This, which comes, yet again, from my friend The Regimental Rogue …
… should be in almost every cabinet minister’s office and in those of many, many senior bureaucrats.
Leaders, from those elected to lead Athens, 2,500 years ago, to those leading Canada today, have, consistently, tried to pull, down and then, later, enlarge or structurally alter their naval and military forces in order to save money … only to discover that when they have bullied and harried their naval and military forces nearly to death they must be revived ~ a process that Churchill, correctly, notes, needs lots of time (which is often not available) and lots of money.
When time cannot be made the price for political caprice is usually paid for in human lives. Enough Canadians have paid the highest price (sailors and soldiers accept absolutely unlimited liability for the decisions ~ good and bad ~ of politicians) for governments that ignore defence or try to push it to the back of the public mind … governments need to lead, and leading often requires being a bit unpopular because some decisions must be made for the common good, not for immediate, partisan political advantage. Politicians who cannot or will not lead, even (especially) when leading is tough need to be consigned to the political rubbish heap.