By Jason Moore SO far two former British military chiefs have blasted the government over equipment shortfalls. The former head of the navy Admiral West said this week that the British military could face severe problems in the future and unless more funding was available it would lack the necessary muscle to be involved in future operations. A similar statement was made by the former head of the army General Mike Jackson, a few weeks ago. But surely if the problem is so grave why do they wait until they retire to voice their concerns? It would be better if they aired their feelings in public when they were actually in charge rather than just toeing the government line. Unfortunately, they are both right in what they are saying. The British armed forces are ill-equipped and a series of stupid and short-sighted cutbacks have made all three services lacking even the most basic equipment. The Royal Navy no longer has any aircraft of its own which effectively means that its three Invincible aircraft carriers are redundant. The Royal Air Force is a shadow of its former self while the army is grossly short of manpower and even the most basic equipment. The French Navy is now far bigger than the Royal Navy and when it comes to equipment other European nations are well ahead. The situation is serious and perhaps it is time for senior officers to voice their opinions in public and fight their corner. Public opinion in this contest will be vital.