Tories pledge Strategic rethink of Defence funding

#1
....the Conservative Party has pledged to launch a Strategic Defence Review after returning to government. In addition, we will introduce a US-style system of quadrennial defence reviews and put this requirement into legislation in order to ensure that any future SDR is taken out of the political cycle. This is the only sensible course of action. The fact that the last SDR was in 1998 is completely unacceptable.
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinio...ed-forces-is-a-national-disgrace-1517794.html

Reading between the lines he has been reading the 'If I was Defence Sec..' thread and the current Defence budget is going to be swapped with the current welfare budget.

Oh and jim30 he almost mentions the thousand pound chairs :wink:
 
#2
It is certainly true that defence needs to be funded better. Personally I would stop paying people to do nothing. The benefits budget is absolutely massive, many times the defence one. This needs to stop. I am fairly sure that money wasted in the welfare and NHS budgets exceeds the money going into the defence one.

We live on an island and depend heavilly on the sea to trade. Therefore we need a large and effective Navy. We are in two wars (maybe only one now) and several conflicts so we need a large and effective Army and RAF. What we have got is not really adequate.
 
#3
Interesting, the part about quadrennial defence reviews and it into legislation certainly seems like a very sensible idea. A lot of what he says about conditions is certainly correct and has already been much commented on by people and here on Arrse. Of course to be a complete cynical bastard this does appear to be a long listing Labour's failings and aside from the reviews it doesn't actually say what they'd do to fix them. And with the economic mess that Gordon Brown is leaving them if elected they'll have very little in the way of cash to correct it, but at least they're acknowledging them which is a major improvement over the current government.

Now I'm sure that someone will be along in a moment to decry previous Conservative governments policies in regards to defence and bringing up things like Options for Change. To that I'd probably argue that this was done after the end of the Cold War when everyone was making cuts to take advantage of the peace dividend under the assumption that there would be a much reduced role for the armed forces post Berlin Wall coming down, as opposed to Labour who made their cuts when we were involved in two major conflicts or one major conflict and about to start another depending on what time it was. Yes they made some bad choices but after 12 years how much can you hold it against them?

Overall I'd say two thumbs up for the review part and the rest looks promising but I'll wait to hear more substantial details. That said they're still looking better than the current lot, even if that isn't saying much. ;)
 
#4
Brick said:
Interesting, the part about quadrennial defence reviews and it into legislation certainly seems like a very sensible idea. A lot of what he says about conditions is certainly correct and has already been much commented on by people and here on Arrse. Of course to be a complete cynical fatherless this does appear to be a long listing Labour's failings and aside from the reviews it doesn't actually say what they'd do to fix them. And with the economic mess that Gordon Brown is leaving them if elected they'll have very little in the way of cash to correct it, but at least they're acknowledging them which is a major improvement over the current government.
...
Can't really blame him considering Labour's habit of nicking their good ideas and then claiming it was already planned. The Conservatives did make some damaging policies on defence, but this shower have taken the mick. Plus, as you say it was quite a while ago now since the Conservatives where in power.
 
#5
Don't worry troops, Ashie and Sven will be along in a minute to explain that everything is just fine and dandy and that if we don't want to vote Labour we can always vote for Labour by voting Liberal!
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Putting the SDR into a 4 year cycle by legislation doesn't solve anything. Any future govt that doesn't want to do an SDR can just change the legislation. And when has an SDR actually given MOD more money? Everyone that I can remember, Tory or Labour, has been an exercise in cutting costs. Less a question of "What do we need to do the jobs we've decided need doing?" and more "What jobs can we cut in order to meet the new spending plans from Treasury?" Dave may talk about it but the reality is he isn't going to give MOD any more long term funding. You might get a big PR splash one off, if you're lucky.
 
