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Changing the Dinosaur's Spots: The Battle to Reform UK Defence Acquisition

Bill Kincaid
RUSI Books, 26 November 2008
Equipment and Acquisitions, Military Sciences
Why is British defence procurement so wasteful? At a time when this question is more pertinent than ever, Bill Kincaid examines the questions and provides a way forward

Major cuts to defence now loom, and inefficient procurement is now more harmful than ever: there is simply no money left to waste. Over the last fifty years, politicians have produced many initiatives to improve the acquisition of defence equipment, but huge cost overruns and delays continue to place servicemen’s lives at greater risk, and threaten Britain's fundamental military capabilities.

Over the last fifty years, politicians have produced many initiatives to improve the acquisition of defence equipment, but huge cost overruns and delays continue to place servicemen’s lives at greater risk.

It is not the initiatives that are at fault, but the failure by Ministry of Defence officials to implement them properly which torpedoes the useful end effect. Changing the Dinosaur’s Spots by Bill Kincaid offers an in-depth and carefully researched critique of Ministry of Defence acquisition processes and organisational culture. It also suggests comprehensive action to remedy these deficiencies.

Bill Kincaid argues that while officials have altered, and still are altering, organisation and procedures, they are failing to change the ministry’s culture. With the armed forces at war, we must not support them with a peacetime mentality.

‘This book is a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate that we must continue to engage in’. 

Lord Robertson, Secretary of State for Defence 1997–1999.

‘Overall I think the book is an excellent reflection on the issues associated with the problems inherent in the MoD acquisition process’.
John Weston, former CEO BAE Systems.

‘I must congratulate the author on a very clear and insightful analysis of the issues affecting defence acquisition in recent years. I would absolutely agree with virtually all of the points brought out’.
Tim Banfield, National Audit Office.

‘I found it a gripping read which I really enjoyed (if that is the right emotion for such a gruesome tale)’.
Vice Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham, former Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Equipment Capability), MoD

'For anyone interested in the effective Defence of this Country and the provision of good kit at a sensible price for our hard pressed Armed Forces – and that should be all of us – I heartily commend this book to you'.
Commander John Muxworthy of the Royal Navy, CEO of the UK National Defence Association. Read full review>

Details

Changing the Dinosaur's Spots: The Battle to Reform UK Defence Acquisition
By Bill Kincaid
Foreword by Lord Robertson of Port Ellen
Cartoons by Jim Potts
404 pages
ISBN 0855161388

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