Thursday, December 24, 2009

Afstan hitting UK defence budget hard--and the CF?

The Economist spells out the effects, mainly on the Royal Air Force and Navy:
The war bill comes due
Ships and planes are cut to help the army fight the Taliban
The National Audit Office, a government-spending watchdog, says that shortfalls in the defence budget will total at least £6 billion over the next decade, assuming that spending merely keeps pace with defence inflation (projected at 2.7% a year) [emphasis added]. If spending stays flat—a more realistic prospect—the gap could total £36 billion...

...his plans amount to a mini-review in favour of the army, which expects to be fighting the Taliban for several years [emphasis added] (the new Chinooks will not start arriving until 2012 [22 of them]), at the expense of the navy and the air force. The army may be bleeding in Afghanistan, but in Britain it is winning the battle for the budget.
And it looks like the CF is being hit by Afstan too:
New Close Combat Vehicles for the Army--and the coming budget crunch/Lagging Leopards
More on our government's future, meagre, defence budget plans here, here, here and here. Remember that our defence spending is only some 1.2% of GDP--and is likely to go quite a bit lower as a percentage.


Blogger Dwayne said...

There is really nothing left for them to cut, unless they want to get rid of any capability forever (or as near as forever as possible). At least the UK still has something left, even after the cuts. We have 3 squadrons of CF-18s, one squadron is the training squadron and the other 2 are the "deployable" and home defence squadrons. We have a grand total of 12 CPFs and 3 Destroyers (and we are having trouble manning them anyway, we used to have 4 Destroyers) so no big savings there, unless we want the USA to patrol our coast lines.

The Liberals have really left nothing for the Conservatives to cut, not even personnel as the Military has never recovered from the 1994 downsizing, unlike the federal civil service that has surpassed their numbers of pre-1994 staffing.

Remember the Berlin wall coming down and the "peace dividend" that the US talked about, we had our peace dividend during the '70s and '80s under Trudeau.

2:11 p.m., December 24, 2009  
Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

Dwayne said "There is really nothing left for them to cut..."

What do you want to bet those two new carriers never get built, nor the replacement subs for their aging Trident boomers and attack boats? And, down the line, they therefore won't need to replace escort ships for non-existent new carriers. And also without the carriers, their need for F-35s will also be perceived as far less.

(BTW, that one will inescapably raise the per-unit cost that Canada will have to pay for it's F-35s. As Canada is now planning to buy approx. 65 F-35s, I'd guess the future bill just went up $2 mil or more per bird, say $130 million. The UK is, in effect, also exporting part of it'd defense budget to Canada. Like the Trudeaupians did to the US back in the day.)

Consequently, the Brits will also need a whole lot less military and naval personnel.

They've cut all the fat; now they're busy slicing bone and muscle.

Meanwhile, the last figures I read, the UK paid 15 BILLION pounds in taxes to the EU two fiscal years back, for that one fiscal year.

IMO, that's danegeld for which the British people receive nothing they couldn't have on their own at far less cost.

And of course, since getting in office, the Labour Party has massively increased numbers in the Civil Service, including non-medical bureaucratic personnel in the National Health Service, the vast majority of whom are, not coincidentally, in areas of Britain with traditionally non-Labour contestable Parliamentary seats.

The above paragraph may seem off topic, strictly speaking, but defense spending in any democracy has a socio-political context. This is Britain's, under "New" Labour.

Comments on this, anybody?

2:21 a.m., December 26, 2009  

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