I listened last week as a soldier described his time in Afghanistan. Eventually, he told us on Radio 4, he had been made redundant 87 days short of the 16 years needed to secure a full pension.
Men who signed on alongside him who last another three months will emerge with twice his pension.
Sixteen years ago we made that man a promise. He would risk his life for us and, if he survived, we would recompense him.
Now, we’ve welshed on the deal at the same time as we award £700,000 in bonuses to bureaucrats in the Ministry of Defence.
Moral? Take up the pen and not the sword – you’ll live longer and get richer.
As a result of a court decision last week, soldiers can now sue if they are injured or die as the result of inadequate equipment.
I know all about the £38bn black hole in the MoD budget which the coalition inherited but, if we have duff equipment, where has the money gone?
We spend a reported £6bn more than the French, but they reportedly have 72,000 more personnel, 51 more jets, a bigger naval fleet plus an aircraft carrier, 2,000 more armoured vehicles and an independent nuclear deterrent.
Ours is dependent on the United States.