There is a paradox facing those who have responsibility for equipping “our brave men and women”. Our soldiers are braving death and disfigurement on our behalf and they deserve to be properly armed and protected as best we can. The deserve to have decent equipment, appropriate armoured vehicles and decent logistical support.
Even in the best of times, money is not always in plentiful supply. Imagine what a crisis is facing those decisionmakers now.
But what really seems to be a major issue is the jingoistic calls to “buy British” to deliver the “best” weaponry to our soldiers. Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed several news reports pointing out that our troops have got the wrong vehicles for the terrain, they haven’t got enough helicopters, our threadbare Nimrod surveillance planes are asphyxiating their crews, etc., etc., etc.
The problem, of course, is that our military shoppers are bombarded with outrage at the merest idea that you might want to buy any of our equipment from outside the UK. Yet we could buy three American helicopters (that actually work in Afghanistan) for the price of one British or European one (that doesn’t). We could easily buy “off-the-shelf” military vehicles that are properly armed against improvised explosive devices, rather than wrapping Land-Rovers in two layers of extra thick Bacofoil while “British engineering genius” tries to get the vehicles we ordered a decade ago to travel further than 200 yards before they conk out.
Dozens, if not hundreds of people are dead today because of government fear of not “buying British.”
When people are literally dying because of some outdated dogma, is it not time that we should ask questions?