http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5311544.stm We should follow the lead of General Dannatt. ARRSE is the best public arena for a national defence debate. It is a tragedy that it takes the deaths of 14 men to push this issue right to the top of the news agenda. Fodder for debate: - The last attempt to balance task against resources was the 1998 Strategic Defence Review. This was flawed as Eurofighter and Trident were excluded. - Everything else since SDR has been driven by the overriding desire to cut costs. The "New Chapter" was absolute drivel. - Lives may well have been lost due to cutbacks. - Key capabilities have been lost. Sea Harrier - no organic Fleet air defence for the forseeable future. MLRS may be mothballed. - Regiments have been forcibly merged, damaging the ethos of the British Army. - Personnel have been treated with contempt - redundancies, manning control, an inferior pension scheme, substandard accommodation, risible pay increases, unending overstretch. Bliar has not even visited the wounded or families of the deceased (I bet the closest he has been was at the election in Sedgefield when Reg Keys stood against him). The wounded are treated as an embarrassing dirty secret by MoD refusing to release figures. A Federation is seen by many as the only method of ensuring they are looked after properly. - The only activity to see a substantial increase in resourcing is "corporate communications". 200+ media posts. Lying is more important than funding operations. - Ministers without exception and certain Service chiefs have demonstrated a criminally negligent lack of leadership, a refusal to accept responsibility and a willingness to lie rather than debate the facts. - British foreign policy is deranged, incompetent and surrounded in deceit. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been catastrophically mishandled, leading to troops overstretched in two theatres with no exit strategy. The deceit surrounding WMD and every other aspect has corroded trust in all aspects of public life, including the deployment of the Armed Forces. This latter point is not particularly relevant to funding but an indication of the political climate in which any funding debate occurs. There are similar threads and I will understand if this one is merged ( ) but I thought a wide-ranging thread using the "national defence debate" suggestion of CGS would attract attention.