Decision-making in Defence Policy - Defence Contents

2  Case Studies

Decision-making in Helmand

6. There is perhaps no clearer recent example of the problems of decision-making in the Ministry of Defence, than the decision to move British troops to Helmand in Afghanistan in April 2006, and then, subsequently, into Northern Helmand in May 2006.

7. Over the winter of 2005-2006 a decision was made to give British troops the responsibility for Helmand Province in Southern Afghanistan. Then, at the request of the new provincial governor, Governor Daoud, the British agreed to establish small 'platoon houses' in the Northern areas of Helmand. The initial objective of the deployment was to focus on re-establishing good governance, and eliminating the growth of opium poppies. The fundamental threat in Helmand was then believed to come from corrupt government, and from narcotics traffickers.[5] There was not then believed to be a significant Taliban threat to British forces.[6]

8. Very rapidly, however, the British troops found themselves under heavy attack. In early July, the Taliban surrounded the position of Sangin, killing eleven British soldiers, and requiring an airlift of 200 paratroopers, supported by the United States and Canadian forces to relieve the position.[7] In early August, Musa Qala was surrounded and came under intensive fire at close range, and again needed to be relieved with heavy forces.[8] By mid-October, according to Brigadier Ed Butler, Musa Qala was 36-hours from being abandoned.[9] With increasing evidence that the platoon house strategy was unsustainable, a temporary cease-fire was negotiated. At the same time the Ministry of Defence conceded that they had not anticipated the intensity of Taliban resistance.[10] Troop numbers, which were initially intended to be 3,000 were increased to 7,700, and reinforced with more heavy equipment. In the words of Desmond Bowen, then Director of Policy Planning at the Ministry of Defence, "things should have happened that did not happen".[11]

9. With the benefit of hindsight, it seems clear that the British should not have deployed to isolated platoon houses in Northern Helmand, in the face of a Taliban insurgency. They should not have believed that the task in Helmand would primarily be a question of governance and reconstruction. They should have seen the threat from the criminal, tribal and religious politics of the Province. So what went wrong?

Expertise, knowledge and intelligence

10. It is clear, first, that the British Government was insufficiently well-informed about the dangers posed by Helmand. Instead, there was a general consensus that the British troops would be relatively popular with the local population, that their major tasks would be in reconstruction, and that they would not face an intense insurgency. Brigadier (retired) Ed Butler, who commanded the British Forces in Helmand, at the time of the deployment, neatly encapsulated these assumptions, when he expressed surprise at "quite how violent" the reaction was from the Taliban to British forces.[12]

11. As well as underestimating the numbers, resources and determination of the Taliban, the British government also underestimated the deep financial links, family connections, support from the Kabul government, narcotic networks, and patronage and criminal base of the major power-players in Helmand, including the recently ousted governor Sher Muhammed Akhunzade.[13] In short, British understanding of Helmandi tribal and religious structures, power networks, crime, culture and politics, was inadequate.

12. This reflected the lack of focus on deep-country knowledge among British diplomats, intelligence officers, and the military. Officials had spent almost no time living amongst Afghan rural communities, did not speak Pushtu, and had only a superficial understanding of Helmand's families, culture and history. Our witnesses have stated that intelligence from Afghanistan was "badly flawed", and that "high quality intelligence" was not received from Helmand province.[14]

13. The lack of expertise on the ground was paralleled by a real absence of expertise in London. Whereas, nineteenth century reforms had required that a majority of the Indian office in London consisted of people who had served in India for at least a decade, the Afghan section of the Foreign Office in London, as late as 2010, included no-one who had actually served on a posting in Afghanistan.

14. This lack of deep-country understanding extended throughout the senior ranks of the military, and to politicians. Dr Kim Howells, former Minister at the Foreign Office, emphasised that in order to acquire any "on ground" exposure to the situation in Afghanistan, he had to circumvent the British government system and hitch a ride on a US plane to Helmand.[15] His brief exposure to the situation in Helmand was he thought greater than that of other leading decision-makers.[16] It left him deeply worried by the situation on the ground, but he was unable to find a hearing.[17]

15. The lack of intelligence that political leaders were using to make key decisions in relation to Afghanistan was noted by commentators.[18] Adam Holloway, a Member of Parliament, and former member of the Defence Committee, voiced his frustrations, saying in a speech in the House:

