I posed this question on another forum but thought I would give it a wider airing;
At what point does defending ever decreasing in size unique and service centric capabilities become unsustainable and actually contribute to that services further demise?
As you know, one of the things I have always highlighted is areas of duplication across all three services.
We have four organisations doing EOD, numerous light infantry, three services carrying out OR and officer training, policing, engineering, electronic warfare, three or four rotary wing aviation, three fixed wing aviation, signals, logistics and the list goes on.
Each one of these has a compelling case for staying as is, the FAA/RAF/AAC for fixed wing aviation, the RE/RLC/RAF/RN split for EOD, and Army/RM/RAF Regiment infantry, plus of course each service doing their own basic and officer training.
Whilst we are seeing the march of jointery there still seems a number of red lines which neither of the services are willing to cross, service ethos and the desire for a unique identity are strong forces to overcome.
If there is one thing that is certain it is that the forces will not be seeing any appreciable or sustained increase in funding any time soon.
So can we afford all the unique history and rigidly service centric organisational constructs?
Is the appearance of duplication only go skin deep and the functions that look the same are very different in reality?
Does duplication create inefficiency or does the uniqueness deliver more than it ‘costs’?
Is the logical outcome of increasing jointery a single service and if so, should it be resisted at all costs or embraced with open arms?