Of course we all knew that the UK sold us a pig in a poke when our government purchased second-hand submarines for $750M back in 1998. Thirteen and a bit years later – yes, I am not joking – one of them is finally able to fire its torpedoes.
Of course, part of the reason is that we failed to purchase the torpedoes that the submarines were designed to fire. Instead, we purchased American torpedoes that require a refit of the submarines just to be able to carry them. Sheesh …
But it gets better.
A British MP is calling for an inquiry into this deal, calling it a bad deal and suggesting that Canada were daft to enter into this arrangement.
And I quote:
"Why were the Canadians daft enough to buy them?" he asked.
"My God, it's a sad tale, isn't it? 'Buyer beware' should have been painted on the sides of these submarines."
"It's either incompetence on behalf of the Canadians, or sheer, smooth-talking salesmen from the MOD [Ministry of Defence] here in Britain," he added.
There is a logical disconnect here.
The British had to have been very smooth talking to get us to fork over $750M for junk that has since cost us billions to repair. They have spent less than 3 years in the water out of the 13+ years we’ve had them, as they are plagued with problems (they were junked by the British five years before we bought them.)
So there is no doubt about the “smooth talkingness” of the British salesmen.
But since when does that excuse buyer incompetence as the MP seems to imply?
The answer is that it does not. This is a blindingly obvious case of incompetence on the part of our government. With that kind of wasted money, I ‘d bet we could have a couple of nuclear subs patrolling under the arctic as we speak, instead of a gaggle of obsolete geese waiting to flap their wings and squawk loudly at the Russians or whoever comes as they move in up north.
I suppose all that expensive college training in law school failed to mention that buying crappy obsolete submarines and then choosing to refit them to use incompatible weapons technology was a choice that only a moron would make.
Oh well … at least we’ll have super prisons and start sending away our youth for equally moronic minimum sentences. And we’ll have 35 jets that will defend our borders from … well, nothing. The USA will protect our sovereignty right up until the day they roll across the borders and take our resources. So spending excessive money on our own defence seems a little like kids who won the lottery and want to buy all the toys. Perhaps that’s what it’s like to be a minister in the government … how much oversight do we really have over their spending habits?