We spend more on Defence than Aid shocker!!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Proximo, Jul 6, 2005.

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  1. From The Grauniad:

    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.
  3. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    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.

  6. And the chances of this happening are...........?
  7. Why should 16 Special Needs Bde have all the fun.
  8. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    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. 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.

    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

  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
    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.

  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. 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?
  15. Ithink we might wanna thank our spetic bretheren for getting us out of our colonial possesion actually, truman was a rigth grumpy cnut