Express & Star

Peter Rhodes on drones, snails and why British kids might go for conscription

In his exceedingly good poem Arithmetic on the Frontier, Rudyard Kipling contrasted the expense of putting a young British officer into battle (“Two thousand pounds of education”) with that of an Afghan tribesman, armed and equipped for a few pence. As the poet concluded back in 1886: “The odds are on the cheaper man.”

The drone – bargain on the battlefield

Nothing changes. The hundreds of slow, low-tech drones used in Iran's blitz on Israel cost a few hundred pounds each. The West's missiles used to shoot them down cost up to £2 million a shot. To put it another way, the price of bringing down a single drone is about the same as employing 50 NHS nurses for a year. I dare say the mad mullahs know their Kipling.

Meanwhile, if we believe a headline in the Daily Telegraph online: “White House urges China to reign in Iran.” I bet the White House does no such thing.