South Africa's Minister of Defence vs the US Secretary of Defense

eg2505

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So it is not unreasonable then to expect our Minister of Defence to be knowledgeable and skilled in matters of defence.

I do not think her an idiot, I think she's quite driven actually.
But how do you go from being deputy minister of home affairs, then minister of home affairs, then minister of correctional services, then minister of defence in 10 years?
because the cabinet and ministers posts are meaningless,
all they are are just different troughs for piggies to feed in. nobody actually expects them to do any actual work. and nobody expects them to lead or justify their existence.
(real work is done by expensive consultants).

as I said before, there are only 2 criteria, your black, and related to the ANC in some way shape of form.
nothing else matters, honestly all it is is quite simple.
 

TheChamp

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And the South African Minister of Defence, who is qualified to teach primary school kids, will be able to have a coherent military related conversation with a four star general?
Why wouldn't she? A pharmacist who was minister of finance was able to have a coherent conversation with gurus of finance and economics.
 

Cosmik Debris

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Why wouldn't she? A pharmacist who was minister of finance was able to have a coherent conversation with gurus of finance and economics.

So, you're saying a primary school teacher can have a coherent and meaningful conversation about military matters with a four star General?

Would a primary school teacher even be able to have a meaningful discussion about military matters with an infantry corporal?

Am I right? Yes or no?
 

Cosmik Debris

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Why wouldn't she? A pharmacist who was minister of finance was able to have a coherent conversation with gurus of finance and economics.

Was he? Or did they snigger behind his back? And remember that Ramaphosa wasn't even remembered when he was at Davos, he was so inconsequential. Referred to as someone from Africa if I remember...
 

TheChamp

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Fair point.
He has almost 10 years experience in that position and in the gap he was CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council and served as a Strategic Advisor to Colorado State University’s food and water initiatives. Related fields.

Locally, take Zweli Mkhize for example, he is a doctor, has a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree, has a practice etc.
He's appointed to minister of health, that makes sense. Related fields.



Probably she met all the requirements. Maybe that's the issue.
Could the bar be that low?
Our Ministers of health have always been doctors, the government has never preferred a former military officer as a Defence Minister, General Siphiwe Nyanda was made a Minister of something else, I am sure they have their reasons for that.

As I have already said our previous Finance Ministers were not finance people, If you want to make a point about appointing Ministers qualified in the applicable field it is fair enough, wanting to use some other government s a standard could also be fair enough if that government was consistent in applying the standard.
 

Cosmik Debris

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Our Ministers of health have always been doctors, the government has never preferred a former military officer as a Defence Minister, General Siphiwe Nyanda was made a Minister of something else, I am sure they have their reasons for that.

Because the ANC has never had a real general? Even Siphiwe Nyanda didn't come up through the ranks. He was instantly promoted to General, like the bank clerk Riah Phiyega. Also Selebi and Cele. All hopeless cases that were promoted for political loyalty not military nor policing ability.

The ANC doesn't see defence as important either as evidenced by the very low expenditure of GDP on defence. So they obviously don't see competence as a prerequisite for the minister and can appoint anyone on loyalty instead of competence.
 

Cray

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So, you're saying a primary school teacher can have a coherent and meaningful conversation about military matters with a four star General?

Would a primary school teacher even be able to have a meaningful discussion about military matters with an infantry corporal?
An infantry corporal probably wouldn't have the education or training to explain it to a civilian MP. Part of the requirement being a four-star general should be the ability to interact and explain military concepts to civilian politicians.

Plenty of countries don't always choose ex-soldiers as Defence Minters, UK for example.

UK Minister of Defence - Ben Wallace - he served as a Captain of the Scots Guard. The two previous ministers had no military experience. Penny Mordaunt studied Drama, Gavin Williamson did a social science degree.
 

Cosmik Debris

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An infantry corporal probably wouldn't have the education or training to explain it to a civilian MP. Part of the requirement being a four-star general should be the ability to interact and explain military concepts to civilian politicians.

Plenty of countries don't always choose ex-soldiers as Defence Minters, UK for example.