    Only about two years ago, after I had given a presentation to the National Security Council, an immensely senior person in our Government took me aside and said, "Adam, are you really saying that the Taliban aren't a threat to the UK?" That revealed the most fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between the Taliban and al-Qaeda. It almost beggars belief.[19]

16. More generally, it was observed that Ministers lacked not simply knowledge about Afghanistan, but also "briefing on the military aspects of their jobs".[20]

Ability to challenge

17. In so far as there were critical voices willing to challenge the conventional wisdom and emphasise the risks in Helmand (whether from Special Forces reconnaissance, or from country experts), they were supressed.[21] Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles recalled being told not to report American criticism of the British army to London "because it upsets the MoD".[22]

18. Dr Kim Howells was not convinced that "much intelligence [was being]….passed back and forth between Departments, or even sometimes within Departments", and suggested that in some cases it may have been "ignored".[23] Brigadier Butler added that "human failings" had led to leaders failing to understand or recognise the importance of intelligence that was available.[24] And he added "What happened to that intelligence, and why it did not feed into the various Government Departments, I am not sure, and I find that is a major shortcoming".[25]

19. This was exacerbated by the unshakeable optimism—at least publicly—from every successive commander that they had the resources, and plan to achieve a 'decisive' impact in Helmand.[26] Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, reported never experiencing a "negative briefing" about what was being achieved in Afghanistan.[27] This amounted, in Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles' words, to a "massive act of collective self-deception".[28]

    We all wanted to believe that it was working; we wanted to please Ministers, the armed forces and the Americans. There is nothing new about this; the same thing happened in the early years of the Vietnam war, when the best and brightest round John F. Kennedy knew that the American strategy in South Vietnam couldn't work and wouldn't work; but they used the phrase that we used ourselves in Afghanistan: "Progress is being made, but challenges remain." It was wishful thinking, rather than some massive conspiracy.[29]

20. Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles reported that members of the Government in 2006 were "in awe of the generals and military",[30] and that the Afghan campaign lacked a balance between strong Ministers and strong advisers, both civilian and military.[31] He therefore suggests that there may have been, on occasion, an absence of confidence amongst ministers in particular, to challenge the military advice, and ensure they receive "the wider picture".[32]

21. Lieutenant General (retired) Sir Robert Fry told us about a document entitled "Why Helmand", produced by the MoD, which suggests that analysis of decisions made did take place.[33] However, we are unable to confirm this analysis, since the MoD were unable to provide the "Why Helmand" paper.

22. Finally, there was a general assumption that the overall decision to deploy had already been made, and it was too late to question it. Dr Kim Howells reported feeling as if he was "nit-picking, rather than being part of some great process of decision-making", when he challenged the decisions that were being implemented.[34] This may in part have reflected a sense that the UK was simply part of "a larger American war effort", and there was the feeling at the time that the UK needed to be loyal to their "most important ally".[35] Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles said that political leaders need to "empower" advisers to offer "honest", "objective" advice that "may not always be welcome".[36]

Long-term thinking, including a focus on strategy

23. Intelligence and assessment of the mission aside, the overall objective of the mission remained strikingly vague:

    to conduct security and stabilisation operations within Helmand and wider Regional Command South, jointly with Afghan partners, other Government departments and multinational partners, in order to support the Government of Afghanistan, governance and development objectives.[37]

24. This remained true of future iterations of the strategy, including that of 2009, which was defined as:

    International [...] regional [...] joint civilian-military [...] co-ordinated [...] long-term [...] focused on developing capacity [...] an approach that combines respect for sovereignty and local values with respect for international standards of democracy, legitimate and accountable government, and human rights; a hard-headed approach: setting clear and realistic objectives with clear metrics of success.[38]

And which appeared to be not so much a plan for what to do, as a description of what we lacked. Pauline Hayes, former Head of Office in Afghanistan 2010-12, Department for International Development, told us that "in Afghanistan everything we do is […] driven by an NSC strategy for Afghanistan", and yet despite this, she went on to tell us that "First and foremost, I discuss with the Afghans, because what we do should be guided by their priorities, strategies and so on, but then we will talk to the US, the EU and other bilaterals such as the UN, the World Bank and the IMF. We have to work in tandem to deliver in Afghanistan." By its own admission, DFID told us that it prioritises the views of others over that of the UK strategy. Where strategy exists, it appeared to be relegated to low priority.

