What amazes me about the current row over Brown and funding for Iraq, is this. The logistics supply chain in a military situation is one of the most complex things man can devise. First, you have the labyrinthine complexity of planning and decision making in the Ministry of Defence and Whitehall. Then you have a multitude of lead times, ordering cycles, suppliers, equipment types. Then you have the vast distances involved. Then you have the dynamic situation on the ground.
At the one end of the discussion, the PM says:
…commanders were able to ask for equipment that they needed and I know of no occasion when they were turned down.
At the other end Lord Boyce says:
It’s just not the case that the Ministry of Defence was given everything it needed.
It is possible for both of those statements to be true.
It amazes me that people think that a political and military logistics chain can be boiled down to whether or not one statement is true. It’s never that simple. (By the way, I’ve worked in logistics (albeit non-military) for 28 years.)
Oh, and the day a military commander says he’s got all the supplies he needs is the day pigs fly.