Liam Fox: UK taking ‘unfair hit’ in Afghan war

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Jan 31, 2010.

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  1. From The Sunday Times
    January 31, 2010
    Liam Fox: UK taking ‘unfair hit’ in Afghan war
    Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox says our allies should fight or fund more of the war
    Jonathan Oliver and Isabel Oakeshott

    LIAM FOX, the shadow defence secretary, suggested German money should subsidise British forces in Afghanistan, as he called for reform of the 60-year-old Nato military alliance.

    In an interview with The Sunday Times, Fox claimed it was unfair that the countries doing most of the fighting were also footing the largest bills.

    “Our forces are taking a disproportionate share of casualties and our taxpayers are also taking a disproportionate financial burden,” he said. “Some countries neither want to fight nor fund.”

    Fox said Nato needed to be reformed so members such as Germany with few troops on the front line would be forced to make cash payments to the states bearing the brunt of the the fighting.

    He revealed that he planned to work closely with France, a country which also bears a heavy fighting burden, to grasp the “Nato nettle”.

    His outspoken remarks come as the Tories wrestle with the need to make huge cuts in the Ministry of Defence budget while ensuring that the war in Afghanistan is properly funded.
  2. If they want it to be funded by all NATO members, then it needs to be agreed by all NATIO members ( and perhaps turned into a NATO mission).

    Does he really think he can secure that agreement?
  3. Deleted (double post)
  4. Eeeh, Afghanistan is a NATO mission, agreed by all member nations. The problem is the funding mechanism which in NATO is two-fold: common expenses for common NATO assets ie HQs etc are funded jointly according to some GDP key; all other costs "lie where they fall" ie everyone foots his own bill.
    This leads to a situation where nations that are willing to supply combat troops can not as their budget is exhausted (Poland) while others refuse to send troops into combat but would have the financial means to do so (Germany).
    To change this, 'only' the funding arrangements for the mission would have to be changed (in the spirit of NATO solidarity) but that would be a precedent the Germans and others don't like to see.
  5. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    Jerry paying us to fight wars? Bit of a reverse on the Hessians and the KGL.

    Sersiously, I cant see this idea getting much traction, creative though it it. The government's getting desperate - and it hasn't even won the election yet. This bodes ill.
  6. Andy S

    That's not the government, it's the opposition!. They're getting scared in case they DO win in May.
  7. Must be confused this early on a Sunday. NATO has commanded ISAF since 2003, but I thought it was a UN mandate which established ISAF in the first place.

    I still doubt there's much scope for reform to contributions in either UN or NATO, especially now when everyone's broke.
  8. They did so in 1991 but felt 'uncomfortable' with their 'checkbook-warfighting', having just become a reunited powerhouse and with their aspirations of grandeur. So they decided to reform their military (FAIL) and leave their special place of self-imposed restraint in international politics to be one of the world's leaders. Here they are increasingly FAILING as they are not taken seriously due to their continued freeriding when it comes to the uglier parts of that international responsibility.

    vampangua: Both is true. ISAF started as UN and NATO took over one sector after the other.
    The problem is not only monetary. As I understand it, a mission is planned, agreed upon and then national contributions are sought in a Capability Commitment Conference. Here each nation commits voluntarily and according to its monetary ability (influenced by the strength of its interest to be involved).
    If funding was not voluntary but a nation would know from the start that it will be forced to pay x% of any envisioned operation, it could make allies much less ambitious from the start - if that makes sense.
  9. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Is he just preparing the way for massive cuts claiming we can't afford to fight a war in Afghanistan and carry on normal duties also?
    "Nobody else will pay so we have to close 10 camps,6 ships and scrap anything with wings"

    They have to make their minds up if it's as important to the security of this country as we keep getting told it is they have to throw everything at and declare it's a proper war and budget accordingly

    Otherwise pull out and save billions which we can hand to the Unemployed,China,India and any other pet projects which come along
  10. Perhaps the answer if for the UK to tailor its military commitments to its budget and to the requirements of the country's security, rather than looking to Norway et al to fund our aspirations to 'punch above our weight'.

    I'm starting to despair of Dr. Fox.

  11. The idea has merit, the use of private companies in all kinds of international security situations generates staggering revenue streams.

    It is surely conservative thinking taken to the next logical level. If you cannot sell the armed forces, why not lease them out.

    The rank and file army would be up for it as would the other two services, if they knew that their expensive kit could be replaced when lost.

    MoD would create all kinds of problems, so break it up, rename the good bits "War Office" and start selling!

  12. My bold. Since when have the French started to take a "heavy" fighting burden?
    Not that I want to turn this into the normal cheese eating surrender monkey thread but last time i looked they weren't particulary pulling their own weight. They have a larger Army than us but have a lower troop number in theatre, although recently upping there numbers out there, they have made it clear that is all there willing to send.
    Don't get me wrong, it's not just the Frogs that need to get a grip. We Brits need to start taking it more seriously and get the amount of troops out there that are needed top get the job done also, we can't always rely on the Yanks to do it for us. Germany, France and Australia could all do with pulling there fingers out.
    If there unwilling to send the troops and take the casaulties then the least they can do is support us by other means.