Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A very poor job

The Defence select committee today published its Annual Performance Report on the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the effect of which, in part, is to judge the performance of our armed forces. Amongst other things, it proclaims that:

The Armed Forces are operating in challenging conditions and without all the equipment they need. The current level of commitments is impacting on training. With problems of undermanning continuing, there is a clear danger that the Armed Forces will not be capable of maintaining current commitments over the medium-term.
That looks good and is certainly attracting the headlines, but it is largely meaningless waffle. The report itself underlines the appalling weaknesses of the Parliamentary select committee system – for reasons which are not entirely the fault of their members. The findings, therefore, are a weak, superficial travesty, which do not even begin to penetrate the miasma of confusion and ignorance obscuring current defence issues.

Even allowing for the weaknesses of the system, however, the MPs have done a very poor job. One can only conclude that those who produced it should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. They won't be, of course. Instead, they want a pay rise.

Bad though the report is, the media reports are even worse – if that is possible (as indeed is some of the coverage already in today's newspapers). We have, therefore, prepared an analysis which we have posted HERE.


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