Defense cuts 'below 10%'

Discussion in 'Strategic Defence & Spending Review (SDSR)' started by Snoreador, Oct 16, 2010.

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  1. BBC News - Spending Review: David Cameron 'intervenes on defence'

    Spending Review: David Cameron 'intervenes on defence'

    The budget for the Ministry of Defence has been finalised after a personal intervention by Prime Minister David Cameron, the BBC has learned.

    Defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said the MoD expected a 7% budget cut, but the Treasury raised this to 10%.

    However, the final figure is thought to be below 10% following Mr Cameron's intervention, our correspondent added.

    Mr Cameron felt defence chiefs should have "enough money to do their job", said the BBC's Adam Fleming.

    Details of spending cuts are due to be published next week.

    According to BBC political reporter Adam Fleming, a senior Downing St source claimed the review would not see any substantial cuts made to the number of Army personnel.

    The source said it would also see £750m saved over four years on Trident, although was not clear how those savings would be made.

    Mr Cameron had the "highest respect" for his defence chiefs, and had an "excellent relationship" with Defence Secretary Liam Fox, the source added.

    'Can live with'

    There has been intense debate inside government about where the cuts should fall within the defence budget.

    Initial demands by the Treasury were for reductions of between 10% and 20%, with many options put before the National Security Council.

    Earlier this week it was believed at the MoD that a settlement was close at about 7%, but the Treasury came back demanding cuts of 10%.

    Military chiefs said that would damage the front line in Afghanistan, something Mr Cameron had previously made clear he was not prepared to do.

    Caroline Wyatt says that although the exact settlement figure has not been revealed, it is something the defence secretary "can live with".

    The BBC understands that both planned aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, will be built - but the Royal Navy stands to lose a significant portion of its surface fleet, while the order for the joint strike fighters for the carriers will be scaled down substantially.

    The carriers are being constructed in sections in Scotland, Portsmouth and north Devon.

    It is believed that the Joint RAF/Fleet Air Arm Harrier force may face the axe, while some squadrons of RAF Tornado jets could be saved instead - although some air force bases will close.

    The Army may have to cut up to 7,000 or so personnel over the next five years, while the MoD itself could face substantial cuts to its civilian staff.

    Sources say £750m will be saved over four years on the Trident nuclear deterrent missile system but it is not yet clear how those savings will be made.
  2. Are you a Septic?
  3. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    I'm not a septic, but I'm certainly a sceptic. The problem isn't with the 'cuts' - the reduction in defence expenditure. The problem is with the massive overspend, caused by a toxic combination of Ministers (Labour Ministers) demanding jobs in their areas (i.e. Scotland and the NW/NE) and defence chiefs only too willing to let this happen.

    A reduction of 0% would be nasty enough - if we have to reduce spending to equate to the real level of funding!
  4. How awful of them to try and represent their constituencies. After all, the South and South East (you know, the Tory Heartland) never did well out of Defence location and Spending did it?

    Further, if we could rid ourselves of the blatantly corrupt Defence procurement processs we could save the country tens of Billions in the course of a couple of Parliaments, but of course there are too many people in Whitehall, Westminster and Downing Street - of all Political Creeds - that have a vested interest in ensuring this astonishingly wasteful process is protected.
  5. Perhaps Cameron has been shown that the 'black hole' in Defence spending is actually a 'bow wave' caused by the last administration's utter failure to fund SDR 98 properly and its propensity to defer projects and reduce numbers of orders thus pushing up overall and unit costs.

    I make no apology for once again showing this graph from The Economist which spans a period during which our forces have been involved in three major conflicts with all the unplanned consumption and wear & tear on kit procured to fulfill peacetime usage (i.e. not procured under the Treasury-funded UOR process).


    Sadly, it appears that this trend is set to continue.
  6. The Yanks are said to be concerned over Proposed British Defence Cuts and their effect on NATO.
    Well assuming Cameroon is not planning a New Invasion of XYZ?
    I think that we will be left with an Infantry Army, a very unbalanced Navy and an Airforce equipped with the 2nd rate Fighter it has fought for.


