed to be the role of peace keepers monitoring the local population? Cameras can gave soldiers more info than just mk1 eyes such as infrared imaging and optical/digital zooming capabilities and is safer for the operator. Its not like the soldiers wouldn’t communicate them face to face anymore.

    “And the recordings could fall onto the wrong hands.”

    Well this is understandable but what about the radio traffic and other wireless transmission comm? Info passed there can also fall into wrong hands also right? Seems like this is more of a decision made by a civilian (politicians) rather than a military personnel sighh.

  8. The auditor never knew about the 8+ gun firing port on the IAG Guardian? They seems to only learn about the lack on rcws or enclosed turret then made a quick incoherent judgement that personnel have to get out to fire back..

  9. @Akmal
    Perhaps the auditors are just that, fact and figure crunchers with no actual ‘feel’ for what’s is good, right or just plain excessive in defence buys.

  10. Wait marhalim, i thought The RapidRanger Starstreak was also Ordered by the Goverment right ?.

    Reply
    Yes but the report only said about the LML NG. I cannot say something outside the report when quoting it

  11. Auditors, in general, only produce a report of their findings based on the parameters of the contract given to them. If it was not in their remit to make a judgement on the military value of the APC, they will not.

    E.g. you give me an apple and contract me to tell you if it is red. I produce a report telling you it is red. What size it is, species, sweetness, ripe or unripe, is outside of my scope of work. I can report to you if the apple is edible…. but first you have to contract me to tell you that. If all you ask for is the colour, that is all I am legally empowered to tell you.

    Our Auditor-General actually does a decent job of highlighting all sorts of problems. However you must know the “boss” of the A-G is the ruling party. The A-G is only a fact-finder. It is up to the Executive branch of the Govt to act on the reports.

    Sometimes I feel it must be quite frustrating to work for the National Audit Dept. Year in year out they report on wastage here, malfeasance there, regulations broken, due processes violated, cost and deadline overruns, a long list… but nothing ever gets done. It would certainly spark some existential questions in me, were I in the NAD.

    In the case of the RWS I agree with …

    The Audit Dept is merely reporting a fact; that is, the operational decision not to equip an RWS resulted in the UN not paying us for the RWS we don’t have. Nothing wrong with that.

    Firstly, this is a reimbursement, not a payment. We didn’t spend anything on RWS so we are not getting any allowances for RWS. What were you expecting? That the UN pay us something for nothing?

    Secondly, aren’t we deploying Malbatt out of the goodness of our hearts? The issue of UN reimbursement is secondary to national policy isn’t it? Surely if there were no UN reimbursement, we would still be there accomplishing the tasks our Govt deems it proper for our army to accomplish right?

    So in this area, I can only see that we have nothing to complain about. Meanwhile, I’m sure the NAD has reported on many more issues which are worth consideration, such as the LCS project.

  12. Re: the audit finding on the Starstreaks,

    Again, the auditors’ job is only to report a fact. It is a fact that the delivery was delayed and this is the reason given, and that the MOD did not issue a LAD. Whether or not the delivery delay was justified, the reason reasonable, and the action of the MOD correct, it is not in the purview of the auditors to decide. That is the job of the Govt.

  13. @ chua

    ” If it was not in their remit to make a judgement on the military value of the APC, they will not ”

    It would be fine if the AG did not make a judgement on the military value of the APC, but unfortunately he did. He was the one who mentioned soldiers need to stick their heads out of the APC to shoot, when the APC has 8 gun ports around the vehicle for soldiers so safely shoot without going out of the APC.

    This is his comment :

    Ketua Audit Negara, Datuk Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid, berkata, ada antara kenderaan berkenaan sudah dihantar ke Lubnan bagi operasi di sana.

    “MINDEF membeli kenderaan APC itu dengan spesifikasi yang tinggi, namun yang diterima adalah tidak mengikut spesifikasi yang ditetapkan.

    “Contohnya, anggota tentera boleh menembak dari dalam kenderaan APC, namun APC yang tidak mengikut spesifikasi itu memaksa anggota tentera mengeluarkan kepala mereka dari kenderaan bagi melepaskan tembakan.

