Defence Spending To Fall 8% Over Four Years In Britain

Here in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday that defence spending would fall by 8% over four years. This is in line with other cuts in Britain due to the deficit being unsustainable – which is presently being felt around the world.

Personally for me the Britain shouldn’t be in Afghanistan to begin with.  They first went to war with Iraq on the back of lies (still no sign of weapons of mass destruction) and now they find themselves in a war they cannot win against Al-Qaeda/Taliban in Afghanistan.

The British public are practically paying billions of pounds a year for operations in Afghanistan (and elsewhere), high tech weaponry/vehicles and military equipment.  Money which could be better used elsewhere, such as for education and NHS (National Health Service) to name but a few.

A cynical view is that the general population are paying human beings to kill other human beings in the name of democracy and liberation – and that is without us having any say in the matter.

So why not cut spending by 50% or more? Obviously people will lose their jobs (which the government could subsidise or give them jobs doing something more meaningful for the community), but surely the financial burden put on the rest of us (through involuntary income tax) and human costs (through mostly avoidable deaths of a few thousand innocent human beings yearly) far outweighs the need of a military force.

War is an outdated instrument of profit and imperialism.  Let us instead cooperate and come up with peaceful solutions for us all to benefit from, rather than compete for what little is left on this most resourceful planet.

So Mr Cameron, if you really want to save a huge amount of money (which may mean not needing to cut as much in other more important areas, so that it will help to make it less stressful financially for the rest of us) bring the boys back home NOW – and for good.

Take a look at how much the public spends yearly on Defence in the UK: Defence Spending Chart

Read the following excerpt regarding defence cuts from the BBC News website:

Harrier jump jets, the Navy’s flagship HMS Ark Royal and planned Nimrod spy planes are to be axed and 42,000 MoD and armed forces jobs cut by 2015.

Unveiling the strategic defence review, PM David Cameron said defence spending would fall by 8% over four years.

The RAF and navy will lose 5,000 jobs each, the Army 7,000 and the Ministry of Defence 25,000 civilian staff.

Axing the Harrier and Ark Royal means no planes will be able to fly from British aircraft carriers until 2019.
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Mr Cameron opened his Commons’ statement by denying the review was simply a “cost saving exercise”, saying it was a “step change in the way we protect this country’s security interests”.

He said Britain would still meet Nato’s target of spending 2% of GDP on defence and would continue to have the fourth largest military in the world and “punch above its weight in the world”.

But he said the country had to be “more thoughtful, more strategic and more co-ordinated in the way we advance our interests and protect our national security”.

There would be no cuts to support for troops in Afghanistan – which is funded separately from the Treasury’s special reserve, the prime minister stressed in his statement.

Read more: ‘Defence review: Cameron unveils armed forces cuts’

One Comment

  1. Tommy says:

    A rather naive post if I may say so.

    To begin with, the author cites money being better spent on the National Health Service and education. Both the NHS and education in Britain consume vast amounts of the taxpayers money and, in comparison to the resources they consume, are highly inefficient. The NHS has chronic waiting lists, a poor hygiene record and it seems there is news of another case of gross incompetence and waste every day.

    In education, standards have been criminally debased; there is a culture of entitlement amongst students and timidity amongst teachers. Compared to other, comparatively poorly resourced countries around the world, the appreciation of education and respect for educators has collapsed.

    For both, time and again, “more money will solve their ills” has been the cry, and time and again we have watched them become even less “fit for purpose” despite the billions sunk into them.

    Neither of these examples are deserving of further investment. They are bloated, wasteful, self-serving, and self-righteous, indeed arrogant. The British military, on the other hand, is an example for both these organisations, whatever you think of the current war. Chronically under-resourced, the services show extraordinary stoicism and resourcefulness in the face of adversity. They are often able, as the saying goes, to “do something with nothing” – and they generally do it with cheerfulness and humanity. They do not complain or whimper or expect money to solve every problem, or ask everyone to understand their problems.

    The author also suffers from the “Pacifists Fallacy”. War predates any considerations of money and possibly imperialism (unless you stretch the meaning of imperialism to include competition for resources necessary to basic survival – a big ask). The pacifist says that we should get along together, peacefully. Co-operation and peaceful solutions are the way: Most certainly, but what if one person in this John Lennon-ish world doesn’t want to play the game? For the world to be truly at peace EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN IT, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, WILL HAVE TO AGREE to it. And that’s just not going to happen is it? And if its not going to happen, then our little imperfect part of the world is, perhaps, worth preserving while we work, little by little, to improve it. We should be grateful then that we can do that, because we have those who are willing to risk everything so that we can.

    So shrink the NHS and education budget, teach them the stoic virtues displayed by the military and use the money saved, perhaps, to make our forays into warfare a little less bloody. I think it will be worth it.