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Telegraph | Opinion | Lions equipped by dinosaurs

We thus have one of the purest forms of producer capture in Whitehall.
The old saw about generals gearing up to fight the last war is an almost perfect description of current procurement policy. The Navy is good at defending the Atlantic sea-lanes from Soviet submarines.
The RAF, now hugging itself with glee over the preposterous Euro-fighter, is ready to beat off a massed assault by MiGs.
The Nato command structure, to say nothing of the EU's growing military role, more or less guarantees that our strategic thinking remains Euro-centric...

Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs by Lewis Page has been recommended here before, and also by Mr FM. It is essential reading for anyone who wants an insight into the MOD as the Telegraph leader above says. I think it is also behind Tim Collins reasoned opinion that It's time to abolish the RAF. Which is of course getting a lot of old boys spluttering in the Telegraph: Air Commodore Eric Wright CBE DFC DFM, who flew Hurricanes with 605 Squadron in the Battle of Britain. "If we didn't have the RAF in the 1940s we would all be saying 'Heil Hitler' now," he said.
Unfortunately we are unlikely to be attacking Europe in the near future and it is time to look again at the RAF's purpose amongst other reviews, but not to save money but to ensure we are prepared for the next war, not the last one, or the one before that.


Whilst I agree that the eurofighter is a waste of money, the idea of abolishing the RAF is barking. I am sure the Army and Navy would like to cherry pick bits of the RAF but I do not think that it would be in the long term interests of the armed forces or the nation.

Of course one could take this line of thinking to its logical conclusion: The Royal Navy is the only service with the capacity to conduct land, sea nd air operations in any real sense.

So why not abolish the army as well as the RAF? By massively expanding the Royal Marines and the Fleet Air Arm all operational capabilities would come under one command structure. The MOD would become The Admiralty and 70% of its civil service staff and ministers could also be fired.

The Remittance Man will now take cover as Mr Free Market and all other former soldiers dispatch volleys in his direction.


My mind was running along the same lines, Mr RM. In my experience the Army have always had an almost childish terra irredentarist view of the RAF. This should not be allowed to cloud the real issues such as 1) what form of nuclear deterrent should we have going forward 2) when (if at all) will the Royal Navy get new aircraft carriers with with appropriate aircraft 3) when will defence cease to be a national scandal 4) when will the TA get the boost in size it needs etc etc.

ps In the interests of full disclosure, readers should not take it that the initials RM indicate any current or prior association with the Royal Marines.

The Remittance Man is, was and always will be a civilian. Any urge I have to shoot or blow things up being satisfied by my involvement with the mining industry.


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