Military Review Desperately Needed

Since the beginning of New Labour’s Military Adventures the army has been on continuous battle duty, undermanned, ill-equipped and chronically over-stretched. In the present climate we clearly get more bang for our buck from soldiers who can fight one moment and help others the next. Any incoming government must try to un-pick the insanity of new carriers, destroyers, submarines and nuclear missiles, to say nothing of the £20bn for Euro fighters and another £10bn F-35s for the carriers. MoD spending is simply out of control and devoid of reason. The fact that it requires 87,000 civilian jobsworths to administer 175,000 servicemen is pure Sir Humphrey. The Royal Navy has virtually morphed into the Church of England at sea in its irrelevance and obsession with ritual. The Trident lacks any deterrence plausibility. In the air, jet fighters are simply toys for boys and the inaccuracy of jet bombers makes them more counter-productive than counter-insurgent. They are rightly being replaced by cheaper drones. Any future constructive use for air and sea power can only be as an adjunct to land power.

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