Perhaps this is a good background for his present position, however it also tells me that he is very pro defence and he would not be amenable to the strict constraints put on defence at this time.
Let's remember that successive governments have tried to drag Defence into the world of proper budget management, the blow out in costs of major Defence contracts is unbelievable, this has continued for years.
Defence has done what it likes for years and no government has ever been able to reign it in.
Could it be that he is telling us that Defence needs a shake up, if so why doesn't he come out and say just that, no I'm afraid he's saying the same thing we have heard for years.
Reading between the lines, this is the same line rolled out every time Defence are asked meet budgets, we are told by Defence that any budget control threatens our countries security.
Does this make him a good departmental secretary, I'm not so sure, maybe he'll make his reasons clearer if and when he moves on.