David Cameron's decision to send Apache attack helicopters into action against Gaddafi is a significant moment both for the Libya campaign and for the Prime Minister’s relationship with the military.
I am told that the Forces were opposed to the deployment but that Cameron overruled them.
General Richards, the Chief of the Defence Staff, conveyed to the Prime Minister the top brass’s view that it was too dangerous to fly the helicopters deep into enemy territory.
He warned that there were so many shoulder-fired missiles floating around Libya that it was hard to be confident that the Apaches could carry out missions without being shot down.
But after Nicolas Sarkozy announced that the French would be ordering their attack helicopters into action, Cameron concluded that the risk was worth taking as the allies try to turn up the pressure on the Libyan leader.
It would appear that Cameron did not have his listening head on and has chosen to jump on the French bandwagon.
Correct me if I am wrong but aren’t our Armed Forces there to protect our country and its people? They should not be used as the world’s policemen at the caprice of successive PM's who seem intent on dragging them from one quagmire into another.
In case you had forgotten, we are involved in Libya as part of a UN sanctioned mission so that is exactly what we are on this occasion "the world's policemen".
Our role is, of course, dictated by a number of things; we are one of the grown ups (no matter what some people may think), we have an impressive capability (again no matter what some people may think) and we have a responsibility as a fully signed up and paid up member of the UN Security Council to step up to the plate when called upon to do so.
You and I may not like it, you and I may not think it is appropriate and you and I may think there are better things to do with our limited resources but I would suggest that the criticisms should be directed at those "capable nations" who are not doing their bit at the moment rather than at the UK government.