Cost of fighting on Two fronts Doubles

The costs of military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq this year are likely to almost double to £3.297bn, a committee of MPs has warned.
The Commons defence committee said operational costs for this financial year were now forecast to reach £3.297bn - a 94% increase on last year.

This included a 72% rise in spending on Iraq to £1.648bn, despite ongoing falls in troop numbers.

Last year's total spending on the two conflicts was £1.698bn.

The cost of the Afghan conflict would rise 122% to £1.649bn this year, the MPs said.

'Better information'

While the committee recommended that the House of Commons should accept the estimates, it said the Ministry of Defence needed to provide more information on how the additional cash was being spent.

Chairman James Arbuthnot said: "Few people will object to the investment being made in better facilities and equipment for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"However, this estimate represents a lot of public money. The MoD needs to provide better information about what it is all being spent on."

Overall, the MoD has said it needs an additional £2.192 billion for the current financial year compared with its previous estimate made at the end of 2007.

The committee said it was concerned that the forecasts were "insufficiently robust".

"While we accept the difficulty of predicting costs when operations are ongoing, the difference between the forecasts at the time of the winter and spring supplementary estimates appears unreasonably large," it said.

But Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth told the BBC: "The numbers of personnel [in Iraq] have declined but they are still doing a vital and dangerous job and we have continued to invest in force protection...

"The threat changes... We have to stay ahead of the enemy as much as we can and that's not cheap."

Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Nick Harvey said: "This clearly shows how the Iraq war is continuing to bleed our finances dry, leaving soldiers in Afghanistan overstretched and under-equipped."
The government can also magically find the finances for Northern Rock, so why not the armed forces, they want war so why don't they realise it will cost money!
Looks to me like these are costs that Brown hid when he was Chancellor and now are suddenly appearing on the spreadsheet. Not even this bunch can miscalculate so badly by accident.

Expect much more of the same.
Pa McHasBean Broon's Treasury Coffers are all but empty, so it is rumoured (by who, why by Me!).

Captain Alistair Darling will 'Speiling' his wares in Parly-ment on Wednesday 11 March. He ain't got much room for manouver, a 'tinker here' and a 'tinker there', a lot of waffle and not much else. A 'Neutral Budget' will it be, says Yoda! 'Deep Joy & Bungle-wits' shout the NU labour Front Benchers as they fumble for their toys.....! Uncle Gordon will be sitting there looking like thunder as Cameroony on the other side brays like a de-knackerd Donkey. The hisses and boos will sound through the Chamber like a 'Punch Me Ole Judy' show!!

As for more recources for the Lads and Lasses in I-wrack, A-fghanistan and other places, forget it. They havn't even got the readies for those 2 'Super Carriers', so when the Lads and Lasses come home to Dear Old Blighty, it will be back to the wooden rotting 'Spyders' and other run-down Barracks!! Oh Joy!

Pa Broon will be telling his Chaps in the Treasury to go cap in hand to the IMF or the World Bank just like dear old Denis Healey was Chancellor, and Jimmy Callaghan was PM between 1976 to 1979. History has a nasty habit of repeating itself.... Sometimes!!

It would not surprise me in the least if this happens. Mr Darling has little room to manouver in his first major Budget. Raising Taxes to plug the hole in Public Expenditure is not a thing they can do, far to near another General Election in the next 18 months to 2 years. So hang on to your Wallets lads and lasses, what will go up are Fuel Duty on Petrol and Deisel, VAt on Foodstuffs and of course the old stanbys of Tobacco and Alcohol.

So, No 'Knees Up' down at the 'Red Lion' tonight.... It will be supping my Home Brew and Moonshine Potato Whiskey...... :p 8O
No surprises here. For too many years the Defence budget has been slashed repeatedly to exploit the so-called 'Peace Dividend'. As a family man, I liken this to running a household on a reduced income after all the children have flown the nest. What the parents hadn't expected, or budgeted for, was the grown-up kids returning with their own families to live with them. These unforeseen 'guests' may pay a contribution towards their day-to-day keep but this doesn't take account of the cost of entending the building or the accelerated wear and tear on the house and its fixtures and fittings plus the myriad of extra expenses incurred. In the meantime, the replacement roof, windows and other urgently required projects must be put on hold indefinitely. With the best will in the world, sooner or later the system will break down and the additional residents must be confronted with the true cost of their stay.

