Britons back spending on military

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Kromeriz, Sep 6, 2012.

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  1. Copyright the FT.

    Britons back spending on military -

    [h=1]Britons back spending on military[/h]By Carola Hoyos, Defence Correspondent

    Three out of four Britons want the UK to spend more money on its armed forces or at least make no further reductions, according to a study that registers higher support for military spending among Britons than among Americans.
    A poll by the Foreign Policy Centre, a think-tank, conducted with the University of Essex and Georgia State University, found that 77 per cent of Britons want to see military spending increased or kept unchanged.

    • In contrast, only 55 per cent of Americans wanted their government to maintain or increase the funding for the US military.

    At first glance the results of the YouGov poll, which interviewed 2,000 Britons and 2,000 Americans, seem counter-intuitive. UK politicians have beenaggressively cutting military spending while the timidity of US politicians from both political parties over cutting military expenditure indicates a belief it would be deeply unpopular among voters.
    The US spends 4.7 per cent of gross domestic product on its military, while the UK spends 2.6 per cent, according to the Stockholm International Peace research Institute, the think-tank.
    Last year, the US spent $711bn on its military, about as much as the next 17 countries combined, while the UK budget was $62.7bn, slipping from third to fourth highest in the world.
    But the UK is much further along in its post-financial crisis austerity drive than the US, having plugged a £38bn black hole of overspending through cuts, such as the eradication of entire programmes and plans to slash its army personnel by 20 per cent, taking it to its smallest since the Napoleonic wars.
    This could explain British fatigue to cuts, compared with their American counterparts.
    So far the US’s $487bn reduction to future spending mainly curtails increases, rather than cuts deeply into a budget that has ballooned 70 per cent in the past decade because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the steadily increasing cost of healthcare and pensions.
    Both Republicans and Democrats want to avoid the $500bn in additional cuts that would occur automatically on January 2 if they fail to agree on a government budget.
    The war in Afghanistan and its gradual drawdown has been another political issue this year on both sides of the Atlantic. The poll found that half the number of Britons, at 24 per cent, than Americans, at 50 per cent, approved of their government’s decision to use military force in Afghanistan.
    Neither Britons nor Americans wanted their country’s military used against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and both were reticent to arm the country’s rebels.
    Tom Scotto, of the University of Essex, said the study shows “citizens do not simply parrot the positions of politicians or the media when forming and maintaining their foreign policy outlooks”.
    He added: “Governments would be well advised to look at the broad, apolitical outlooks of their populations when asking how they might respond to a specific foreign policy initiative.”

  2. There's no surprise in this.

    Britons back spending on NHS.
    Britons back spending on education.
    Britons back pension increases.
    Britons back investment in their area.

    Britons also back tax cuts.

    Britons are thick as pig shit.
    • Like Like x 13
  3. Not sure on the cynicism. There has long been a cry to get out of Afghanistan. Which the polis ignored. If there is a call for more spending on defence, then I expect it to translate through into the next election, if the call can be kept up.
  4. There's nothing cynical about it and there is no "call".
  5. There is no "call" for more spending on defence, there was a poll of 2,000 of which 77% expressed something akin to being in favour of defence spending. It was a poll conducted by a Blairite sycophant organisation that is trying to score points on behalf of Labour over the government.

    It is no coincidence that this comes hot on the heals of the Save-the-Children poverty nonsense. It's coordinated party-politicking.

    Now, what do you think the answer would have been from those 77% if they were then asked:
    "How much more tax would you be willing to contribute to see this increase in defence spending?"

    Get a grip Kromeriz
  6. That.s me told then
  7. Goverment doesn't = ENDEX
  8. Exactly.

    We're all for increasing spending until people eventually realise that the money will be funneled from their area of "interest" (welfare / social).
  9. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    but like everything else spending would increase if we didn't insist on paying 4x real world prices for kit which doesn't work. didnt someone do a cost comparison of how much we would have saved if we had just bought yank and kraut kit straight off?

    and we would have less welfare dependancy if we increased the army and probably end up saving money by the time you factor in housing benefit, council tax benefit etc..
  10. Even less if we made good kit in country.
    The first investment we'd need there though is research budgets, and they're notoriously difficult to justify.
  11. The Goverment that lets the UK Defence Industrial Base (ie BAeS, VT, Westlands et al) go to the wall will be consigning 750,000 people onto the dole and themselves into the electoral wilderness for at least two full terms. Source - KCL lecturers at JSCSC.

