Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Should the government increase Defence spending rather than enforce cuts?

The Army
Former British Army commander General Sir Michael Rose has said our soldiers are suffering "considerable and quite unnecessary risk" following cuts Tony Blair has forced on defence spending.
Sir Michael said: "In the past six years, the prime minister has presided over a near-catastrophic decline in defence spending. For fighting insurgencies such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq we need rather large numbers of soldiers on the ground, proper protection and tactical mobility, including helicopters. In return for being prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, our servicemen and women should expect to be better supported by the country than they have been."
But he praised President Bush saying he "put his money where his mouth was" by giving resources and support to his troops.
An MoD spokesman said: "Defence spending has been steadily increasing. Last year alone we spent more than £700m on improvements to service housing, announced the introduction of a new £2,240 operational bonus and invested millions more in new equipment, including body armour and armoured vehicles."

The Navy

Six destroyers and frigates and two other vessels are expected to be mothballed, to save more than £250m.
Defence sources have disclosed that the armed forces have been told to save more than £250m this year, and £1 billion by April 2008.
The MoD will also cancel the last two of the eight Type-45 destroyers the navy was supposed to get to replace the 15 major ships cut in 2004.
Conservative defence spokesman, Julian Lewis, said the fresh cuts were “absolutely devastating stuff” and that cutting the number of Type-45 destroyers would be “catastrophic”.
“You can’t have a navy without ships. This government is absolutely hell-bent on the destruction of the Royal Navy.”
In the 19th century, the Royal Navy was as large as the seven next biggest navies combined. At the start of the 20th century the Royal Navy remained twice as large as the US and German navies.
But the 2004 cuts reduced it to its smallest since before Trafalgar in 1805, and there are suggestions that Portsmouth Naval base may close as the Navy now requires only two major bases.

Q. With our armed forces being deployed in greater numbers to ever increasing theatres, should the government increase spending rather than enforce cuts?

Click: HERE to view the results.

(The results are archived by the British Library)

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