    “Kenderaan itu juga ada sudah dibawa ke Lubnan untuk operasi. Kita hanya boleh mendoakan keselamatan mereka di sana,” katanya dalam sidang media Pembentangan Laporan Ketua Audit Negara Tahun 2019, Siri 1.

    http://www.bharian.com.my/berita/nasional/2020/08/724166/9-kenderaan-pengangkut-berperisai-tidak-tepati-spesifikasi-pbb

    What is wrong with his statement (and with it his credibility in my eyes)

    Firstly we did not even buy the APCs. In his report it is clearly written that those APCs we got by trading-in our expired Starburst missiles. So we actually gained money because UN disimbursed those APC that we did not fork out any money in the 1st place. 100% profit there. So why is he complaining about the measly RM2.22 million that is not even can be considered a loss? For a head auditor to overlook and complain a major fact like this is laughable.

    Secondly the APC has multiple firing ports around the vehicle. There is no need for soldiers to expose their heads to shoot, they can actually shoot safely from inside of the APC. Even the turret has armoured panels all around to protect the soldiers head and body. So his comment about soldiers needing to put their heads out to shoot is very misleading.

    Reply
    Its an APC, it was designed to bring soldiers to the fight. They need to go out and fight outside the vehicle. If you don’t want your soldiers to fight inside a vehicle get a tank!

  14. “Its an APC”
    The way the A-G puts it, it sounded as if with the RWS, it would have morphed into an IFV! And the last statement is saying “god help those guys because they got underspec APCs to fight with” is basically his opinion, erroneous as it were, and certainly should have not been recorded in the audit report. And audit done should be objective and without prejudice. This report certainly failed on both accounts. He’d better stick to his day job and not go about telling our boys how to fight.

    Reply
    It was during his Press Conference and not in the report

  15. Thank you. Regardless a press conference is indicative of his/his office official stance, and that is as official as the audit report itself. Unless he is the type to frequently say he is being misquoted. Yikes!

  16. @…
    >”100% profit there. So why is he complaining about the measly RM2.22 million that is not even can be considered a loss? For a head auditor to overlook and complain a major fact like this is laughable.”

    If you had the opportunity to get 200% but only got 100%, you will still be unhappy over the “lost” 100.

    But that’s not the point. The point is that it’s his job to highlight the discrepancy. Whether the nation should be happy that it got 100 instead of 200, that’s up to the nation to decide. He is there to report the fact, and the fact is that because of lack of RWS, no reimbursement was made, when it would have been made had there been RWS.

    >”those APCs we got by trading-in our expired Starburst missiles.”

    You are wrong to say that trading in is not the same as buying. Mindef specified that the Starburst should be traded for an APC with certain spec. If the result is under spec, that means we got less than we should have.

    If you signed a contract to trade in your Myvi for a Rolls Royce, and you got a BMW instead, you will punch the guy who tells you “syukurlah kan dapat BMW sudah untung” when you could well have gotten a Rolls.

    Especially if you subsequently failed to get a cash bonus of Rm2 million simply because you failed to get your Rolls!

    >”Secondly the APC has multiple firing ports around the vehicle. There is no need for soldiers to expose their heads to shoot, they can actually shoot safely from inside of the APC.”

    We both know there is a difference between having an RWS and not having an RWS. Again it’s his job to highlight that not having an RWS, if one were to operate a turret-mounted gun, one would have to stick out one’s head. And that is what he did.

    Whether a firing port can substitute for an RWS is not his judgement to make. Facts are facts.

    @joe
    “This report certainly failed on both accounts. He’d better stick to his day job and not go about telling our boys how to fight.”

    I disagree. You have to see it from his perspective. The A-G is, again, only a fact finder. He is working from what he has been told.

    In this case, he has been told, “Go and see if the vehicle has the RWS. The function of the RWS is to enable protected operation of the weapon from inside. Without RWS, one has to operate the weapon with exposed head.” He has done exactly that, and revealed the findings according to what he has been briefed.