It now seems that the Government has exceeded its Defence overdraft and the limits on its credit cards. When money is spent on UORs, resources are consumed like there's no tomorrow and systems and equipment are run in hostile environments at 'X' times their planned 'peacetime' usage rates, the final reminders can only be hidden for so long before the bailefs come knocking on the door. The true reckoning catches up eventually as is happening here. Taking into consideration our grossly inadequate Defence budget to cover extended operations on a scale unprecedented since the Second World War, I anticipate much more news of this kind. As we have been saying all along, no successful wars can be fought 'on the cheap'.
HM Gov under this administration is trying to do what King George has done in the states and keep the cost of their Wars OFF the UK Budget.
Brown is piling up debt beyond debt for forthcoming Generations, its all Meat now and not my problem Tomorrow.
Yes I understand all Nations need to have some form of Deficit spending, but Brown has gone crazy.
Oh I do not doubt that come the Budget Much will be made of the American Subprime Debt and it's consequences.
But thats another story that should never have been allowed to happen. The Massive Debt being incurred now by Western Governments, US & UK is totally out of proportion to National Income.
Both Bush and Blair started Wars for whatever reason and in Bush's case he actually cut tax's, massively cut Tax. Blur just failed to raise Taxes to cover his crazy military adventures.
Armies are expensive, For Wartime Armies the cost go through the roof. Niether the US or UK has put the civilian population on a war footing, just the military is on a wartime exercise and is paying in blood and broken bodies.
This moronic lot know they've got little to no chance of re-election so will just put it all off until 2010 when it becomes the conservatives problem. W@nkers. The pain of sorting this in 18 months is going to really hurt.
Just who will win the next UK election is debatable.
Labour get more seats for fewer votes and thats a fact of UK election life.
Ya Jock and Taff ensure a Labour government.
Brown really is shafting UK and what worries me is that I do think he is going to Beg Europe to help sort out the UK.
Blur and Brown always knew this and it was just the reactionary's who where prepared to struggle to keep our good socialist European friends out.
Not so sure OS, it is highly entertaining to think that after 11 years of incompetence the great british people might still vote them in another time.

The key decision to only fund 50% of UORs is the one for me that confirms an absolute crisis on the cards for UKAF. Browne and Ainsworth have become joke figures at the top of the MoD. Darling has lost the confidence of the City and Brown just can't do anything right.

Surely the only decision that makes sense is to simply leave UKAF. I haven't regretted it. Fair enough if you are enjoying life in the Mob, if not, there is no point hanging around and dying for this lot.
According to the Office of National Statistics At the end of March 2007 general government debt was £574.4 billion, equivalent to 42.6 per cent of GDP. and that was before Northern Rock. Also the government are running up around 4 billion a month in debits.

To fully appreciate the size of the problem watch the Budget, lots of tax raising but no real new spending, despite the spin that knacker Darling will try to put on it.

If you ran a company like they run the country it would have gone to the wall years ago. A bunch of incompetent under achievers whose time at the top is rapidly coming to an end.

Payback, and at some point it has to be paid back, is really really going to hurt, think early 1980's for previous examples.
'Kin hell, I've just checked on some of the numbers, this lot have taken somewhere in the region of 4400 billion in revenue since taking office. They've run up a deficit of close to 600 billion, a total of around 5000 billion. I can't even begin to imagine that amount of money. Remembering in 1997 with the 3G licence fees they were effectively deficit free! And look at the mess they've managed to create with that money. :x :x
El Gordeno the working mans Chancellor.
Well someones going to do some working to sort out the mess he has created.
13 years of Tory misrule ?
Just imagine the headache if Labour win the next election!

It is not just the Forces in disarray, NHS, Police, Prisons and Home Office, Treasury, I cannot recall similar levels of incompetence in any previous Govt. The complete dearth of talent among these lefties mean that it can only get worse.

Arrgh, time for an early drink....

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