...don't have any military background whatsoever. If our illustrious Secretary of State for Defence doesn't know the difference between Harrier and Osprey, and generally hasn't ever had a need to acquaint himself with the military-industrial complex, then he's bound to have no idea what he's doing. So, how many of our Ainsworth and his ilk have any military experience? I know this has been done before, but I am in the process of comparing UK and US Sec Defs since 1945, and here are some actual figures: US SecDefs since 1945 = 24 (inc. 2 Secs of War) UK Sec of State for Defence= 31 (inc. 12 Ministers of Defence) Average US time in office = 2.25 yrs Average UK time in office = 1.74 yrs US SecDefs with mil connections: 22 (91%) UK with mil connections: 18 (58%)...17 if you exclude Heseltine US SecDef with mil connections: in post (USAF officer) UK last with mil connections:George Younger, 1986-1989 (Argylls officer, Korean War) US non-veterans Military-connected: Wilson (War Production Board), Schlesinger (RAND), Brown (defence research at DoD), Taft (Defense Dept), Cohen (heavily involved in defence legislation as a senator) No military connection: McElroy (prez, Proctor & Gamble), Cheney (Congressman, second choice after John Tower, a veteran, was rejected) Brit non-veterans Mil industry: Mason (Labour Minister of Defence, Equipment, 1967-, No mil connection: Shinwell (Labour MP), Monckton (Tory MP), Thorneycroft (Tory MP), Nott (Tory MP), King (Tory MP), Rifkind (Tory MP), Portillo (Tory MP), Robertson (Labour MP), Hoon (Labour MP), Reid (Labour MP), Browne (Labour MP), Hutton (Labour MP), Ainsworth (Labour MP), Hard to define: Heseltine (Tory MP, actively sought to avoid service, did a few months in the Welsh Guards) Of note: Future Secretary presumptive, Liam Fox, Tory, also no military connections Once again, the last Secretary of State for Defence with any military expertise was George Younger, 1986-1989, and he hadn't served or worked in the industry since the 1950's! Less time plus less expertise on the part of the senior defence minister give me just two reasons why we can expect the MOD to be run a lot worse than the Pentagon. Now, bear in mind that the DoD is already a bit of a cluster* in of itself...where would it be if none of its leaders in the last twenty years had a military background?!? I'm not saying no mil experience ensures failure, nor that mil experience ensures success (as Captain Donald Henry Rumsfeld, USNR Ret'd, demonstrated so recently), but at least men like Rumsfeld had the wrong ideas, rather than absolutely no clue. PS: Harrumph!