#7
Bouillabaisse said:
Putting the SDR into a 4 year cycle by legislation doesn't solve anything. Any future govt that doesn't want to do an SDR can just change the legislation.
Precisely. It's that sort of comment that makes me want to shake the Tories - they have some very good ideas, but then make spurious comments that make them look as if they don't have a clue about how government actually works. Additionally, a quadrennial review works for the US because their political terms last 4 years. Granted, recent UK elections have run on 4 year cycles (and maybe the Tories are concerned about appearing to mimic Stalin's 5 year plans if they make it a quinquennial review!) but I'm not convinced that a set-in-stone planning cycle for defence is the best idea in any case.
 
#9
DozyBint said:
Bouillabaisse said:
Putting the SDR into a 4 year cycle by legislation doesn't solve anything. Any future govt that doesn't want to do an SDR can just change the legislation.
Precisely. It's that sort of comment that makes me want to shake the Tories - they have some very good ideas, but then make spurious comments that make them look as if they don't have a clue about how government actually works. Additionally, a quadrennial review works for the US because their political terms last 4 years. Granted, recent UK elections have run on 4 year cycles (and maybe the Tories are concerned about appearing to mimic Stalin's 5 year plans if they make it a quinquennial review!) but I'm not convinced that a set-in-stone planning cycle for defence is the best idea in any case.
The review must also be independant or the ruling party will simply start the review with their desired position and then justify it.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#10
I don't know why peeps are putting any credence on this 'pledge'. It has been made by politicians (regardless of party) who think pledge is a furniture polish.

Don't believe anything a politician says - tip of the day.
 
#12
I'm with A-Y on this one.

I am sure that they will get their chance soon.

When they conduct the first quadrennial review it will, amazingly, find that they can achieve significant improvements in combat effectiveness. Coincidentally - surprise, surprise - they will find that there will be significant savings made through efficiency improvements.

Defence will therefore be better with less money.
 
#13
Bouillabaisse said:
Auld-Yin said:
Don't believe anything a politician says - tip of the day.
Thebits in bold are superfluous in this sentence
May I draw the honourable Gentlemans attention to my 'Blinkie'?
 
#14
If the Tories do have a means of fixing Labours failures in defence, I hope they would out and say them regardless of whether or not the idea gets nicked. If not, it smacks of seeing the iceberg from the bridge of Titanic and saying nowt in case the Captain says he spotted it first.
 
#15
BPS666 said:
Don't worry troops, Ashie and Sven will be along in a minute to explain that everything is just fine and dandy and that if we don't want to vote Labour we can always vote for Labour by voting Liberal!
I will, will I? :roll:
 
#16
There is an interesting comment to the article

As Kissinger was once quoted as saying "Soldiers are just pawns to be used in a game they do not understand". Sadly they are not the only ones who do not understand that they are being used in a complex game of power that most people can not get their brains around.

If the Army was not fighting for oil pipelines, drug trading routes and other less obvious causes in the Middle East it would have plenty of money to arm and equip itself properly.

Afghanistan is a huge trap being presented by the manipulators as a "War on Terror". The Western Armies have absolutely no business being in this part of the world.
 
#17
DozyBint said:
....I'm not convinced that a set-in-stone planning cycle for defence is the best idea in any case.
We could have a 4 yearly set review, and have others as needed.

Or perhaps a ruling that states that no more than 4 years should pass from the last round of cuts.... er Strategic Defence Review.
 
#18
that I'd probably argue that this was done after the end of the Cold War when everyone was making cuts to take advantage of the peace dividend under the assumption that there would be a much reduced role for the armed forces post Berlin Wall coming down,
Which fails to cover the 1982 defence cuts...or all the others under the Tories, same results as the labour 'reviews' just that too many people fall for the concept that the Conservatives are somehow the party of defence, and everything would be wonderful if they were back in.
 
#19
Under maggie defence kit was improved but only because she had to because of the ruskies,and the falklands. I remember my old man telling me that under the tories he was a corporal on benefits because his pay was pants. move forward to today and I am in the mob, we have poor equipment procurement, but my wage is not too bad! catch 22.

No party likes to spend on defence, but if we want to carry on with our pretence we are a major force within the worlds standing, then defence should be a priority, that is what we are seen by the rest of the world!
 

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