We spend more on Defence than Aid shocker!!

#1
From The Grauniad:

Rich spend 25 times more on defence than aid

UN shows how the west, especially Britain and America, have put military spending way ahead of help for Africa

Larry Elliott, economics editor
Wednesday July 6, 2005
The Guardian

Rich western countries spend up to 25 times as much on defence as they do on overseas aid and have increased their assistance to the poorest African countries by just $3 (£1.70) a head since 1990, according to United Nations figures.

Research to be unveiled in the UN's human development report later this year shows that every country in western Europe and North America has a bigger military budget than overseas development budget, with the biggest disparities in the United States and Britain.

Although the UK has increased its aid budget in recent years, the UN data reveals that for every £1 spent on development, £8 is spent on defence.
In the United States, 1% -one cent in every dollar - goes on aid compared to the 25% of the budget that is spent by the Pentagon.

The figures emerged as development campaigners step-ped up their pressure on the G8 to deliver an immediate $50bn increase in aid at its summit starting today.

"G8 leaders are hiding behind each other and are stuck in a swamp of inertia", said Jo Leadbeater, head of advocacy at Oxfam. "We need to see leadership from countries such as Canada in order to get a breakthrough on aid. If this doesn't happen, the UN's plan to halve world poverty by 2015 lies in tatters. This is the first time in history that the text of the final G8 communique has been up for grabs this late in the game. There's still a lot to play for, but so far no sign of the breakthrough that people all over the world are demanding."

War on Want said the deal on offer this week would provide only 20% of the extra aid needed for Africa.

John Hilary, director of campaigns and policy, said: "The paltry deal on the table at Gleneagles is an insult to poor people the world over. G8 governments have failed to listen to the 225,000 protesters who came out on to the streets of Edinburgh to call for a response to the crisis of global poverty. If this is the best they can come up with, the G8 clearly has nothing to offer the world's poor."

Defence spending in both the US and the UK has increased in recent years as a result of the war in Iraq, taking the total in the G7 (the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada) to more than $660bn a year - 10 times the spending on aid in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the poor countries of Europe.

The UN figures show that while Germany and Italy cut defence spending in the four years from 2000 to 2004 and France held it steady, spending on defence in the UK rose by $92 per head to $790 (£450) a year. In the US, there was a sharper increase of $379 per head to $1,549.

The spending on defence contrasted with separate UN figures showing how little of the increase in prosperity seen in the west since 1990 has found its way to sub-Saharan Africa.

Since 1990, according to the UN figures, per capita increases in the G7 nations have averaged $5,770.

The US has enjoyed the biggest increase in per capita incomes - from just over $30,000 a year to just over $37,500 a year - while recession-affected Japan has seen the smallest increase of $3,400 a year. Over the same period, the UN figures show that spending per head among G7 countries on sub-Saharan Africa has risen by $3 - from $13 a year in 1990 to $16 a year in 2003. In three of the G7 countries - France, Japan and Canada - spending on sub-Saharan Africa is lower now than it was in 1990, the year the UN launched its annual human development report.

Britain's spending on aid to sub-Saharan Africa has doubled between 1990 and 2003 - from $11 to $22 per head - but that represents around one 40th of what the government spends on defence.

France, despite cutting its per capita spending on Africa by $11 since 1990, remains the most generous of the G7 countries, providing $41 a head in 2003. Britain was the second most generous at $22.
The story is here.

Typically tree-hugging reportage from The Grauniad here, but I'm not certain whether I should be astonished that we give as much as we do to Africa; amazed that anyone rational actually believes that the amount we get for Defence is anything but risible; or that we should start agitating for increased Aid vs reduced Defence.

I know that Defence is the first to feel the axe when times are tight, but to give the savings to a load of corrupt African politicans seems ridiculous in the extreme.
 
#2
So who is going to go in and sort out the nasty people with guns in Africa before the tree hugging doo-gooders get on the ground to rack up huge expense accounts, spend a fortune so that everyone can have a Land Cruiser and pour millions into the coffers of the corrupt officials in the countries.

