It never ceases to amaze me how hypocritical politicians are and what short-term memories they seem to possess.
I'm aware the MoD is a monstrous government department - the building itself and the anonymity of the endless corridors conveys inefficiency somehow - but how do politicians expect accurate levels of spending on military equipment over the next decade when officials have little or no idea of what war will be our leaders' next choice?
The cost of the Afghanistan war had reached £17.4 billion six months ago and that sum excludes military salaries. Our exit strategy has yet to be finalised because Pakistani leaders can't decide if or when they will open their borders to allow our troops a way out. One thing is certain, the military will have to leave a great amount of equipment behind, the cost of which will run into another few £billions.
Then there is the £70m we will be contributing a year to help pay for the Afghan National Security Forces plus an aid programme in excess of £70m a year for Afghanistan, according to the Prime Minister.
Surely Margaret Hodge is aware, after her party send our troops to war in Iraq, that the only figures the MoD can project for equipment are those plucked out of thin air?
Of course it will be much easier to give accurate forecasts for salaries and that figure should be reducing year on year as they continue to sack personnel. This country will suffer for this short-termism because the proposal to rebuild our military by using TA members is backfiring. But that's another story.