Travelling around West Africa by road, I still very frequently cross old British Bailey bridges. I cannot understand why we are continually being bombarded with news of the plight of the bridgeless people of Workington, and that the army has not been deployed to put up a Bailey bridge or its modern equivalent.
The Army must have bridging capacity. I recall, for example, that when we were holding armoured brigade exercises in Drawsko in Western Poland in 1996, a plan to take some tanks into Warsaw for PR purposes was scuppered by the fact that none of the bridges would take a British main battle tank, and it was rightly deemed not worth the cash to throw them up for a PR exercise. But I can’t believe that even this government is so incompetent that the army cannot get over a river. Or is all our bridging capacity being deployed to facilitate the movement of opium and heroin for the drugs warlords of the Karzai government?