25. This failed to provide any sensible framework for assessing the risks, costs, benefits, or objectives of the mission. Brigadier Butler argued that the UK needed to be "much more business-like in how we get into some of these significant strategic operations and campaigns and actually cost it".[39] He said that "there was no clarity about what our strategic objectives were; and there was no real definition of what success or failure might look like".[40] Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles questioned "where is the strategy—what is the outcome we're hoping to deliver in the long run"?[41] He believed that the UK suffered from "confusion" about the overall aim of the mission.[42] Brigadier Butler believed that by taking a realistic long-term view of the real costs in lives and resources of the deployment to Northern Helmand, the UK might have avoided the "self-deception" that there could have been some sort of success.[43]

Accountability and responsibility, including evidence of an auditable trail for decisions made

26. The vagueness of the strategy was reflected in the lack of clarity about why Britain was deploying to Helmand in the first place, rather than to Kandahar (like the Canadians), and rather than continuing the constructive work which British forces had been undertaking in the more permissive environment of Mazar-e-Sharif. In the words of Dr Kim Howells, then the Minister responsible for Afghanistan:

    I was told that we were going to Helmand. I asked why, but no one seemed to know. The usual answer was that the Canadians had got Kandahar first. It seemed a bit haphazard really.[44]

27. Military witnesses insisted that both ministers and the chain of command were kept well-informed of the decision both to go to Helmand, and specifically the decision to deploy to Northern Helmand. Brigadier Butler argued that "anyone who says that they were not aware either military or politically is, I would say, incorrect".[45] He explained that information was passed right through the chain of command to Ministers. He personally briefed incumbent ministers when they visited theatre.[46] He told us that information was being passed "upwards and downwards on a daily basis" and that he "wrote weekly reports and spoke pretty well every other day to PJHQ at two-star general level" as well as sitting in "weekly conferences". Lieutenant General (retired) Sir Robert Fry thought it inconceivable that Ministers were not briefed on a matter of such significance.[47]

28. But senior figures appear not to have recognised the significance of such briefings, or to be aware that they were being called upon to make an important decision. Desmond Bowen suggested that an important strategic decision may have been perceived as simply tactical:

    My view is that the decision to move and effectively change the task to create platoon houses was taken at a tactical level but was actually a strategic decision. Whether that was briefed up the line and at some stage someone cut it off or whether, actually, it was not briefed up the line because it seemed like a decision for mission command and the local commander, I do not know. It is a really difficult question. It is the Rumsfeld point about, "Stuff happens". It is a question of someone actually clocking that the stuff happening is of strategic importance and is not just about tactical decisions.[48]

29. Both Secretaries of State for Defence in post during that period, denied having made the decision to deploy to Northern Helmand-or even being aware that a decision had been made. The decision must have been made some time before 26 May 2006, when the first British troops arrived in their platoon houses. After May 6, the Secretary of State was Lord Browne, but he asserts that the decision had been taken before he arrived at the Department—in other words under Lord Reid's tenure in office. Lord Reid, however, claims never to have given the sign-off to move into Northern Helmand. In fact he claims, that under his office, there was strong resistance to the move:

    Just prior to me leaving the MoD, I recall being briefed that, while Permanent Joint Headquarters regarded Governor Daoud, the Governor of Helmand Province, as an honest man, he needed to be strongly discouraged from making gestures—for example, the idea of a forward operating base at Sangin—that were unsustainable. Not long after this, I left the MoD for the Home Office. You can imagine that when, five weeks later, sitting in the Home Office, I heard that we were fighting for our lives in Sangin, I could not entirely understand it. I understand from inquiries that I made then and subsequently that the matter was not referred to the Secretary of State for Defence who succeeded me. It was never brought to his attention, except in retrospect.[49]

30. All this clearly indicated at the very least, a "tangled" chain of command,[50] in which responsibility appeared to have been a vague and unregulated concept. As Desmond Bowen, former Director General of Policy, Ministry of Defence, has pointed out "someone somewhere" should have been asking the key questions about operations in Helmand.[51] And yet, this appears not to have been happening.