  7. Notwithstanding the fact that Typhoon has taken far too long to develop and produce, "2nd rate"? Hardly. How do you justify that postition John?
  8. Osborne finally caved! Sill we have to add on all that overspend from the last bunch of disgraces who strolled into power arrogantly boasting that procurement reforms would achieve substantial voodoo efficiencies just like this lot. Behind all the carefully telegraphed spin this is a savage cut to an already puny defense budget, that's been in step decline relative to GDP since the end of the cold war.

    I doubt this will pacify an irate Hills Clinton and Bob Gates?
    He's right of course, cuts of this scale demonstrate London's increasingly parasitic attitude to its most significant alliance.
  9. Could you perhaps qualify your last statement? I'd be interested to know in what way the UK is 'parasitic'.
    And I read the quote as 'The US is the only country allowed to make cuts. Europe is there to fill the holes in our defence capabilities.'
  10. Of course all politicians need to be seen to be doing their best for their constituencies, however at some point as Ministers they should put country needs before their own desire to get re-elected.

    The Defence Procurement process can be described as many things but it is not generally corrupt nor are most of those working within it. Even with my own vitriolic dis-like of some of our suppliers, I will contend that most of them are not corrupt either. Ultimately they are trying to stay in business and turn a profit, something the MoD has made very difficult for them, hence our rapidly declining number of suppliers. If you genuinely believe that tens of billions could be saved by just ditching the current system, then it really is time you trotted off to the NAAFI bar before they call last orders.
  11. American policy wonks have been calling the "special relationship" parasitic for decades. The US spends about 4.7% of its massive GDP on defense a huge portion of which goes to sustaining NATO. The UK once had a NATO commitment to spend at least 3%, it's never spent it well, it will now drop to an historic low around 2% as it guts large sections of a military. London foolishly thinks it can safely do this largely because its lopsided US alliance guarantees its interests and existential security. It's not gone unnoticed that London's ability to usefully project power and even defend itself is rapidly fading. London's willingness to deploy thin and under equipped forces in over stretched alliance commitments has only highlighted its dependency.
  12. Moi? No (and I'm not French either). Cameron's 'victory' over the treasury is reported in the Telegraph today too.
  13. So were ONLY gonna have 8% cuts in defence while they shovel Billions to India and Pakistan in aid.

    The stories about defence have been orchestrated to make it look like the ConDems are actually doing us a favour by not cutting as bad as previously indicated.

    Smoke and mirrors used to disguise the fact that the current lot are breakling the military covenant in the same cavalier manner as the previous incumbents.

    We live in a dangerous world and they decide to weaken our defences further and disguise it as being good news.

    Traitorous Liberal Tory b'stards.
  14. Actually I'm in favour of the whole aid budget. Even if we leave aside the idea that we're all people, nobody in the UK is truly living in poverty while there's more people over there living in a shithole than there are people in the britain... it's actually got strategic benefits. For India; keeping on the side of a country whose economy is now only on a part with Canada but is rapidly growing will be hugely advantageous should it ever enter the same league as China and Japan because then we will have a powerful ally in an area of the world that we still have interests (and obligations; many of them wearing corked-up hats or shaggins sheep). For Pakistan, bearing in mind that there WILL be a war if it tips over the edge into being a failed state (nuclear Pakistan, next to India and Afghanistan, and able to shoot far further than that, would be one of the greatest threats to world security in history), keeping the people there healthy and vaguely democratic is massively cheaper in money and lives than having to drag them out of the very deep pit that they're staring down.

    If these stories are, as I suspected, organised by the government to be steadily getting better, then hats off to them. They've obviously at least got intelligence!
  15. One word suggests you're the one with the ale problem.


    The boards of various companies involved with that debacle are stuffed with people who were charged with trialling and accepting into service the best communications system. And we got Bowman - Laughable.

    I bet the budgets wouldn't multiply if you had the people who use the kit writing the Statement of Requirement, and the people charged with bringing it home were told their wages would reflect any overspend.

    Whether you like it or not the MoD budget takes a soaking off contractors. We pay to keep a defence industry afloat, and they know it. Consequently we get sub standard over priced kit.