    The A-G isn’t “telling our boys how to fight”. In the first place it is “our boys”, through Mindef and the Govt, who will have told him the function of an RWS. If he were to suggest using firing ports instead of an RWS, independently, now that would be telling our boys how to fight.

    His report is indeed quite objective and without prejudice.

  17. Rubbish article in Utusan Malaysia 27 August 2020.

    To explain much more clearly.

    1. The APCs is not bought. We got them as a partial barter (along with vans) with our expired Starburst missiles (which in accounting terms already 0 value anyway)

    2. The UN reimbursement is not to pay for “buying” the APC. The reimbursement is for the use of the said APC. Its like paying for the services rendered by the 9 APCs in the said year. You can see in the audit report the reimbursement is paid according to year. The reimbursement is for unarmed APC, which the Guardians are. So what is the fuss? The payment would be more if the APC is armed with RCWS. So the auditor thinks additional income is much more important than the mission to protect the civilians and people of Lebanon? ATM rightly thinks the people of Lebanon is their priority, and the hearts and minds path with a subdued looking vehicle (not fitted with intimidating weapons that the people of lebanon detest) is what will bring goodwill and the feeling of safety and normalcy to the people of Lebanon.

    The main reason and purpose for MALBATT is there, is to help the people of lebanon live a normal peaceful lives. We don’t want to everyday remind them that they are at war by going around in vehicles with weapons aimed at them. So congrats to the leaders of ATM on the decision not to arm the APC with RCWS. It is a correct decision IMO in this situation.

  18. @ chua

    The report did not say the APC is not the same specs as ATM ordered. ATM wants an unarmed APC, as that is what the people of Lebanon wants. Do the ATM say that the APC is not what they wanted in the 1st place? No indication at all and most of the info indicates that the specification of the Guardians is what ATM actually wanted in an APC to be used in lebanon, ie unarmed.

    The report says that the reimbursement is lower than UN “armed” vehicle. Because it is unarmed, the reimbursement is based on unarmed APC, which is lower than an armed one. So auditor “assumes” a loss of RM2.2 million just because the reimbursement is not to a UN “armed” APC price.

    Its like you know the rental price of Yaris is RM800. You rented a Myvi for RM600. You cannot claim that you lost reimbursement of RM200 because yaris rental is RM800 when you actually rented a Myvi. This is what the situation is like. Because the Myvi is what you need and want to use, not the Yaris.

  19. @Chua
    Nope that is not the scope of his audit. The A-G does is a compliance and financial audit, not a technical audit. Those are usually done by people with knowledge on armaments which he clearly doesn’t have. What he should have done is just stick with the facts; that UN reimbursed only partially for Guardian compared to the full grant given, and the reason was exclusion of RWS which we didn’t include due to operational reasons. Objective, simple, logical. That’s it! No need to tambah his garam masala soy sauce on top!

    I’ve been thru hundreds of audits, internal, external, etc, and never have I encountered audit results (both written or verbal) which reflects the auditor’s personal opinion or one that cannot be argued for omission later. Audits should never reflect a personal opinion.

  20. Chua “We both know there is a difference between having an RWS and not having an RWS.”

    … “Secondly the APC has multiple firing ports around the vehicle. There is no need for soldiers to expose their heads to shoot, they can actually shoot safely from inside of the APC.”

    There are two issues here. The first concerns the UN mission and the utility of RWS in the context. We can talk about this all day.

    The other is the latest manifestation of our tendency to not receive what we’re contractually entitled to receive. This has nothing to do with the utility of the RWS, Starstreak or Guardians in Lebanon. It has everything to do with the utility of the RWS, Starstreak or Guardians in the general context of our military.

    The AG is right on the fact that what was delivered was not what was contracted. And he’s right that as a consequence, we missed out on a reimbursement that we otherwise would have received.

    He was wrong on the necessity of exposing oneself to shoot, by virtue of the existence of the firing ports. But we all know that having an RWS is not the same as not having one, and that implications of this difference go way beyond Lebanon, regardless of how useful or useless the RWS are in Lebanon. It is unfortunate that his comments have been linked to Lebanon.