31. More generally, there seems to have been no clarity over who was in charge. Desmond Bowen tried to argue that meetings "involving all the different departments" took place, and that there was a "very deliberate process" in place.[52] Major-General Chris Elliott, however, suggested that many of the important decisions had been made privately between then Prime Minister, Rt Hon Tony Blair and his successive Chiefs of Defence staff.[53] Dr Kim Howells, then Minister of State in the Foreign Office with responsibility for Afghanistan, said he was unable to "interfere" in decisions,[54] which would be taken at very high levels. Lord Reid, Secretary of State for Defence in 2006 said that: "it is not the job of the Secretary of State to start deciding military operations".[55] Lord Browne told us that: "I was never briefed that I was part of the chain of command, and I never considered myself to be part of the chain of command".[56] All this confirmed the statement by Lieutenant General (retired) Sir Robert Fry that "dialogue across Whitehall […] didn't have any fundamental discipline or structure about it".[57]

Decision-making and the Carriers

32. Similar problems in MoD decision-making appear to have been present in the Carrier decisions.

1998 decisions around the carriers

33. The three Invincible class aircraft carriers, HMS Invincible, HMS Illustrious and HMS Ark Royal, were due to be decommissioned in the early 2000s. In the 1998 Security and Defence Review (SDR),[58] the decision was taken to replace them with two larger aircraft carriers, the 'Queen Elizabeth' and the 'Prince of Wales', capable of carrying a more powerful aircraft.[59] In 1998, the decision was taken not to fit the aircraft with catapult and arrestor gear ('cats and traps') to take the carrier variant (CV) of the Joint Strike Fighter—even though this would have allowed greater interoperability with the French. Instead a decision was made to select the STOVL (Short Take Off/ Vertical Landing) variant of the joint strike fighter, which required a reinforced deck to be installed on the carrier.[60]

2010 and 2012 decisions with the carriers

34. In the 2010 Strategic Defence and Strategic Review (SDSR), the decision was reversed.[61] Liam Fox MP, the incoming Secretary of State for Defence, decided to change the carrier design from the STOVL option back to the carrier variant of Joint Strike Fighter and install the EMAL[62] system of cat and trap technology. (At the same time a decision was made to hold only one carrier in operational readiness, whilst placing the other carrier in "storage").[63]

35. In 2012, the decision was reversed again, changing back from the carrier variant to the STOVL design.[64] And at the conclusion of the NATO summit (Wales, September 2014), the Prime Minister announced a decision to bring both carriers back into operation.[65]

36. These decisions were not inherently irrational. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) 2013 report said that the MoD had "made a strong case" for its 2010 decision to change the design away from the STOVL variant, because of its limitations, which included a shorter range, a smaller bomb bay payload (making integration of UK weapons more difficult), an extra engine and greater complexity, compared to the carrier variant it was then intending to buy.

37. Rear Admiral Amjad Hussain, Senior Responsible Owner, Director (Precision Attack) and Controller of Navy, Ministry of Defence had also pointed out that the STOVL's vertical landing on the carrier would require significant power and produce a lot of heat and blast, which would have an impact on deck coatings. In hot climates, the aircraft would need to drop its weapons before landing.[66] Lord West of Spithead echoed the opinion that the F-35C carrier-variant aircraft, which operated with cat and trap technology, would be a superior option to the STOVL, F-35B variant. He pointed out that the F-35C, which does not have to carry an engine to lift it off the deck, can carry a greater payload and more fuel than STOVL, and additionally has a longer range with the ability to carry more weapons.[67] According to the Public Accounts Committee, the National Security Council secretariat clearly set out the possible options for amending the carrier programme, and the minutes of NSC meetings record that relevant issues were discussed and the implications of each assessed.[68]

38. The decision to change back to the STOVL variant was taken only when it was realised that converting to the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter would be too expensive. It appeared that 130 compartments of the ship would have needed to be changed.[69] Sir Peter Luff MP, former Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, wrote that "the carriers had indeed once been convertible but, it subsequently transpired, only at a significantly earlier stage in their design and construction".[70] A change that could have been relatively easy 10 years before would now be complex, induce production delays, and prove incredibly costly.[71]

39. Sir Nick Harvey, former Minister of State for the Armed Forces, told us that the cost estimate of the change had grown from half a billion pounds to at least £2 billion and the time delay on the project had extended to about four or five years.[72] Further, following delays in the US programme, the risk of the UK being the lead nation for the proposed ground breaking electromagnetic catapult technology was considered too high.[73]

40. The questions raised by this process are: first, if, in 2010, the MoD concluded that the carrier variant was superior, then why was it not procured in the first place? Second, if it was already too late—and too expensive—to re-introduce this variant in 2010, why was the attempt made? (Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, for example has said that "My view is that that was quite a late call in the SDSR process, from all indications").[74]

Expertise included in deliberations, including the input of relevant knowledge and intelligence