As so many places in the world have proved (Rwanda & Darfur particularly) that aid without effective military backup does little or nothing to solve the problem. But if the politicians will not deploy us then thats their problem not ours. If you don't have a military who is going to solve these issues (following a huge cry from the tree huggers of "something must be done") who is going to do it? The Wombles protestors from the G8 violence on Monday??? I don't think so.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#3
We must spend boggrall on aid then...
 
#4
I hate to play the devils advocate here, but it is on the backs of Africa, partially at least, that the foundations of our western societies are built.

The issues african states, note state not nations, are facing today are due to a multitude of tribes and ancient traditions being herded into an arbitrary colonial administrative area because it suited out imperial ancestors. The cream of African genetic society were either killed or shipped to the new world to serve in building another outpost of empire.

We then have the audacity to leave them flat, admissably the British empire was more generous in its decolonising process than say France or worse Portugal but already the infrastructure left in place suited the imperial economy and was of no used to the indiginous population.

Anyways, match lit, fuse burning.....
 
#5
^ The argument is entirely bogus, and is the staple of the sort of thing you'll probably have to endure at SWP meetings.

Answer me this: why did it take less than ten years to rebuild vast tracts of devastated post-war Europe (especially Germany), restore democratic government and on a budget under the Marshall Plan that would make a modern aid-junkie blush.

OTOH, we have been pouring money into Africa for thirty years and sustaining a number of dictatorships who perpetuate the suffering and debt. Is this, in any way, mitigating whatever we owe Africa for past misdemeanours (although personally I'm a British Imperial revisionist who thinks that many of the newly independent colonies squandered what was left behind in a fit of pique)?

No, it doesn't.

The only (I mean this, the only) way forward for Africa is genuinely free trade and an even playing field for their economy. This means the US and Europe feeling some pain as they get rid of tariffs and guff like the CAP and it means that Africa feels some pain as it develops transparent, functioning democracies that can support free trade globalised economies.

Everything else is hot air, except for my wish to see 16AAB landing just outside Bulawayo.

V!
 
#6
Vegetius said:
^ The argument is entirely bogus, and is the staple of the sort of thing you'll probably have to endure at SWP meetings.

Answer me this why did it take less than ten years to rebuild vast tracts of devastated post-war Europe (especially Germany), restore democratic government and on a budget under the Marshall Plan that would make a modern aid-junkie blush.

OTOH, we have been pouring money into Africa for thirty years and sustaining a number of dictatorships who perpetuate the suffering and debt. Is this, in any way, mitigating whatever we owe Africa for past misdemeanours (although personally I'm a British Imperial revisionist who thinks that many of the newly independent colonies squandered what was left behind in a fit of pique)?

No, it doesn't.

The only (I mean this, the only) way forward for Africa is genuinely free trade and an even playing field for their economy. This means the US and Europe feeling some pain as they get rid of tariffs and guff like the CAP and it means that Africa feels some pain as it develops transparent, functioning democracies that can support free trade globalised economies.

Everything else is hot air, except for my wish to see 16AAB landing just outside Bulawayo.

V!
And the chances of this happening are...........?
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#8
Gunner_Troopie said:
......

We then have the audacity to leave them flat, admissably the British empire was more generous in its decolonising process than say France or worse Portugal

......
But the Porks' withdrawal was done under the benevolent hand of a Socialist government, so who should take the blame for the mess ?
It's obviously not the fault of the lefties, it never is...
 
#9
Vegetius said:
^ The argument is entirely bogus, and is the staple of the sort of thing you'll probably have to endure at SWP meetings.

Answer me this: why did it take less than ten years to rebuild vast tracts of devastated post-war Europe (especially Germany), restore democratic government and on a budget under the Marshall Plan that would make a modern aid-junkie blush.
To be fair the west sunk a helluva lot of time effort and military manpower into maintaining West Germany whereas we have only tended to many sub saharan african when it directly affects our interests, diamonds and oil.


