Is it too much to hope that the Defence Secretary will take note of his warning? Sadly I think it is. The government has taken to hiding behind the advice given by those unable to express their real feelings due to the jobs they hold. UKNDA has consistently called for Service Chiefs to be given the freedom to speak openly about the state of the nation’s defences, as they can in the United States.
Until that happens UKNDA must continue to draw the attention of politicians and the general public to the dangerous state of the Armed Forces of this country.
All services are now undermanned and lacking vital equipment, but it is the Royal Navy where this is most obvious at the moment following the entry into service of HMS Queen Elizabeth. The denied lack of the required number of escort ships will become very clear very soon. The government’s answer is to build ships at a snail’s pace and assume in the meantime that we can live with the risk.
This attitude applies throughout all defence procurement. It is a dangerous attitude which hardly equates to the mantra that “Defence and Security are the first duties of Government”.