41. Again, there seems to have been an absence of good information in the system. Lord West suggested that there was, from the outset, a fundamental lack of clarity about whether the carriers could be converted and at what cost. Lord West told us that he understood that the design could "easily be converted to cats and traps",[75] requiring a change to just three compartments.[76] Lord West, said that in 1998 he had:

    said to the procurement people […] that the new design for this carrier has to have an ability to be converted to have cats and traps at minimal cost. I was told at that stage, "Yes, we will do that. It'll only take three compartments." Jumping to the present time, when the decision was taken by Liam Fox and the team that we would go for the catapult launch version, lo and behold, it was going to take a change to 130 compartments.[77]

Upon discovering that the carriers were to be used with STOVL aircraft, Lord West told us that he "was unable to get it changed".[78]

Accountability and responsibility, including evidence of an auditable trail for decisions made

42. Whatever the evidence base, however, it was very difficult to know who was actually responsible for making the decision. Lord West said that it was "very difficult" to find out who took particular decisions.[79] He believed that historically, the First Sea Lord would have been "totally responsible",[80] but this was no longer the case. He had been unable to establish who had taken key decisions about the original design of the carriers, for example how much they were going to cost and what exactly the design was going to be.[81] One example he noted was that it was not clear who "actually decided what type of equipment would do the automated loading of weapons into the aircraft".[82] He said that this key decision had been made within the Procurement Executive and had bypassed the Admiralty Board and the Navy Board, and was not debated within either of those boards.[83]

43. Lord West said one of the problems involved in procurement programmes was that there were too many people involved, and there was no streamlining of how decisions were made.[84] He thought that it was much better to have one person responsible, to whom you can say: "This is not going right. You are responsible for it. Your legs are going to be chopped off if you get it wrong".[85] He argued that it needed to be obvious from the beginning who was responsible for projects, before costs could get out of hand.[86]

44. As with the 1998 decision, the origins of the 2010 decisions were vague. Sir Nick Harvey told us that everybody in the Ministry of Defence had wanted to make the change, but understood that there was "a lot of risk inherent in changing course this late in the day".[87] But that he did not, at the time, consider it his duty to express concerns about Government policy. Rather, he said that the MoD staff were focused on trying to make the ideas of the Government work.[88]

45. Sir Nick Harvey MP also told us that the SDSR 2010, contained a definitive decision within it to amend the carriers' design to include the cat and trap technology. However, he could not explain how that decision came to be included in the SDSR as the analysis had previously not seemed to be so definitive, and he said that a "thorough job of exploring" the option would have taken "several months".[89] He suggested that the decision might have been taken in the "mysterious world on the other side of Whitehall".[90] He did not know whether the decision was taken in the NSC, or by the PM, or whether "the spin doctors didn't think the thing sounded definitive enough and wanted it to be a bit punchier".[91] In any case, wherever, or however the decision was taken, even a Minister who had been involved in the carrier programme's development was unable to pinpoint how the decision was made, or who was ultimately responsible for the decision.

46. Sir Nick Harvey MP also noted the problem of institutional memory loss within the MoD, telling us that one of the problems was the "rapid speed at which people move through positions, […] compared with the rather slow speed at which some of these complex programmes develop".[92] This was true at ministerial level as well as for military and civilian officials. This undermined accountability as he said that "those who make some of these decisions, or recommendations, are long gone […] by the time the consequences manifest themselves".[93]


47. We were told by Lord West that the design of the carriers was considered by a huge number of committees. To achieve a change in direction of policy, the agreement of all these different stakeholders would need to be sought. Lord West told us that "you would have to get the Chief of the Air Staff, the Chief of the Defence Staff and the policy part in the centre—all of them—to agree that the change should happen. I could not achieve that".[94]

Long-term thinking, including a focus on strategy

48. In 2010, a significant problem appeared to be a lack of long-term foresight in decision-making. Sir Nick Harvey MP explained to us how the decision to change the design of the carriers was rushed through. He told us that after the election in May 2010, the Government intended to complete a Comprehensive Spending Review in October 2010.[95] This left a very short time to put together a defence costings bid, whereas 18 months would have been preferable for completing such a major review. He justified the decision by presenting the decision thus:

    Were we going to do the thing as comprehensively and thoroughly as one would like over 18 months but risk being given a cash envelope in the Comprehensive Spending Review? We would then have had to design a defence policy to fit the cash envelope. Or were we going to do the thing on a far more accelerated time scale, accepting that it would be, in a sense, rather a quick and dirty review that would inevitably cut some corners but would equip us with the argument to do battle with the Treasury to try to increase the size of the cash envelope? We chose to do it quickly.[96]

