If one is at war, it is vital to the successful prosecution of that war that those fighting it and the nation as a whole remain resolutely behind the conflict.

There are two factors which can have a devastating effect on the morale factor and so undermine support for what is otherwise a perfectly lawful and thoroughly justified war, such as is taking place in Afghanistan at the moment.

Firstly, if a perception, based on cogent and compelling evidence, grows to the effect that the Government is failing in its absolute duty to provide adequate equipment for the protection of our gallant fighting men and women, this will serve to undermine, for obvious reasons, the morale of the men and women at the sharp end.

It also gravely undermines public support if the mothers and fathers, relations and friends of those fighting troops also begin to believe that the Defence Ministry, headed as it is today by a very much part-time Secretary of State who is much distracted by the Constitutional Affairs of Scotland (he moonlights as Secretary of State for Scotland), is skimping on the procurement of equipment, at both a personal and unit level, that will give their loved ones the best possible chance of surviving what is, by all accounts, very bitter and closely contested fighting, some of the toughest combat that the Army has experienced since the Korean War.

There is significant evidence that the Defence Ministry has been both dilatory and incompetent in ensuring, for example, adequate armoured fighting vehicles to meet the challenges of facing a well-armed enemy militia such as the Taleban. One only has to look at the frequent posts of a site like EU Referendum and the columns of Christopher Booker to be aware of how poor has been the conduct of the MOD in this regard.

Pro Referendum Rally

Another way of undermining support for the Afghan war is to start lying about casualties or being seen to try and spin the casualty figures in any way. Thus the report yesterday in the Daily Telegraph (HERE) that the MOD is trying to massage the figures must bring the strongest condemnation of the MOD and the Government.

I happen to believe that this war is a just and necessary one, not merely to bring about the suppression of the Taleban who nurtured Osama Bin Laden and his Zealots in their bosom, but to rid the world of a bunch of Medievalist Lulus whose penchant for chopping people’s heads and hands off, whose brutal dinosaur attitudes to women, whose disinclination to participate in even the most modest elements of a fair and decent society, has placed them a long distance outside the pale.

It therefore makes one very angry that this Government should do anything which smacks of concealing the truth, or dare one say, lying about the extent and nature of our casualties.

As the British people showed in the Second World War, if you tell us the truth, we can take it.

What we suspect is that these figures are being massaged or concealed because they point to government incompetence. It would be a disgrace if this is being done to save the skin of some rotten little Government shyster. This is a war worth winning. We are good at fighting this type of war. That victory should be put at risk for a moment to save a single grubby little politician’s career is, surely, unconscionable.

Give us the news. We can take it.

We may start asking awkward questions and someone’s head may have to roll (if that is not too alarming a prospect in any discussion about the Taleban) before our confidence in the Government’s prosecution of this just war is restored, but we would rather matters be set right and the war continue to a victorious conclusion than save the miserable hide of an over-promoted Labour Jobsworth.

Alternatively, step aside and let it be run by others who can either devote their full time to the job of running the MOD in the National Interest (instead of scuttling off most of the time in the sectarian interests of the Labour Party in Scotland) or who knows what they are doing.

Post Scriptum I wonder just how many Labour MPs have served in the armed forces. I bet that you can count them on the fingers of one hand. Just as with the countryside, the modern Labour Party has no understanding of or empathy for those whose trade is the making of war.