Andrew Cahn - A Merciless Profiteer

Andrew Cahn

Andrew Cahn is a War profiteer and I believe his criminality cost British soldiers their lives in Afghanistan.

Brief summary:

In 2004 the British army admitted that it needed a new patrol vehicle to replace the “mobile coffin” dubbed Snatch Landrovers that so many soldiers died in.

After being made head of the British government's "Trade & Investment” (T&I) department I recalling reading that Cahn awarded a massive grant to the designers of the yet to be made Foxhound patrol vehicle. This was allegedly to secure jobs in a marginal constituency - an aim that may have swung a local election. Cahn became famous whilst head of the T&I department due to his policy of ‘giving government money away’, as reported here.

In 2009 the British army ‘chose’ the £1,000,000/each Foxhound vehicle to fill the urgent requirement they'd identified in 2004. 

Three years later, in 2012, General Dynamics (who’d taken over the manufacture of the vehicle from its original designers) delivered the Foxhound vehicle to Helmand, Afghanistan for final trials. The Foxhound failed those trials principally because it was powered by an underpowered speed boat engine. Speed boat engines usually have access to infinate amounts of cooling water, but in a vehicle built for the desert they had to resort to a standard radiator type system. During the trials the vehicle would breakdown (completely) in higher temperatures and would take over one hour to cool down and resume operation. These final trial failures were covered up by the General Dynamics' technicians in Helmand and by British Army commanders who went on to deceive defence secretary Philip Hammond. This meant a non-functioning vehicle was signed in to service in an operational theatre and the procurement was extended to purchase 400-vehicles in total. The British army continued to deny there were serious faults with the Foxhound vehicle until a whistleblower revealed the truth in 2017, as detailed in the newspaper report above.

Also in 2012, a year after retiring from the civil service, Andrew Cahn was made a non-executive director of General Dynamics - the producers of a vehicle that despite huge government subsidise didn’t not work. 

I can name three men who died - a young British soldier and two US Marines - due to this procurement corruption and yet the British government, military, civil service and industry continue to deny there was ever a problem.

My placing blame for this on Andrew Cahn is informed speculation on my part at the moment, but it is informed speculation that I will continue to investigate and repeat until there’s a full investigation of the gross failures in a vehicle procurement that took over eight years to complete and then delivered a vehicle that broke-down in hot weather to an operational War zone. 

Soldiers and Marines died because of senior officials greed and corruption - if we don’t investigate this now then we will be destined to repeat the same mistakes because no one in government or the civil service has learnt anything and dead men can’t talk for themselves.

 Written in memory of Private Jonathan Kitulagoda, the first British soldier killed in action in Afghanistan. In 2004 a suicide bomber struck Kitulagoda's unarmoured patrol vehicle in Kabul, killing Private Kitulagoda and wounding four other soldiers. It was Jonathan Kitulagoda's death that prompted demands for a suitable new armoured patrol vehicle, something the British army has still not managed to complete fully.

Private Jonathan Kitulagoda, 
the first British soldier killed-in-action
in Afghanistan. Killed 28 January 2004, aged 23

Truly, for some of us nothing is written, unless we write it 
© Anthony C Heaford - The Quiet Mancunian