Vegetius said:
The only (I mean this, the only) way forward for Africa is genuinely free trade and an even playing field for their economy. This means the US and Europe feeling some pain as they get rid of tariffs and guff like the CAP and it means that Africa feels some pain as it develops transparent, functioning democracies that can support free trade globalised economies.
However I agree that if the Worldbank and IMF wish to force free trade on African states and move them away from protectionist markets then free trade should be global and thing slike the CAP should not exist to skew the global markets

GT
 
#10
Question for all those people believe we own the Africa a living and our aid can really help, why China and India can themselve back on their feet and the workshop of the world without getting a penny aid from anywhere while African can't even with ten of billions spent on them every years?
 
#11
Vegetius said
The only (I mean this, the only) way forward for Africa is genuinely free trade and an even playing field for their economy.
I agree that genuinely free trade is required but aid is also necessary. What use is free trade when a farmer can't get his produce to a port (and onto the 1st world markets) because the road keeps on getting washed away whenever it rains?

You also ask why aid over the last 30 years hasn't been more successful. I think there are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, giving aid and trying to develop poor economies is a fairly complicated business and we made a bollox of it at first. Look at the increasing sophistication of the aid arguments and methods, at Live Aid in the 1980's Geldof said "just give us your fuckin money" - very simplistic. But now we have the Commision for Africa report which is an extremely detailed and well thought out plan with costings and we have concerts that don't ask for money just politcial action. Of course we still get the odd clown aid worker - the type who go to Indonesia after the tsunami to "give chocolates to the children".

Secondly, during the cold war much of the aid was not honestly given. Aid was given to ensure countries remained pro-western. This probably had to happen as we had to beat the USSR but its not gonna help Africa.

Thirdly, I'd imagine there are threshold effects with aid. If you give a small amount of aid, just enough to feed starving mouths, then the recipent will never be able to develop their economy and we end up giving aid for decades. However, if we give lots for a short period of time then it can kick start the economy.

Tricam.
 
#12
What's wrong with spending more on the possible defence of our own country than the money we send, and have been sending for years to countries in Africa? If so much of the money wasn't wasted on mismanagement and initiatives lost in tribal disputes then it wouldn't be so bad. But that's just defence.... the countries in Africa have even more problems they need to address themselves before any money spent there actually does anything effective.

It's okay saying that you need to get them tools and wells so they can grow their own food, but as soon as the tools are distributed and the wells are dug they either fall into disrepair and you ahve to start again, or they sit there trying to scrape out a livlyhood with subsistance style farming instead of building well organized farming industries that can be self sustaining.

They need to sort themselves out before we throw even more money in a very deep hole.
 
#13
Greyman said:
Question for all those people believe we own the Africa a living and our aid can really help, why China and India can themselve back on their feet and the workshop of the world without getting a penny aid from anywhere while African can't even with ten of billions spent on them every years?
Neither India or China were ever activly Underdeveloped, and please note i use Underdeveloped, an active policy rather than undeveloped, Underdeveloped your so low you can see which way is up.

Im not defending some destinctly silly choices of regime, but i think the western democracies do owe more to Africa than they are giving.
 
#14
They told us in no uncertain terms to FOAHP, we did, they dícked around for the next 40 years, and that's our fault somehow?
 
#16
"To be fair the west sunk a helluva lot of time effort and military manpower into maintaining West Germany whereas we have only tended to many sub saharan african when it directly affects our interests, diamonds and oil."

Er head urts. No Krautland Uncle Joes mob on Channel coast.
john
 
#17
Vegetius said:
The only (I mean this, the only) way forward for Africa is genuinely free trade and an even playing field for their economy. This means the US and Europe feeling some pain as they get rid of tariffs and guff like the CAP and it means that Africa feels some pain as it develops transparent, functioning democracies that can support free trade globalised economies.

Everything else is hot air, except for my wish to see 16AAB landing just outside Bulawayo.
Quite right, it's economic policy not aid that will sort the problem. But even that'll do no good until the culture of corruption is addressed - and the chances of that changing??? Let's face it the whole continent is f****d. Close the borders and let them get on with it.
 

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