UK Minister of Defence - Ben Wallace - he served as a Captain of the Scots Guard. The two previous ministers had no military experience. Penny Mordaunt studied Drama, Gavin Williamson did a social science degree.

The question remains. Would a primary school teacher be able to have a coherent and meaningful conversation about military matters with a four star General on the same level?
 

TheChamp

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Because the ANC has never had a real general? Even Siphiwe Nyanda didn't come up through the ranks. He was instantly promoted to General, like the bank clerk Riah Phiyega. Also Selebi and Cele. All hopeless cases that were promoted for political loyalty not military nor policing ability.

The ANC doesn't see defence as important either as evidenced by the very low expenditure of GDP on defence. So they obviously don't see competence as a prerequisite for the minister and can appoint anyone on loyalty instead of competence.
All Chiefs of SANDF are career military officers, the Police Commissioner post was politicised and that's how the Selebi and other got in, some administrators insisted in treating it like a DG post and that's how Phiyega got in, thankfully it has been rightfully restored to what it should be.

I still believe SAPS should be split into Operations and Administration/Support, a career cop should be the operations Commissioner and a learned somebody should be a DG of administration and support.
 

splattie

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Beg to differ. South Africa has seen a lot of war and the military was involved in a lot of conflicts. Even today the SANDF is involved in other countries. And don't forget that just 30 years ago the South African military was the best in Africa and regarded as one of the top 10 in the world for smaller force ability.

The SANDF is not even a shadow of its former self.
You may beg to differ but history doesn't.
 

Cray

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The question remains. Would a primary school teacher be able to have a coherent and meaningful conversation about military matters with a four star General on the same level?
I think it would be down to the abilities of the person involved, everyone is different.. Aren't you the guy who is all about meritocracy, *if* she can do the job what difference does it make what she studied?
 

Cosmik Debris

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All Chiefs of SANDF are career military officers, the Police Commissioner post was politicised and that's how the Selebi and other got in, some administrators insisted in treating it like a DG post and that's how Phiyega got in, thankfully it has been rightfully restored to what it should be.

Siphiwe Nyanda was a career military officer?

All Chiefs of the SANDF and arms of service have had shadow deputy chiefs who were former SADF who actually run the show as the ANC Generals have absolutely no operational experience. The ANC generals do the photo's and make the statements as the face of the service. Two names who have been the real persons behind the SANDF - General Roland de Vries and Admiral Hanno Teuteberg.

General Solly Shoke and the rest put in the cameo appearances.
 
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TheChamp

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I think it would be down to the abilities of the person involved, everyone is different.. Aren't you the guy who is all about meritocracy, *if* she can do the job what difference does it make what she studied?
I remember him as the guy who asked R13 to show him his law qualifications because R13 dared to comment on some legal thing
 

Cosmik Debris

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You may beg to differ but history doesn't.

Maybe you need a reminder of South African history and war of the last 100 years?

Boer War
WW1
WW2
Korean War
Cold War
Rhodesian War
Angolan / Mozambican War

Suggest you go read your history...
 

Cosmik Debris

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I think it would be down to the abilities of the person involved, everyone is different.. Aren't you the guy who is all about meritocracy, *if* she can do the job what difference does it make what she studied?

Yes, I am for meritocracy. Which requires proof of ability and qualifications...

She has clearly never demonstrated either. The reason the SANDF is in a shambles.
 

JohnStarr

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Comparing the two positions shouldn't even happen because they are not exactly similar.
Don't they both look after the respective armies of their countries? I'd kind of say they are similar.

Except she's a primary school teacher with zero experience and he's clearly got what it needs to succeed.
 

JohnStarr

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...this is like comparing a doctor/pharmacist/medical researcher with the clowns here who are keyboard experts in IVM and feel they know better.
You can't. One is an expert, the other a pretender.
 

TheChamp

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Don't they both look after the respective armies of their countries? I'd kind of say they are similar.

Except she's a primary school teacher with zero experience and he's clearly got what it needs to succeed.
Of course, as similar as Mswati and Ramaphosa's positions are, they are both heads of their respective countries.
 
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