    … “ATM rightly thinks the people of Lebanon is their priority, and the hearts and minds path with a subdued looking vehicle (not fitted with intimidating weapons that the people of lebanon detest) is what will bring goodwill and the feeling of safety and normalcy to the people of Lebanon.”

    This is one version of events. We can talk about this all day without reaching a verdict, but by the fact that they approved a vehicle with RWS, the UN feels differently on the utility of the RWS. To have approved a vehicle that they felt was unnecessary would have been to subsidize a participating country’s general defence budget.

    This does not mean that either party is absolutely right or wrong on the issue. The RWS may not be useful in a daily basis but it does bring reach that may be necessary in a pinch. It is not useful in the current political climate but we all know things can change. If the presence of an RWS is indeed contentious then one does not have to deploy it or the vehicles so equipped, all the time.

  21. @ AM

    ” The other is the latest manifestation of our tendency to not receive what we’re contractually entitled to receive ”

    ” The AG is right on the fact that what was delivered was not what was contracted ”

    I will ask you to carefully reread the wordings in the audit report.

    Nowhere it was written that the Guardian APC was delivered not according to what is contracted by ATM.

    The main beef with the Guardian is the A-G insistance on getting the Guardians service in lebanon reimbursed by UN as an armed APC.

  22. @AM
    Of course an RWS has its usefulness, why would 1st rate armies equip them if they weren’t. And they are likely more useful in theaters like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia rather than Lebanon.

    But do keep in mind, the UN is paying for these vehicles to be used in Lebanon- not Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia. They could offer us money for snowmobiles in Lebanon but what are we to do with them? Just because they offer us a full buffet doesn’t mean we have to gobble all of it.

  23. “But do keep in mind, the UN is paying for these vehicles to be used in Lebanon- not Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia. They could offer us money for snowmobiles in Lebanon but what are we to do with them?”

    The RWS gives added reach, firepower and night and poor weather capability. As such it is not simply a duplicate of the small arms carried by the occupants. Like said, if the presence of RWS is controversial, it does not have to be deployed on every patrol.

    UNIFIL has come under attack before by Israel and Hezbollah, and their locations have been used by Hezbollah to launch rockets at Israel. It is not hard to see when an RWS would be useful in incidents like this, let alone if another major conflict breaks out between Israel and Hezbollah. An RWS is not going to deter Israel if it means to cause hurt, but it will help to provide warning of or repel the type of attack that Hezbollah has attempted before.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Interim_Force_in_Lebanon#Fatalities

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_incidents_during_the_2006_Lebanon_War

    As to snowmobiles, it does snow in winter in the part of southern Lebanon where Malbatt is located, heavily in some years.

    https://www.facebook.com/HishammuddinH2O/posts/anggota-anggota-malbatt-850-2-kami-di-lubnan/10152789136214355/

  24. AM – “The RWS gives added reach, firepower and night and poor weather capability. As such it is not simply a duplicate of the small arms carried by the occupants”

    Exactly. Not only does it enable accurate/stabilised fire to be delivered from within the vehicle; the sensors enable a 24 hour capability and the ability (with the zoom and track capability) to better maintain SA. The only or main issue is the straw like effect when viewing through a RWS and the extra power supply needed.

    AM – “it does snow in winter in the part of southern Lebanon”

    There is snow in various places in region including parts of Syria and Iraq.

    AM – “UNIFIL has come under attack before by Israel and Hezbollah””

    The danger is being caught between warring factions. Depending on where the mission is the UN sets standards with regards to the ability of contingents to defend themselves. Participating nations – whilst ultimately answerable to their respective governments – are obliged to adhere to conditions/ standards set by the UN.

  25. @ AM

    So you are proposing MALBATT to alienate the very people that they are trusted to protect, and break the trust that they have given to malaysian peacekeepers?

    Those Guardians are equipped with protected cupolas, and when the trouble happens, it could be easily armed with a 0.50 cal gun.

    most of our MIFV, and even our Lipanbara is equipped with similar protected cupolas. The main issue is the A-G overstepped its domain and complained about technicalities, when the guardians are exactly what was wanted and ordered by malaysian army.

