At a moment like this, when our economy is under almost unprecedented pressure, it may seem wrong-headed to argue that we should commit scarce resources to restore our Defence Forces — almost a misnomer in today’s world — to the level of capability we imagine and hope they have.
However, at a moment of crisis, and who knows when the next one will arrive, it will be far too late to wonder why we left ourselves so vulnerable to known unknowns.
Today we publish figures showing that the air corps and naval service have around 80% of the personnel they need to discharge their obligations.
The army is weakened too, down nearly 10%. There are more than 200 positions unmanned in the Navy.
It is supposed to have 1,094 personnel but has only 883. Vessels are tied up and made redundant because of this.
In a world where a hard Brexit seems ever more possible and where another generation of terrorists put their fantasies before our democratic wishes this denial of obligation and reality is profoundly demoralising, disrespectful and reckless.
Yes, we can do better.