Apparently the top civil servant at the MOD has said that the armed forces must be ready to slay some “sacred cows” to free up cash for new and more deployable technologies. He did not indicate which equipment he had in mind but suggested that some capabilities were not deployed very often or were perhaps no longer able to keep the military personnel using them safe from modern threats.
These comments raise several issues. If there is military equipment which does not keep personnel safe, the first reaction should be to consider how it can be modified or replaced. The very existence of it indicates that it is still considered valuable.
The fact that certain capabilities are not deployed very often does not even begin to suggest that they are not needed. It may well indicate that they are doing their jobs as deterrents. The need may not have arisen recently but it might occur tomorrow.
This looks like another piece of evidence supporting the view that defence is still seen as rather less than the “first duty of government”.
“If you want peace, prepare for war” is a well worn, but true, adage. We should not be looking for cuts but making sure that we are ready for any eventuality. It is quite clear in this world of ever increasing tensions that the fall in defence sending should be reversed, and quickly.