There are a few points that we should have a think about.
We hear about the fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan, there have been far too many, we rarely hear about the wounded. What we don’t hear about at all is the loss of major equipment. Challenger II, Warrior, Merlin helicopters, Apache helicopters etc. are all multi-million pound bits of kit.
I have it on good authority that we are losing these at a rate 5-6 times greater than planned. Even if this is an overestimate, the bill for replacing this equipment will be huge and I doubt that Labour will be too keen on spending the money. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised it there are funding cuts as part of a fictitious “peace dividend” just when more money is needed.
I suspect that there are plenty of Labour politicians hoping to kick this issue into the long grass and hope that the next Conservative government will deal with it.
There are a number of questions which should be asked in the Commons to give us an idea of the effect that these conflicts are having on us. What key equipment have we lost? What are the plans to replace them? What is the timescale for their replacement?
And on the human side: We know that the retention rate has collapsed but what has been the change in the divorce rate in the armed forces over the last ten years?
I suspect that there would be a lot of squirming on the Labour benches.