Friday, April 15, 2005
POLICY RECOMMENDATION DEFENCE & SECURITY: DEFENCE BUDET
Question 1: Defence Expenditure
Should the United Kingdom sustain or increase the existing defence budget rather than reduce it in favour of other priorities for government expenditure?
The Defence budget should not be reduced in favour of other government expenditure,
-because, as studies by both the Government and Tories have shown that there are such gigantic wastages in the public finances that easily beat the total size of the defence budget. Cutting the defence budget and moving money thus saved to other areas will simply fuel and entrech the inefficiency of other Government services.
-because there are already too many shortfalls in simple materiel matters such as aussault rifle ammunition or an apparent inability to maintain an already thinly stretched infantry, which for all intents and purposes is the core of the military. (Briefly see Keegan on this here)
-because the military also matters in many areas of international influence, inlcuding quite significantly, European integration, where this is Britain’s strongest bargaining chip in negotiating for a more sensible EU.
All that said, there’s no reason why the MoD can’t use the money far more effectively and it is high time to look at ways to streamline weaponry development and procurement. (Critique of current practices by Luttwak here)