Loadsamoney - little sense

Snatch Land RoverSnatch Land RoverThere has been a lot of fuss about the lack of priority given by Tony Blair, Des Browne and Gordon Brown to the armed forces. The 5 ex-defence chiefs have come out in unison to attack the MOD's poor military funding. There have,of course, been massive problems:lack of helicopters, the use of poorly armoured 'snatch' vehicles, lack of body armour...... There is also the wholesale privatisation of our forces, not just in areas such as catering but in training and even personal record management. Young men used to join the army and come out with a trade; the variety of skills learned which would be useful in civilian life is now limited. However, it is not so much about the money, the problem is in the way it is spent. In order, it would seem, to ensure our compliance with a future European Army. And also the 'spenders' are people who seem not to know what they are doing.

Hence, our young men and women are dying and being maimed, not because there is a lack of money but because it is being spent inappropriately.This is rarely mentioned elsewhere. The sums being spent are large. As our part of the European Rapid Reaction Force we are spending: £20 billion on the Navy's two giant aircraft carriers, £20 billion on Eurofighter and £16 billion on FRES.FRES beauty paradeFRES beauty parade. FRES is the European Union's equivalent to the US's Future Combat System (FCS). FRES and FCS are extremely high-tech armoured vehicle families all interlinked through satellite systems and, yes, we don't want the free US Global Positioning System, we want an EU satellite system (Galileo) . So, the European Union forces will be using very expensive equipment designed by a committee, each member of which will be rooting for his own country to get jobs and influence. The EU is planning state of the art systems which are, unlike the American ones, unproven.The Rapid Reaction Force is to fight Where? Under what conditions and will a Major lightly risk a £10 million pound vehicle to save a wounded man? There are other considerations, for example the American FCS is estimated to require 34 million lines of software code and we evidently haven't enough money or sense to encrypt 2 CDs containing information on 25 million people. If you link here you will see all the money that has been spent inappropriately and, by the way one of the media's 'favourites', but perhaps not the forces', General Sir Mike Jackson, was in charge when those Snatch Land Rovers were sent to Iraq.