Monday, January 22, 2007

Defence spending lower than 1930's

Warships threatened.

Our spending on defence in terms of it's proportion of the gross national product, is now so low that states in the eastern Mediterranean now spend more than us. Cutbacks in spending on the Royal Navy have reduced our surface fleet to little more than a coastal defence force incapable of ever repeating the feats of the Falklands campaign, we are so bereft of equipment that we recently hired aircraft from Monarch Airlines to transport troops home from the Gulf!

Despite the cupboard being bare, despite the lack of armour, despite the lack of logistical support, with little or no body armour, with our squaddies dealing in used boots with the Americans, despite the Royal Air Force being reduced from 16 to 11 offensive squadrons, despite the Royal Navy losing eight destroyers and six frigates, Tony Blair still insists on sending our forces to fight wars which are not ours to fight!

During the course of Blair's premiership defence spending has been steadily reduced while our forces have been sent out on operational duties such as Operation Desert Fox aimed at destroying Saddam Hussein's capability to produce weapons of mass destruction (1998), Kosovo (1999 ongoing), Sierra Leone (2000 ongoing), Afghanistan (2001 ongoing) and Operation Telic in Iraq (2003 ongoing).

Des Browne, the Defence Secretary will be challenged in the House of Commons today on whether the government is actually committed to delivering the two new aircraft carriers promised to the Navy, one suspects that he is going to need more than the metaphorical tin hat to preserve his little grey cells.

All the while Tony Blair struts the domestic and the world stage looking for the chance to mark out his legacy, looking to create that 'defining moment' of his political career, a grand finale. Unfortunately this moment might arrive for him at a time not of his own choosing, and in a small interview room of a London police station.


Daily Telegraph.

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