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.