It was noted that "the process was not without its shortcomings".[97] Little thorough assessment of the options and risks had been possible in such a squeezed time frame. Sir Peter Luff MP, former Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, criticised the rushed and inaccurate costing employed by the Ministry of Defence. He told us that:

    After the conversion decision was taken in the 2010 SDSR, the true extent of the design changes necessary […] slowly became apparent. So the costs rose well above the estimates provided during the SDSR process and the decision was subsequently correctly reversed. Had we been aware of the scale of the changes and the true cost necessary to revert to the carrier variant of JSF, I am sure we would not have proceeded in the first place.[98]

49. Lord West told us that the MoD was unable to take into account the long-term consequences of its decisions, and complained of "entryism".[99] This is where the entry costs of a programme are deliberately lowered, so that a programme is more likely to be given the go-ahead for inclusion in the equipment programme. As the programme progresses, the cost of the project increases dramatically.[100] Lord West told us that in the early stage, the estimated cost of the carriers was £1.8-2 billion.[101] Upon review of the carrier designs, Lord West saw that the costs would be likely to be closer to £6.5 billion.[102] The "cost growth" that others observed over time was merely the result of entryism.

Where to go from there

50. The Helmand deployment and the carrier decisions are two clear examples in which poor decision-making in the Ministry of Defence was a risk to people's lives, and taxpayers' money. The process seems to have failed at almost every stage of decision-making, from the collection and evaluation of evidence, the definition of the problem, the establishing of objectives, classification and prioritisation, the developing of alternatives, the evaluation of these alternatives against objectives, the reaching of a tentative decision, the evaluation of this tentative decision, and managing its risk. This reflected a structure, which lacked expertise, resisted criticism and challenge, blurred individual accountability, and operated with a bewildering command structure. As a result:

·  There was a distinct lack of detailed understanding of the 'ground situation'—the dangers of Helmand, or in the case of the carriers, the advantages of the 'carrier variant' in 1998, and the extreme difficulty and cost of making adaptations to the carriers, when the issue was revisited, twelve years later in 2010.

·  Accountability appeared to be considered a vague concept, where no single person took responsibility for leading major decisions.

·  There was a distinct lack of strategy formulation and strategy formation by the incumbent Governments.

·  In Helmand, senior figures seem to have felt hardly involved in the decision-making—and allowed a dangerous deployment to happen without intervening. In the case of the carriers, it could be argued that in 2010, a long-made decision received too much re-examination, resulting in changes in policy which caused delays and huge costs to the taxpayer.

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6   Defence Committee, Fourth Report of Session 2010-12, Error! Bookmark not defined., HC 554, para 33, para 36 Back

7   "Error! Bookmark not defined.", The BBC, 16 July 2006 Back

8   "Error! Bookmark not defined.", The Scotsman, 17 July 2006 Back

9   "Error! Bookmark not defined.", The Telegraph, 02 October 2006 Back

10   Defence Committee, Fourth Report of Session 2010-12, Error! Bookmark not defined., HC 554, para 33, para 35, para 36 Back

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58   Ministry of Defence, Error! Bookmark not defined., Cm 3999, July 1998  Back

59   Public Accounts Committee, Fifty-sixth Report of Session 2010-12, Error! Bookmark not defined., November 2011, HC 1427, p 3 Back

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61   HM Government, Error! Bookmark not defined., Cm 7948, October 2010 Back

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68   Public Accounts Committee, Fifty-sixth Report of Session 2010-12, Error! Bookmark not defined., November 2011, HC 1427, Q111, para 4 Back

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71   National Audit Office, Error! Bookmark not defined., 9 May 2013 Back

72   Error! Bookmark not defined. Back

73   The UK's F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter, Standard Note, Error! Bookmark not defined., House of Commons Library, February 2015 Back

74   Defence Committee, Sixth Report of Session 2010-12, Error! Bookmark not defined., HC 761, para 117 Back

75   Error! Bookmark not defined. Back

76   Error! Bookmark not defined. [Lord West] Back

77   Error! Bookmark not defined. [Lord West] Back

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95   HM Treasury, Error! Bookmark not defined., Cm 7942, October 2010 Back

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98   Error! Bookmark not defined. [Sir Peter Luff MP] Back

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Prepared 26 March 2015