On Septmeber 2, 2006, 14 servicemen died in Afghanistan on an RAF Nimrod. The results of the inquiry into that tragedy, released yesterday, reveal that the MoD is largely culpable.
The report describes a:
“PowerPoint culture in government that glosses over hard questions and detailed evidence, and sacrifices safety to incompotence, sloppiness, complacency and cynism.”
The Nimrod on which those 14 men died 3 years ago was at least ten years beyond its intended lifespan, but the MoD – inspite of outsourcing security work to BAE and others – remained too back-logged to replace them.
In a year when reports of under-funding and a lack of appropriate equipment for our troops on the ground in Afghanistan have been plenty, this new evidence will be the most damning. It will not – and should not – be allowed to go away without recrimination.
As well as military personnel, the department has been headed up by four Labour politicians in four years and six since 1997: (now Lord) George Robertson, Geoff Hoon, John Reid, Des Browne, John Hutton and Bob Ainsworth. Each should be held to account in an appropriate manner.
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