Thursday, 30 July 2009

UKNDA Report...........Worrying from so many angles!

Funding for Britain’s Armed Forces must be protected from public expenditure cuts, in spite of the heavy financial pressures faced by the Government, and the defence budget should be increased over the next three years to at least three per cent of GDP, according to a paper published by the United Kingdom National Defence Association (UKNDA).

The full Paper is here.

The paper states that increasing Britain ’s defence budget represents the best value for national resources even in the midst of recession, and that any future Strategic Defence Review must, of necessity, recommend an increase in funding for defence and national security.

Indeed a defence budget review is set for after the next general election.

The paper also accuses the Treasury of squeezing the defence budget to the point where the Navy, Army and Air Force are competing with one another for an adequate share of the limited resources available. This is a clear indication of failure to recognise the potentially wide-ranging dangers to Britain ’s security. The only adequate defence provision, say Roberts and Sykes, is one that maintains a large, flexible, general contingency in all three Services.

Defence funding, the paper argues, should be “threat-driven, not budget-driven”. Britain is at the greatest risk when it is financially weakest, and recessionary pressures world-wide are increasing political instability in already unstable regions. Current and possible future threats to national security are large and growing. The sums required to strengthen Britain ’s military capability are both affordable in the national context and represent excellent value-for-money, even in the present severe economic crisis.

The foreward to the document is written by a gentleman called Irwin Stelzer. Irwin Stelzer is an American economist. He is Director of Economic Policy Studies at the Hudson Institute. I find his foreword deeply concerning.

In his Foreword to the paper, he highlights the risk to the Anglo-US Special Relationship if Britain fails to invest adequately in defence: “If Britain does not shore up its military,” Stelzer writes, “so that it is capable of holding up its end of the bargain implicit in the Special Relationship, that relationship will be under severe threat. In fact he re-itterates this at regular points through the document.

This is not the first time the "special relatinship" has come under question.
Please see here.
The recent "Panthers Claw" has had some MSM coverage of this very deeply worrying point.

I have a grave concern about the loss of life.
Ok the MSM was doing its job in reporting from all sides, all angles and even probing other reasons, but a report from an American economist highlighting the same said relationship makes me cold.

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