The Ministry of Defence is not up to the job

I'd direct readers interested in why I write that to the EU Referendum blog, and to its sister Defence of the Realm, in the absence of any serving officer to talk to. Procurement of weapons, and the provision of safe vehicles and armour for British troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere (for whom I carry no candle, but to whom I am related) is now a rather sick joke.

I don't hold myself out as competent in military affairs, or that interested. My tax money, however, is being used to send good young men and women out to die in ways that are avoidable, as well as to kill for reasons that are unclear. It seems fairly clear to me that the leadership of the armed forces, as well as (if not more than) the politicians are at fault.

Is it time for a new review of why Britain needs a separate Army, Navy and RAF at the same time as having integrated procurement and 'tesco' style corporate targets for things like helicopter provision and payment?

It certainly is time to ask what Her Majesty's armed forces are actually for, or where they should be, or what they should do. I don't know anyone who can give a clear and convincing answer to that.

I found myself wondering today if we don't need a non-trident, integrated Defence Force, with clear and externally audited or parliamentary oversight of procurement. Everything changes. Why not use the Afghan debacle to ask what we need to be safe, rather than what would be a better way of doing things traditionally?


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