Army Chief Issues War Funds Warning

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jul 17, 2009.

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  1. Army Chief Issues War Funds Warning

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    The Ministry of Defence may have to use money allocated for other projects to finance the war in Afghanistan if it cannot convince the Treasury to provide additional resources, the head of the Army said.

    General Sir Richard Dannatt said the MoD would have to "re-order" its internal priorities if the state of the nation's finances meant more funding could not be provided.

    He acknowledged that such a move would not be popular at the MoD but warned: "We just may have to do it."

    The comments come after a bloody start to July which has seen the UK death toll in Afghanistan pass that of the Iraq war.

    It has sparked debate on whether operations in the country are being adequately financed, with a report calling for more helicopters to be sent to Afghanistan and warning that a shortage of air transport was undermining the protection of British troops in the country.

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown has insisted that UK troops in Afghanistan are "properly equipped" and promised: "We will do whatever is necessary and what is right to equip our Armed Forces."

    But Gen Dannatt told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "If this is really important, and the national finances are in such dire straits that we are not going to get more from the Treasury, then the Ministry of Defence gets £34 billion or so a year which we choose to spend on a range of programmes.

    "There is then a strong case to say if this is so important, and there is not going to be additional money from the Treasury, then we will have to re-order - yet again - some of our internal priorities. And that latter point will not be welcome at the Ministry of Defence, but it's the right thing to do - shifting between the maritime, the air, the land environment, shifting between other areas of spending. We just may have to do it."

    MPs discussed the situation in Afghanistan on Thursday in a special Commons debate sparked by the deaths of 15 UK service personnel in just 10 days this month.

    Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said Gen Dannatt was right and called for a review of defence spending to re-evaluate the MoD's priorities. He also said the Tories would be "extremely likely" to approve the deployment of more troops to the country if they were in power.
  2. I really don't think I would want his job at the moment. I have worked for some bad employers in my time, but this government takes the biscuit.
  3. looking at the USMC and their organisation and equipment, particularly having control of their own Helicopters (with marines written on them) and even with there own ground support aircraft (ditto) - wouldn't they seem to be a good model for the British Army to learn from? - generally, not just in Afghanistan.

    Edited for bad spelling
  4. totally agree...we could disband a few cavalry regiments to find the £££ for this excellent idea
  5. Wouldn't argue with that necessarilly, convert them to air cav :)