British generals, admirals and air marshals have the habit of rather shooting themselves in the foot. Every senior military officer, as soon as he or she retires, goes on record in the media saying that the military couldn't defend Britain from a major attack because of defence cuts.

Yes, it is true that the British military has been cut to the bone but some of the blame lies with the top brass. Every major equipment programme for the British armed services is over budget and in some cases the equipment doesn't function. A classic example is the Royal Navy's new fleet of Type 45 destroyers which were accepted into service even though the ships suffer from severe propulsion problems. So why were they accepted into the fleet if they do not function properly? If you buy a new car and it doesn't work you take it back to the dealership at once, don´t you?

And staying with the Royal Navy, it is not exactly a good idea to allow officers under training to take command of one-billion-pound submarines because accidents happen, like the collision off Gibraltar earlier this year.

British troops have been sent to war across the globe over the last three decades without the proper equipment. The Falklands War was a classic example: British warships were incapable of tackling the threat from Exocet type surface-to-surface missiles. During the First Gulf War the Royal Air Force lost a number of its Tornado aircraft because they proved easy pretty for Iraqi air defences. The British army was so badly equipped during the Iraq war that rifles didn't even function.

Yes, successive government cuts have badly hit the British military, but I do believe that the top brass should share some of the blame for faulty equipment. If British troops are not equipped for the tasks, then military commanders should be honest and tell the government the truth. An army is only as good as its commander.