How much is the nation prepared to pay for defence?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by kj1000, May 31, 2010.

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  1. The following is an extract from a Working Paper from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

    It quotes a "green paper" that yields nine strategic premises that confirm the proposition on world status and influence, and contribute to the central question: How much is the nation prepared to pay for defence?

    These are:

    1. ‘We are more secure today than at most times in our history’; ie, to have an expeditionary strategy, one has to pay way above the odds for it.
    2. ‘The UK has a stake in the success of the international rules-based system and should maintain an active global military role which complements our diplomatic efforts and enhances our influence on wider international developments’; ie, an expeditionary strategy offering global influence is the fundamental premise of the United Kingdom’s military strategy. 3
    Michael coDner
    3. ‘Our Armed Forces protect our interests. We also use our Armed Forces as a Force for Good’.
    4. ‘We must preserve the reputation of our Armed Forces’; ie, we must continue to honour the nation’s commitment to Afghanistan and other interventions that it undertakes with an appropriate and effective military contribution.
    5. ‘No relationship is more important than that with the United States and our relationship also increases our impact’. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats differ in their interpretation of this relationship and on how it should be developed, and in the Leaders’ Debate on 23 April, Nick Clegg agreed that it was ‘immensely important’ but ‘not a one-way street’.
    6. ‘We must be able to undertake evacuation operations (over 12 million British citizens live overseas10) and defence of the Overseas Territories on our own’; ie, an autonomous expeditionary capability that is independent of access agreements is an essential element of our force structure.
    7. ‘NATO is essential to conventional deterrence, reasssurance, and collective defence and a robust EU role in crisis management will strengthen NATO ... Playing a leading role at the heart of Europe will strengthen our relationship with the US ... France offers the opportunity for even greater co-operation’; ie, Britain needs reliable partners to make sense of an affordable force structure.
    8. ‘Our economy is exceptionally open to trade with many parts of the world and relies on the free passage of goods, services and information’; ie, Britain must inter alia have a major influence on protection of sea lines of supply.
    9. ‘We have to begin the process of renewal of a minimum strategic nuclear deterrent because not to do so would effectively commit us now to unilateral disarmament.’ The Liberal Democrats do not accept the need for the present replacement programme to provide Continuous-At-Sea Deterrence, but they have not advocated abolishing nuclear deterrent capability.
  2. Surely the question in the current economic climate should be "How much can the nation afford to pay for defence?" :cry:
  3. " How much ?"

    Not much.

  4. Actually, here's a better question: How much does RUSI cost?
  5. Cost who? Google is your friend.

    Charity Overview
    RUSI - Frequently asked questions
  6. Taking serial 3 of your post, if the UK wants a defence on the cheap you'll end up regretting it,

    Besides no political party in charge 'should' ever be trusted or voted in again, we all know the country is fiscally on it's knee's, well being unable to defend your nations interests is something our veterans would be disgusted with!!

    I often visit RUSI & other similar sites for updates & intel, & no doubt the SDR will be covered soon enough.
  7. How much is the nation prepared to pay for defence?
    Probably not as much as you all cough up to keep illegal immigrants in the luxury they arrive in the UK fully expecting as an automatic right.
  8. I'll just take a look down the back of my sofa and see if I can contribute something extra.
  9. I think you're wrong, Jarrod.

    The NHS, defence and welfare and three of the biggest areas of government spending. They have to be open to political involvement (interference, as you have it) because there must be democratic accountability and oversight for the way our money is being spent.

    Frankly democratic accountability over the NHS seems like a good thing to me. I'm paying for a service, so I'd like some say in what service I get. And if that's inconvenient for clinicians / apparatchiks then them's the breaks.

    Same logic applies to defence. Politicians have to make the case for the kind of defence they believe is in the national interest. That might not be the one the public want to fund. But the democratic process of oversight allows that because we (ought to be able to) trust our elected politicians to do the right thing.
  10. If the UK isn't prepared to pay the actual now cost of fighting current continuous ops, it is hardly likely to pay the "premiums" on an "insurance policy" such as a generic defence policy.

    Prepared to pay is one argument and is obviously related to aspirations or needs; can afford to pay is another argument and relates to opportunity costs!

  11. My bold: And this is just one particluar area which is 'constantlly' being abused :x although I'm not saying fiscal mis-management is'nt happening in the other two depts but take a look at ukpublicspending

    Ring fencing certain departments has alreadyb been proved an area of concern, just take a look at the culture sec aim & the fact that the 2010 olympics is not immune either,

    Back on topic, accountability I'm all for, however depts such as welfare has been ignored & let run like a gravy train to get beyond a past crisis point!
  12. Not being run by Broon obviously :D Otherwise - Income £3,277,328. Spending £8,000,000 but don't FFS include the PFI's.
  13. I'm curious to know when the first task of a government stopped being the protection of its citizens, and became the borrowing of money to buy cider for unemployed scrotes.

    I hope we have a review of our defence needs that comes up with tasks, critical to the interests and safety of this country, that are then funded. Unfortunately, I think I'm more likely to win a bet on Theo Walcott scoring the winning goal at the World Cup final.
  14. Angular, it's an interesting question. A few people have begun writing about the shift from a warfare state to the welfare state.

    The politics and philosophy of the shift are fascinating. How far, for example, does the duty of a state to protect its citizens extend to affording them a minimum standard of living? Having read about conditions in late Victorian / Edwardian Britain (Rowntree's studies are a great introduction) I cannot but admire the reforming zeal of the 1906 Liberal Government.

    The obvious point is that we've gone too far- diverting too large a proportion of national wealth notionally for welfare, but in fact supporting a large unproductive section of society. As a nation we cannot afford such largesse. It's a poor substitute for real welfare. It also means that any money we do have, as a country, is unavailable for other essential uses e.g. defence.

    Conventional tax and spend socialism failed in the 1970s. New Labour borrow and spend has now come undone. I fervently hope that the new government have the testicular fortitude to follow their beliefs to their logical conclusion and get the state back into manageable and affordable limits, with an implicit bargain with the public that they must at times work at their own salvation.
  15. I'm beginning to think that paying people benefits to keep out of the way, and letting drug dealers run the estates where they live, is a deliberate policy. It could even be that it enhances the security of those with property they want to retain. Keep 'em penned in and drugged up, and they don't start riots.

    Now that there are not so many unskilled jobs as there used to be, it's easier for everyone to import willing workers, than to hire unwilling people from families in which no-one has ever worked, for generations. It may even be cheaper than forcing them to work at make-work schemes, then dealing with the riots that come when their benefits are stopped.

    Of course it's 'wrong', but it does seem to work.