Distorted expenditure and failure to adjust to future threats are setting Britain’s armed forces on a “dangerously unsustainable course” at a time of growing turbulence and risk, ministers and military chiefs are warned today. “Stretched budgets remain tied up in big-ticket, high-profile, hardware while the ‘software’, the men and women who make up the armed forces, are overlooked,” says a report by the thinktank Demos.
Anthony Forster of Durham University, a co-author of the report, said: “Most expenditure is going on what the military calls ‘platform’ expenditure – very expensive aircraft carriers, for instance – when the priority should be human issues such as salaries, the chronic and appalling state of housing and support for families whose loved ones are overseas.”
Speaking before the report’s publication, he said: “If the priorities do not change then Iraq and Afghanistan may spell the end because generals, admirals and air marshals will be left with armed forces that are not fit for purpose.”
Soldiers need more support