Wednesday 3 August 2011
UK Defence spending too much, not too little
To all intents and purposes the spending is the same. The changes are caused by the huge cost of aircraft carriers and other large programmes enforcing cuts on the RAF and Army.
the cost of Libya etc is always met out of central funds so this is not excuse. What he MP's are actually calling for is an increase in defence spending to cover the procurement costs of the Carriers whilst maintaining everything else.
My view is that these people are all nuts. See below the graph of defence spending - the fear in the 'Telegraph' etc is that we are not a front rank nation anymore. Well, good I say, in fact, Japan seems to do OK and Germany too with 30% and 20% less spending than the UK. South Korea manage to spend as much as us and they really are threatened with a major war. The UK is fast falling down the GDP ranking of the world's nations and our spending should refelct this.
The sensible thing for the UK to do would be to reduce defence spending down to 2% of GDP - a good 20% cut more than is envisaged. This can be done by scrapping Trident for a cheaper system or through other cuts.
The benefits will be doubled too. With a smaller military, Politicians would be forced to curb their enthusiasm for crazy wars like the one in Libya - so there will be savings from the general Treasury fund too. It will indeed force an ethical foreign policy on the UK.
I note too, that Ireland and Iceland, our Atlantic island brothers don't see the need to spend any more at all on armed forces. It is well past the time that Britian got over its addiction to acting big on the world stage - we can't afford it and it does not do us any good in any event.