If only they had asked a military strategist to take command of the security for the Olympic Games at the planning stage.
It is a festival of sport intended to foster goodwill between nations as well as provide the highest level of athletic competition but a modern Olympics is also a major logistical challenge.
Security is just one of the services that must run as efficiently as the official digital timers but it is a vital one and to have to make an emergency call for 3500 troops to make up a shortfall just two weeks before the games begin must result in penalties for G4S, the private contractor.
With years to prepare, there can be no excuse for this last-minute fiasco. Reports from people who were recruited and trained but then told they did not have jobs indicate flaws in the front-line operation but the list of failings stretches back to the drawing up of the contract and its oversight.
The call for extra troops is no surprise to the MoD but the short notice will cause problems at strategic and individual levels. In some cases, soldiers who have just been made redundant, including some from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, will be despatched to makeshift barracks for the Games. Other who have just returned from Afghanistan will have to cancel a family holiday. The promised financial reimbursement cannot compensate for the loss of family time.
The additional cost, as yet unknown, will amount to millions of pounds and is to be borne by the Home Office rather than the MoD but that will make no difference to the taxpayer, who must foot the bill.
The comprehensive failure by G4S to supply the 13,000 staff it was contracted to provide must be investigated and those responsible, whether in the company, the London 2012 Organising Committee or the Home Office, held to account.
The lessons of London 2012 must be learned if this is not to prove a dangerous false economy. But it is an abject state of affairs when our highly professional armed forces are called upon to help London in its hour of need by a Government that has decided their country no longer needs them.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.