    It's not going to happen. The tired old arguments of "Oooooh, shiney new American kit, let's buy that and save SQUILLIONS" are, in the main, touted around by people who think at Sun-reader / Lewis Page level. Have you ever done any research, and I don't mean Google / Wikipedia, into the through life costings of US support packages? Try it some time, the results'll make your eyes bleed.

    Anyways, nice though it is to chat, I am off into southern softy Laaahndan to get polluted!!
  12. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    I think we kept trying that and too much input and speshul interests messed things up which is why we end up with fitted for and not with. nor do we improve what we have - just the opposite.

    and we haven't had the economy of scale nor the political will to give the best to those we send in harms way.

    half the kit we could probably have got in aid from the yanks in exchange for joining in anyway.

    we give the specs to BAE and they half design something for us which nobody else wants - instead of them coming up with something which works first time and fills everyones void so they can bang it out by the hundred. a car company designed the m1 tank so the chassis was right as anyone can build an armoured box.

    500 million and no prototype?

    we are good at concept and designing shit but we really shouldn't be building it. we hadn't had proper a small arms industry since ww1 yet they seemed to think we could rustle a personal weapon out of thin air.

    the 750,000 workers figure is bollox as they factor in the firm in dudley which makes sump washers for half the planet not just a few hundred for BAE.

    most of our defense industry is foreign owned now and only here because they can milk us for a 200% markup.

    why pay three times the going rate for apache because it can be built here 10 years late by an italian company and only after we paid to upgrade the factory for them. we could have given the 700 workers a nice lump some for gardening leave, sent the rolls royce engines across the atlantic to be fitted and saved a billion and a half on 70 airframes.

    the carriers are being built by a french company with no ship building experience, subbed to BAE and built in glasgow where they didn't have the proper kit so again we had to buy it for them at a 100m a crane. we could have done the fit out but left the steel work to the poles in gdansk and saved enough to pay for the escort fleet, got them right and maybe manage to sell a few extra.

    the french would be more likely to buy a matching carrier shell from poland than scotland thus giving us the third euro carrier some seem to think we would need.

    my last firm went bust because it tried to in house the design for stuff they simply didn't understand so were fined by the customer when the designs weren't released fast enough to match the build. if they had outsourced then it wouldn't have been their problem or expense.
  13. Out of interest Grumblegrunt, how much did the Gdansk shipyard quote the MOD to build a couple of carriers?

    How much would Boeing have charged us to 'redesign' the AH-64 to carry the RR engines? How much would the through life costs of US built helicopters have been compared to UK built aircraft?

    When you say a car company designed the M1, do you mean Chrysler Defense? That would be a defence company with a long history of building military equipment including M3, M4, M26 and M60 tanks I believe.
  14. I'm in fairly regular contact with quite a few USN types - the amount of people, time and money required to make their kit run would bankrupt us in minutes few. An Arleigh Burke IIA has 323 people in it and they are running full-tilt just to try and stay on top of the maintenance package. Their Engineering Officers (and the rest of the team) routinely come in at 0430 when alongside to make sure they complete the in-tray which consists of ways of shuffling people and kit around to make the next milestone. There is no earthly way I would ever want to buy US kit wholesale.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    the carrier shell build would have saved 3-4 billion depending on exchange rates and steel prices.

    boeing wouldn't have charged us anything more as it would have given them an alternate engine option to offer any other customers (if they did it would be negligable compared to the augusta/westland design office which was in york last time I was there but might have moved since) as to life cost we have outsourced everything, it was built by an italian company and will be serviced by another foreign owned one so I wouldn't say that really mattered. if it makes life easier then why not compare it to the chinook hc3 program where we thought we could do better. as to rr engines I know they are rated more powerfull but at what cost when the rest of the world is happy with the stock option. the yanks built 800 of theirs compared to 70 or so of ours.

    and the M1 like the blackhawk was designed for survivability so they made use of car design teams and technology for fresh input and ease of production.