  26. @AM
    Yes, I don’t dispute the benefits of RWS. But in the context of Malbatt operations, not having it gives them more benefits that equipping with it. I’m all for our guys there to use any benefits to carry out their duties even if that means omitting certain things. Under UN banner, they will never be placed under extremely hazardous situations that could escalate into pitched batles. Even besieged at Srebrenica, the Dutch UN force were allowed to withdraw in peace. The likely scenario whereby we would need an RWS is if going into a hostile area pehaps for a high risk UN sanctioned rescue op ie Blackhawk Down.

    However I am unsure if an RWS can simply be plug/unplugged from the vehicle, nor if we have the facility there to store them safely and away from the elements if we don’t use them.

  27. Chua – “Whether a firing port can substitute for an RWS is not his judgement to make”

    Yes. It must also be mentioned that there’s a reason or couple actually why firing ports have been largely discarded : because the compromise the integrity of the vehicle’s protection level and because unless the vehicle is static or moving very slowly; the target would have to be size of a barn door to hit it.

    UNIFIL there to fulfil the mandate place on it by the UN. By agreeing deploy under the UN the various countries are obliged to adhere to a certain set of guidelines.

    Whether it’s a pintle mounted MG or a OWS: it’s there for self defence. The main fear is that should another flare up occur between Israel and Hezbollah; the various contingents would be caught in between and must have the minimal means of self defence. In times of trouble the contingents would also have defend themselves against a variety of other groups as well as armed civilians who out of desperation or anger; might take it out on the UN.

    Whilst officers actually posted to MALBATT or to UNIFIL HQ will have a very good idea as to the actual realties on the ground; senior officers at Joint Force HQ or MINDEF might not. We’ve learn a long time ago not to make any assumptions when deployed with the UN.

    In the run up to the Somalia deployment; the Star and NST ran some articles. The NST quoted a army officer who said he wasn’t expecting any trouble as the Somalis were Muslims. Raises questions as to not only his sense of judgement as an officer who should appraise things objectively and dispassionately but also other issues.

  28. P.S.

    For Cambodia the UN denied a request to deploy Condors (this was told to me by the first MALBATT CO). The heaviest weapons we had were GPMGs and 60mm mortars.

    A MALBATT detachment which was deployed in a dangerous area and was expecting an attack by Khmer Rouge elements obtained a number of heavy machine guns and RPGs (unofficially) thanks to the enterprising efforts of an mid level officer.

  29. @Azlan
    If conflict escalates into open battles between warring parties, the UN force are to extricate themselves from such scenarios. They are expected not to retaliate/open fire unless in self defence during extraction to safe zones. More often, negotiations meant they are allowed to leave in relative peace even when ringed in by warring faction (see Srebrenica).

    UN mandate doesn’t allow Malbatt to be a 3rd combat force there, so heavy participation once the shooting starts are not expected unless there is another Blackhawk Down scenario.

  30. @ azlan

    ” Whilst officers actually posted to MALBATT or to UNIFIL HQ will have a very good idea as to the actual realties on the ground; senior officers at Joint Force HQ or MINDEF might not ”

    UNIFIL is probably one of the longest continuously deployed UN peacekeeping deployment we had posted. They know the situation on the ground very well and a reason why they wanted unarmed APCs in the first place.

  31. ….

    I wish it was a clear cut as you make it.

    The officers who have deployed there know the realities on the ground. Senior officers based at Joint HQ or at MINDEF; who may have visited once and who rely on briefings from liaison officers and the UN; don’t have as good a grasp of things. Same situation exists with other contingents. Is has nothing to do with UNIFIL being one of the longest deployments.

    The problem all contingents face is that they are under the direct command of the UN but ultimately must also answer to their governments; there isn’t always synergy. If you happen to meet or know anyone who has served they; they’ll tell you of the disconnect that can exist and sometimes the orders/guidelines posted from home which is unrealistic and which are at times ignored. Yes the opinions of those who formerly served are sought but for various reasons isn’t always followed.

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